Photography: Fracking State Forests

In late spring Public Herald contributing artists set out at dusk with cameras in hand to document fracking in Pennsylvania’s Tiadaghton State Forest, where activity has recently increased after Governor Tom Corbett opened up 25,000 acres of new leasing and development on public lands (see full photo album). Corbett’s decision sparked a legal battle that’s been well reported in a series by Donald Gilliland at PennLive. 130,000 acres of State Forest were originally opened to oil and gas leasing by Gov. Rendell, but Rendell placed a moratorium on further leasing before leaving office. In 2009 DCNR officials released a report that any additional development in State Forests would cause permanent harm to those ecosystems.


Land cleared for fracking, and lights fill the sky alongside Old Schoolhouse road in Pennsylvania’s Tiadaghton State Forest.
photo: jbpribanic

Public Herald contributing artist John Nicholson captures audio of an active drill rig on state forest land.
photo: Kyle Pattison

Plume rises as fracking is started on a natural gas well pad in Pennsylvania’s Tiadaghton State Forest.
photo: jbpribanic

A truck hooks up to an impoundment pond in Tiadaghton State Forest to extract recycled water for fracking nearby.
photo: jbpribanic

A fracking wastewater impoundment in Pennsylvania’s Tiadaghton State Forest fenced off and guarded with cameras, shows signs of overflow or spills at entrance.
photo: jbpribanic

An active natural gas drill rig at sunset in Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania.
photo: Kyle Pattison

Photographer Kyle Pattison documents natural gas development as fracking gets underway in Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania.
photo: jbpribanic

Infrastructure for fracking in Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania.
photo: Kyle Pattison

Earth is moved back and forth throughout the night to develop infrastructure for fracking on State Forest land in Pennsylvania.
photo: jbpribanic

Where a forest once stood X marks the spot on an empty well pad in Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania.
photo: jbpribanic

A natural gas well pad is built a long a flood plain next to Little Pine Creek in Pine Twp. PA near State Forest land.
photo: jbpribanic

Audio from a drill rig on a still night in Tiadaghton State Forest can be heard for more than 300 yards away.
photo: jbpribanic


About Joshua B. Pribanic

Originally printed at Public Herald, under a CC-BY-NC-SA license.