WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

Northeast drilling boom threatens forest wildlife

Like a quiet neighborhood cut up by an expressway, northeastern forests are changing as pipelines and other structures crisscross them amid the region

MGN Online

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Like a quiet neighborhood cut up by an expressway, northeastern forests are changing as pipelines and other structures crisscross them amid the region's gas drilling boom.

The land taken up by such development isn't that large, but the new open spaces allow predators and invasive species to permeate a canopy of trees that once kept them at bay.

Hawks swoop in and gobble up songbirds. Raccoons feast on nests of eggs they never could have reached before. Salamanders and wildflowers fade away as new plants change the soil they need to thrive.

Energy companies say they're being good stewards of the environment, but scientists say more planning and restoration is needed to protect forests and the creatures that live in them.


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