Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 64

Lock, Stock & Barrel The Shooters’ Corner By Jim Romanelli By Don Lewis Dead Water I T’S A RARE PLACE, in this age, where you can spend days on an Eastern river, and the loudest sounds you’ll hear are the dip and gurgle of your own canoe paddles, and the songs of rose-breasted grosbeaks and scarlet tanagers echoing between rugged mountainsides. But there are such places, as I was reminded last spring when a buddy and I slipped our canoe into the West Branch of the Susquehanna at Karthaus. For the next couple of days, except for three kayakers who pulled off for a snack, we didn’t see a soul. With no roads running through the steep valleys, and the railroad closed for track repairs, we heard nothing of the outside world. The West Branch is the kind of empty, wild land that Pennsylvanians treasure — forests full of elk and bears, turkeys and bobcats, lush with wildflowers and, on the cool mid-May days that we were floating, the first flush of vivid green leaves erupting from the oaks and birches. But drop your eyes from the mountains, and you’re reminded of a different reality — the long, lingering death of a great river in a landscape that isn’t as untouched as it looks. The legacy of bituminous mining has devastated what should be the state’s premier watershed, leaving many of its tributaries sterile from acid mine drainage (AMD), their very bedrock stained orange by the outflow of abandoned mines, and the river itself barely functioning, the water tinged blue-green and eerily empty of life. The damage is immense — more than a thousand miles of streams in the West Branch watershed have been impacted by AMD — but not insurmountable. There are ways to correct the acid drainage — applications of limestone, or construction of mitigation marshes that raise the pH of the water — but it’s an intensive, stream by polluted stream process. A July 2009 report by Trout Unlimited estimated the cost of restoring the West Branch at $110 million, plus $16 million in annual expenses to maintain acid-mitigation sites, because the water coming out of the mines must be treated in perpetuity. But in return, the region would see a far greater sum in jobs, rising property values and increased tourism. For example, TU calculates that the dead waters of the West Branch probably rob the local economy of more than $22 million a year in lost revenue just from anglers who don’t visit waterways tragically void of fish. And it goes beyond fish, of course. The ripples of that damage run right up the food chain; there are few mergansers and wood ducks, few ospreys and eagles, a thousand miles of waterway unsuitable for otters or mink — a disfigured, incomplete paradise that ought to pain everyone, be they hunter, hiker or angler. In these days of tight budgets and a poor economy, restoring a river may seem like a luxury we can’t afford. In fact, it’s an investment that would pay off handsomely, for ourselves and generations to come — a masterpiece restored to what it was, a priceless glimpse of an older, wilder Pennsylvania. 64 GAME NEWS

Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009

Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
The Ghost of the Orchard
Deer Wrestlers
Hunting with Hounds
A Just Reward
Mixed Bag
Cheaper by the Dozen
The Ranger and the Grouse
The Thanksgiving Day Bear
Squirrels The Hard Way
National Police Shooting Championship
On the Road Again
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Ghost of the Orchard
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Deer Wrestlers
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 10
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Hunting with Hounds
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - A Just Reward
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Mixed Bag
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cheaper by the Dozen
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 22
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Ranger and the Grouse
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Thanksgiving Day Bear
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Squirrels The Hard Way
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - National Police Shooting Championship
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - On the Road Again
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 50
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 54
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Insert 1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Insert2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2009 - Cover4
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