Wild Notes Winter 2011 edition

Winter 2011

*You can also download the entire issue in PDF form.

Cosmo the flying squirrel


You can also download the entire issue in printable PDF form

Letters to the Editor

Our focus on energy in the Fall issue of Keystone Wild!Notes definitely got people's attention. Many praised the coverage of both sides of the energy debate, which we aimed to do, but a few others raised questions. Here we have tried to capture a flavor of the letters and emails that came in, and respond when possible (or get experts to respond when the information is beyond our scope). While we cannot and do not strive to change anyone's mind on the subject of Marcellus, we hope that regardless of where you stand on the issue you will remain a reader of Wild!Notes. Thanks for the lively discussion!


Thank you for your very informative and well done article in the Fall 2010 Edition of Keystone Wild! Notes. I learned a lot and did some Youtube video watching while and after my read. But, overall I'm left both very disappointed with the whole situation and also what is not addressed fairly and openly in your article nor anywhere else I've come across to date. It's fair to say my concern is huge. "Roughly 20 to 30 percent of the water is recovered after fracking... The flowback water contains..., toxic and nontoxic metals, and..." People I speak with, and myself, seem to have come to believe that 80 to 70 percent of the very dirty nonflowback water is a looming natural disaster and health issue. Also, people I speak with, and myself, seem to have come to believe that 80 to 70 percent of the very dirty nonflowback water that is left in the earth and thought to be below the water table as we know it today may someday roar back to haunt us. I for one would appreciate any information you may have and will share with me on the future outlook for a) the large amount of water loss to the natural chain of events this 80 to 70 percent represents and b) the future ramifications of leaving/ adding all of this dirty substance in the earth.

Sincerely, Tom H.

Dear Tom,
You raise many interesting questions in your letter; questions that I am sure many of readers are also wondering about. Although I wrote the article on Marcellus I am certainly not an expert on the subject. For more information on all things related to natural gas drilling, I recommend checking out the following websites: The Department of Environmental Protections, www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/oilgas/new_forms/marcellus/marcellus.htm, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/marcellus, and the Topographic and Geologic Survey, www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/oilandgas/marcellus.aspx. Thanks for raising these issues.

Jessica Sprajcar, Editor


The format of your new newsletter is very well done. It is eye-catching and readable. The staff writers and investigators are professional.

As a natural resource professional who is concerned about the effects of development on our forests and water and wildlife, the title "What's All the Fuss" seems to project an underlying complacency and acceptance of Marcellus drilling. Is this your intention or an unintended perception?

The Climate Change series is very informative. Our community's monthly newspaper, Hemlock News, publishes the articles in this series, and it is very well received and appreciated. A "Thanks for a Great Paper" Letter to the Editor states, "The November issue of the Hemlock News had a great article on climate change. The article presented information that supports and confirms the fact that our climate is changing and getting warmer." Your efforts to educate on this critical issue are appreciated!

Marian K.

Dear Marian,

I chose the title for the cover story and it certainly was not my intent to make light of the topic of Marcellus shale. I have a tendency to use alliteration and rhyming in my writing; it makes it stand out, but I guess in this case, to the detriment of the story. Thank you for your kind words about our publication. I'm glad that the information is of use to you and your community.

Jessica Sprajcar, Editor


2011 WRCP Calendar is Now Available Online
This year's theme is "Adapting to a Changing Climate" and features 12 plant and animal species that may be at risk due to changes in precipitation, extreme storm events and habitat loss. Each month features a colorful photo, important conservation-related dates and some quick tips you can take to help protect these and other species. To download a copy of this FREE calendar, go to www.dcnr.state.pa.us/wrcp and click on the calendar link on the left side of the page.



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Pennsylvania Wild Resource Program