Dreaded Atlantic Coast Pipeline Application Filed on 9/18/15

Reposted from Friends of Shenandoah Mountain, September 19, 2015

VWCpipeline routeDominion Resources and its partners filed an application with FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) on Sept. 18 to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). The proposed ACP route crosses Shenandoah Mountain south of Rt. 250 through Cow Knob Salamander habitat and then passes through the corner of our proposed Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area near Ramseys Draft Wilderness and Braley Pond. The pipeline threatens the scenic beauty, wildlife habitat, and recreational resources that make Shenandoah Mountain such an excellent candidate for Congressional designation. The Shenandoah Mountain National Scenic Area proposal has been endorsed by over 230 businesses, organizations, and faith groups and has been recommended by the GWNF (George Washington National Forest) in its new plan.

The Cow Knob Salamander is a sticky issue for the ACP. Its habitat is protected by a Conservation Agreement signed in 1994 by the USFS (US Forest Service) and US Fish & Wildlife.  GWNF Forest Supervisor Tom Speaks sent a letter to FERC  on Sept. 17 asserting that the ACP is not in compliance with the Conservation Agreement for this species which is “at high risk for extinction or extirpation.”  Supervisor Speaks added that “project effects on Cow Knob and Cheat Mountain salamanders must be avoided and cannot be mitigated.”

Read GW Supervisor Tom Speaks’ letter to FERC.
Read about the Cow Knob Salamander: Potential Impact of the ACP

Cow Knob Salamander on Shenandoah Mountain in the path of the pipeline. Photo by Malika Davis, EMU studentMany thanks to Eastern Mennonite University conservation photography students who partnered with Friends of Shenandoah Mountain in Oct. 2014 to photograph the Cow Knob Salamander in the path of the pipeline. Their photographs provide undeniable evidence of the existence of these rare creatures along the pipeline route. See some of their photos.

Image at right is of a Cow Knob Salamander on Shenandoah Mountain by EMU student Malika Davis.

FSMcowknobsalamanderterritory

ACP route across Shenandoah Mountain through Cow Knob Salamander habitat. Photo of Cow Knob Salamander by J. Bush, EMU student

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