Write the Forest Service

The Forest Service is Seeking Comments on Authorizing Surveys for Additional Routes for the Proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline!

The US Forest Service has reopened its comment period regarding issuing a permit to Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC for environmental and cultural resource surveys on the 8.3 miles of the Jefferson National Forest that will be on alternate route 200. MVP is requesting to survey to areas of the Jefferson National Forest in Giles and Montgomery counties in Virginia.

The Forest Service will use public comments and an environmental review to decide whether to enlarge the current survey permit for the surveys on the Jefferson National Forest. Comments should be received by Tuesday, September 8, 2015. More information, including maps and specifics of survey activities can be found on the Forest Service website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gwj/ or by calling (540) 265-5100. On this page, click on the link to Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Preserve Craig is suggesting that individuals address the following talking points about MVP’s request for this permit:

  • I need a longer comment period, preferably 30 more days. This short comment period is not enough time to study and understand this route! Route 200 keeps changing from what was originally filed!
  • Could you explain why MVP is asking to survey a 1000ft. corridor instead of their standard 300ft.?
  •  Why does MVP need to survey a corridor that has already been deemed unsuitable for a utility corridor?  The Forest Service issued a Decision of Record in 2002 affirming this.
  • Why survey a road-less area?  This would never be suitable for a utility corridor!  The pipeline would essentially create a roadway that would open the area for unwanted ATV travel and for unchecked growth of invasive plant species that can harm the forest.
  • We predicted that problems would occur when the Forest Service previously gave MVP permission to survey in USFS land such as surveyors trespassing and removing endangered plants, cultural attachment issues have come to pass-moral in community has been negatively affected due to being threatened and bullied by surveyors/surveying processes
  • The contact information provided to landowners for MVP as recently as last week is invalid. They closed the Beckley and the phone number was disconnected. No forwarding information was provided.

Other topics individuals may want to address are:

  • Forest fragmentation
  • Fire safety
  • Karst topography is still along this alternate route which can cause ground water and drinking water to be affected in this region.
  • Erosion issues
  • Endangered species
  • The National Forest is public land not for private gain
  • Eminent domain is still a threat for private citizens along the route
  • Cultural attachment/disturbance to sense of place

If you decide to send comments electronically, please copy PreserveCraig@gmail.com.

Comments mailed through the postal system should be sent to the following address:

USDA Forest Service
George Washington and Jefferson National Forests
ATTN:  Mountain Valley Pipeline Survey Comments
5162 Valleypointe Parkway
Roanoke, VA  24019
We would also appreciate copies of any letters sent by regular mail.

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