About a week ago, I emailed Pennsylvania senator Gene Yaw a simple statement.
I had just heard (admittedly, via an email from PennEnvrionment) that Loyalsock State Forest was in danger of being opened for natural gas drilling and I was hoping to influence the political decision making behind the project. Mr. Yaw responded within minutes:
“When were you last in the Loyalsock Forest?” No greeting, no closing.
I admit, I sent my email in a hurry, and it probably could have been more detailed, but at least it was respectful.
I was initially filled with shame when I read Mr. Yaw’s response. I haven’t visited Loyalsock State Forest in years (if ever), but I do frequent its neighbor, World’s End State Park. These places share a watershed that was contaminated by natural gas operations last year; I saw a favorite swimming hole on the news. I told Mr. Yaw about this in my response.
Now that I few days have passed, I’m thinking of sending a follow-up email, perhaps with my vacation photos from the area. Perhaps I should mention a few other things:
– Do I have to frequent a place to care whether or not it’s destroyed? My friend said it best, when he commented on my encounter:
-What about my tax dollars? Aren’t I paying taxes for state lands? Actually, I’m paying Gene Yaw’s salary. Why am I paying someone to treat me with disrespect?
-I can’t help but notice that tourists from Baltimore discovered the Loyalsock Creek contamination. So, obviously, my friends from NYC are not the only ones that seek out that area as a vacation destination.
-What about the people who live in that area? Their heath could be at risk. Am I not allowed to care about them?
Any other thoughts?
This photo is for you, Mr. Yaw. I was there, and it was spectacular.
What: March from Loyalsock State Forest to Chairman Yaw’s Williamsport office
When: March 25 at 9:00 a.m.
Where: Loyalsock State Forest (exact meeting location and directions will be emailed out)