Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Audubon Society Struggles with Gas Lease Decision

Kirsi Jansa / Gas Rush Stories

A sign marks the entrance of Audobon Society property.

The latest installment of independent filmmaker Kirsi Jansa’s Gas Rush Stories chronicles a struggle among members of the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the Audubon Society. The Society’s land sits on top of some pretty lucrative gas fields. For years the group has debated whether or not to lease their land, which is surrounded by private property owners who have signed leases with drillers. Jansa’s 15-minute documentary about the organization’s internal debate appeared this week on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Pipeline website, a site that focuses on Marcellus Shale news.

The publication has stirred up bird lovers and fractivists, who have bombarded the National Audubon Society’s Facebook page with angry messages. But it may turn out that the Western Pennsylvania chapter forgot to include the national group in their discussions. Here is a response from the National Audubon Society to the Facebook protest posts:

“Thank you for your concern. The National Audubon Society is very concerned about the effects of fracking on people, landscapes, and wildlife. We do not support any project that will harm people or damage the forests and grasslands that our migratory birds depend on. The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania is an independent organization, and we are contacting them to find out more.”

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