The Fracking Begins

The Fracking Begins

It was just a matter of time before Marcellus Shale drilling rigs made their way to Ohiopyle.

Cables for seismic testing

Seismic Testing for drilling sites

With all the recent activity, the inevitable seems to have arrived. Last week the action picked up with seismic testing cables being dropped laid throughout the area. Helicopters are scanning the area daily. Ohiopyle State Park does not own the mineral rights under the park, so we’re all bracing for the when and where (Click here for an interesting article on the subject by National Georgraphic News).  One of our biggest supporters in protecting this area & the Youghioghney River is the Mountain Watershed Association. Please join us November 18th  for the “Yough Defense Fund” Fundraiser party at Falls City Restuarant & Pub in Ohiopyle.

Come celebrate and defend the Yough! YOU are invited to the Youghiogheny Defense Party!
This event benefits the Yough Defense Fund of the Mountain Watershed
Association, Home of the Youghiogheny RIVERKEEPER®
Proceeds will help cover legal expenses incurred in defending challenging the proposed Curry Mine

Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010
Place: Falls City Pub in Ohiopyle
Time: 5pm Doors Open (drinks available)
6pm Food starts (heavy Hors d’oeuvres)
7pm Music (short sets) and events/auction start
9:30pm on – HAVE FUN!! party/ & more music
Music will be provided by Clark Slater and Jess Hartman (and the Ferncliff Collective friends)

A $20 donation at the door provides:
FREE Hors d’oeuvres (potluck donations accepted – but let us know!)
1 FREE draft beer, wine or soda
Additional draft beer is cash bar; however, 100% proceeds go to the Yough Defense Fund!
50% of all other bar drinks (and limited menu) proceeds go to the Yough Defense Fund!
Live music with Clark & Jess
Chance to win a door prize or swag!
Silent auction deals/steals!
Bring along your other ‘Yough Friends’ and have fun supporting the Yough !
(100% of your donation at the door goes to the Yough Defense Fund!)

Party is open to the public ! It is not necessary to RSVP, but it will help us prepare so if you can, RSVP by emailing or find MWA on Facebook (search for Mountain Watershed Association) to let us know that you’re coming to support the Yough !

If you would like to make a donation to our silent auction or swag table, please do! You can make arrangements by emailing Ken at or calling (724) 593-5222.

Please join us! Bring some friends and forward this invitation on
to others who are interested in helping to protect the
Youghiogheny from a very real threat !

Additional Information:

If you can’t attend the fundraising party, bummer! …but please consider going right now to and making a donation in support of the Yough Defense Fund to count toward the event fundraising totals! You may also send a check to MWA, home of the Youghiogheny RIVERKEEPER®, at PO Box 408, Melcroft, PA 15462 (note ‘Yough Defense Fund’ in the memo line).

Curry Mine Background Information

One year later and not much has changed, though action is expected on the zoning appeal before the end of the year and costs are expected to continue to rise….

The Curry Mine project is a large proposed strip mine along the banks of the Youghiogheny River just below the southern border of Ohiopyle State Park and adjacent to the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail. This proposed mine could potentially have a huge impact on the Yough and two of its tributaries. The Fayette County Zoning Board denied Amerikohl’s request for a zoning variance, but now Amerikohl has appealed the Zoning Board’s decision. The coal
company has also filed a revised application with the Department of Environmental Protection for a strip mining permit. To date legal expenses for defending for the Yough from this threat have cost over $11,000 and will only go up as the organization prepares for a decision on the appeal and the possible issuance of the DEP permit.

The Mountain Watershed Association (MWA) became home to the Youghiogheny RIVERKEEPER® in 2003 through a partnership with the international Waterkeeper Alliance. The Yough RIVERKEEPER® works toward the protection, restoration and conservation of the Youghiogheny River watershed and its communities. A healthy environment produces and sustains healthy communities!

This is a winnable fight! We know this because the Zoning Board recognized the importance of protecting the crown jewel of the Laurel Highlands and Ohiopyle, and in a rare move, denied the variance due to the evidence of adverse impacts on the resource and public. The coal company may have deep pockets, but they can’t match a concerted congregation of passionate and motivated supporters of the great and beloved Youghiogheny ! If you want to act, this organization is the key vehicle in the legal battle to do so, and your support is needed. At this event, you can meet the Youghiogheny RIVERKEEPER® team and fellow Yough supporters, or go to to learn more about MWA now.

The Youghiogheny River is an exceptional resource and is incredibly valuable to our area. Public uses of the river include fishing, biking, hiking, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, birding, botanizing, to name a few — should we include you? This rich resource dramatically enhances the quality of life, property value, tourism and economy of the Yough region. In fact, most people recognize the Yough as the cornerstone to the region’s natural beauty and allure, which drives the recreational and economic value for local and visiting public alike. Now, more than ever, the Yough needs true friends!!