HEARTWOOD Holds 28th Annual Forest Council in NW PA Focus on Gas Industry’s Impacts to Forests and


For Immediate Release: May 9, 2018

For more information contact:

Becca Pollard, keepwaynewild@gmail.com

BUTLER COUNTY– HEARTWOOD will hold its 28th Annual Forest Council, “Edge Effects,” over the Memorial Day weekend at the 300-acre, forested Camp Crestfield, located right outside the town of Slippery Rock, PA. The weekend-long event features speakers, presentations and workshops from activists in PA, OH, and WV, all fighting the massive buildout of the petrochemical industry in our region, beginning with the Shell corporation’s “cracker” plant in Beaver, PA.

The weekend event is being billed as a “tri-state grassroots summit,” a time for activists to come together from around the region to confront this new threat to our forests.

“This year’s Forest Council is an opportunity to galvanize resistance to the construction of pipelines throughout our region, the Appalachian Gathering Station in southern West Virginia, and the expansion of unconventional oil and gas extraction on public lands, such as the Wayne National Forest in Ohio. Only by working together on a regional level, can we hope to challenge one of the world’s largest industries,” said Heartwood coordinator Tabitha Tripp. “At stake is the ability of our nation to address global climate change.”

“Wayne National Forest is one of the few remaining forested areas in Ohio, and despite being less than a century old, is remarkably biodiverse,” said Becca Pollard of Keep Wayne Wild, who is co-sponsoring the event. “The industrialization of the Wayne for fracked gas threatens both the wildlife that inhabits it and the air and water we all rely on.”

Kicking off the weekend events on Friday, May 25th, Jeffrey Hall, president of the Bartramian Audubon Society, will present the natural history of northwest Pennsylvania, with considerable focus on birds. “Besides being photogenic, birds are often key indicators of the health of an ecosystem,” said Mr. Hall. “There will also be plenty of information about other wildlife, wildflowers, different habitats, and general natural history.”

Saturday’s keynote speaker is Karen Coulter, of the Blue Mountain Biodiversity Project in Oregon. Ms. Coulter’s decades of experience and deep insights into the connections between social injustice and climate change, species extinction, and corporate profits, will be of great interest to conservationists and progressives in the movement. Her evening presentation will be followed by an art show featuring the #NotWhite Collective, and music from Social Justice Disco!, a new musical project featuring Liz Berlin (of Rusted Root fame) and Phat Man Dee, followed by Pittsburgh local band Chai Baba.

Sunday’s activities feature outings and field trips to nearby wild places threatened by unconventional oil and gas extraction and strip mining and a tour of areas impacted by fracking and its infrastructure in Butler County.

Food for the weekend is prepared by Seeds of Peace, an activist collective that provides support for the many ongoing tree-sit blockades of pipelines in VA, MD and PA.

More event details including a complete list of co-sponsoring organizations, and other relevant links can be found on our web site, https://heartwood.org/2018-forest-council/

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