See Rapp news coverage of the RLEP annual meeting http://www.rappnews.com/2013/11/21/the-rapp-for-nov-21/126124/
Sunday, October 27, 2013
At The Theatre in Washington
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Presentation by Evan Blumenstein, with the John Marshall Soil and Water District, Janet Davis of Hill House Nursery, and Sam Quinn, ConservationManager at Sunnyside Farm.
The forum is designed to provide landowners with an overview of how to manage small parcels of land, including soil types, planning and managing habitats, and recommendations on plant material. There will also be resource material available.
RLEP members staffed a table at the Avon House Artisan's Market on Saturday and Sunday during the Farm Tour. This provided an opportunity to talk to visitors and the community about the work of RLEP in preserving the rural and scenic nature of the county. We offered some tips on living with wildlife and talked about the variety of educational activities that RLEP provided and supported.
Below is the text of a letter to the USDA on behalf of RLEP.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
We represent the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection, a 40-year-old nonprofit in Virginia’s Piedmont working to protect and preserve our way of life.
Along with scores of other organizations in our region, we support the U.S. Forest Service’s sensible proposal to protect forest resources and drinking water on the George Washington National Forest by prohibiting horizontal drilling on any future federal oil and gas leases in the new Forest Plan.
The Forest Service should stand firm. The well-considered ban, which is intended to limit or prevent high-volume hydraulic fracturing, was supported by the great majority (95 percent) of more than 53,000 public comments, as well as by many local governments adjacent to the Forest.
The proposed ban on horizontal drilling will protect the direct drinking water source for 260,000 local residents and the headwaters of the James and Potomac Rivers which supply water to millions in cities in Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland, safeguard fish and wildlife habitat, and preserve the forest recreation experience for the more than 1 million people who visit the George Washington National Forest each year.
The draft forest plan also proposed to make nearly the entire GW Forest available for vertical gas drilling. The potential impacts of vertical gas drilling on the GW should be more thoroughly studied, with public input, before a decision is made. At a minimum, local drinking water supply watersheds, priority watersheds, and other sensitive natural, scenic and recreation areas should be made unavailable to drilling.
Thank you for your support on this critical issue.
Rick Kohler, Pres.
Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection
Rick Kohler, president of RLEP, presented a check to scholarship recipient Ben Estes on behalf of RLEP and RappFLOW, to attend The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment sponsored by George Mason University, National Geographic and the National Zoo. 250 High School National Youth Delegates from all over the country participate in the program. RLEP and RappFLOW are pleased to sponsor opportunities for the youth in our community to participate in programs that provide knowledge about and encourage an interest in environmental issues.