The Keystone Trails Association has hooked up with FracTracker.org to collect data on how the Marcellus Shale industry interacts with recreational hikers. The Keystone Trails executive director Curt Ashenfelter says he’s heard lots of anecdotal tales about hikers running into construction sites, sleeping near new compressor stations, and other disturbances to Pennsylvania’s network of trails. So Ashenfelter now wants trail blazers to keep a log of their experiences. The Trail Logbook has been developed by FracTracker. Brook Lenker, FracTracker’s new executive director says much of the anecdotal information has been “alarming.”
“We hope the information gathered helps to clarify the nature of the impacts and leads to sustainable solutions,” says Lenker.
Hikers are encouraged to take photos, and can either use an online form, or mail in a postcard. About 700,000 acres of Pennsylvania’s state owned forest lands are leased to drilling companies. But a moratorium continues on any new leases, which are managed by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.