Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | May 25, 2013

Serious Concerns About Fracking

I’ve spent the winter watching multiple environmental documentaries, researching on the Internet and listening to the conversations of my neighbors regarding fracking. I freely admit I am not an expert; I am instead a property owner in Allegan County where two permits have been issued by the DNR to frack.  When we was looking for a place to relocate, we specifically picked an undeveloped county – and a piece of property with the least amount of chemicals from years of farming or manufacturing and place located close to the Allegan Forest where the DNR does not spray chemicals.


One of three signs I placed on our property this week.

I chose carefully and when my husband and I bought this property and this house twelve years ago, sinking our life savings and ourselves into it, there was no fracking taking place in our county. That’s the way we want it to remain.

This is a unique and very beautiful oak savannah forest ecosystem. We have many unique species of birds and butterfly’s that frequent our property and we take our role as their protector very seriously.

We grow our own organic food here planting heritage seeds and growing heritage vegetables without GMO’s. We’ve spent years and thousands of hours to create an organic property for the birds, insects and butterfly’s planting only native plants, many of them chosen because they are host plant where the butterfly’s will lay their eggs and rear their young. We maintain a Monarch Butterfly Way Station, a National Wildlife Federation Certified Garden Site and we have a small but successful bluebird trail.

We’ve worked hard to create and maintain this organic oasis for the birds, insects and butterfly’s as well as ourselves and our family. We feel we are stewards of this property and plan to leave it in better shape than when we bought it. This is our own small commitment to Mother Earth.

So imagine my concerns when the State of Michigan issued two permits for fracking near us. One issued permit is within the State owned Todd Farm Unit, located approximately 10 miles to the west from me. The second issued permit  is approx. 6 miles to the east of my home on private land, but adjacent to Ely Lake, a county owned park where residents camp, hike, swim, boat and fish, bird watching and many other seasonal outdoor recreational activities.

Both areas support large acres of undeveloped land with lakes and marshes set aside for migrating waterfowl, hawks, eagles and Sandhill Cranes and the 50,000 acres Todd Farm is in fact, a Department of Natural Resources managed wildlife preserve with refuges set aside for waterfowl protection.

I am part of a growing grassroots citizen’s movement that is against fracking; in our county and in our state. We are citizens and taxpayers who do not want these natural resources removed from our county. We do not want these “occasionally” regulated corporate entities coming into our county for their short-term gain with no long-term vested interest in our county, land or our resident’s quality-of-life. It is my understanding that these firms will use our roads, our infrastructure, our air, water and soil and use it without paying any taxes or any plan to restore it after they are gone onto the next well site.

The state will receive payments for land leasing (Montana, for example, received 22 cents for every dollar earned totally 2 million dollars) but there are no promises that any of that money will filter its way back to our county. The state claims that trails and parks will benefit from this money, but frankly we do not feel that any amount of money paid can replace the resources removed or the possibility of future well leaks or possible water contamination.

We do not want the 4 to 6 million gallons of water PER WELL (one permit allows for up to 10 wells per permit site) removed permanently from the aquifer as the fresh potable water that is left in the system if finite and can never be replenished. We do not want poison chemicals that are used in the fracking process to be put into a well and forever buried in our county.

And most of all we do not want this fracking without a vote of the people.

There is a movement to get a referendum to put this on the ballot. Folks are writing letters to their representatives and Governor Snyder. They are having meetings, educating themselves, putting up signs, contacting lawyers, marching and spreading the word. This is a quality of life issue for this generation and the next.

Please pay attention to this movement and please educate yourself. Sadly, fracking is happening all over the United States and your state and your county may be next.

Small House / Big Sky Donna


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