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Prairie Notes are monthly photo/journal observations from Tandy Hills Natural Area by Founder/Director, Don Young. They include field reports, flora and fauna sightings, and more, mixed with a scoop of dry humor and a bit of philosophy. They are available free to all who get on the FOTHNA email list.

URGENT Update

Prairie Notes:
July 5, 2007

Approximately 55 acres of privately owned native prairie known as Scenery Hill (aka: Broadcast Hill), adjacent to Tandy Hills Nature Area, has been sold to Chesapeake Energy of Oklahoma City.

This happened just days before a private conservation group was preparing to make an offer on the property. Any type of drilling or pipeline activity would have a direct impact on Tandy Hills Nature Area.

These 55 acres are among the last of the original Fort Worth prairie and are deemed by experts as some of the most botanically diverse in the entire state. Over 5oo varieties of plant species have been documented at this location. The area is also home to a variety of wildlife species, including fox, rabbit, bobcat, raccoon, wild turkey, coyote, owl and hawk.

It is not yet known exactly what plans Chesapeake has for the acreage. Drilling is certainly possible, but so are pipeline work and other gas drilling related activities, none of them environmentally friendly. Other types of commercial development are not out of the question, either.

The company is aware of resistance in the neighborhood to industrial or other developmental impact on the land. Members of the West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association have arranged a meeting with city council representative, Kathleen Hicks, and Chesapeake officials to discuss the situation and various options.

We will negotiate the best possible deal to preserve the land and protect the neighborhood:

  1. Best case scenario is for Chesapeake to find another place to drill and donate the land to the city as part of Tandy Hills Nature Area.
  2. Next best scenario is for Chesapeake to restrict their activities to a small area near I-30 and allow the remaining acreage to be protected. (They would have to access the site from a special road that does not impact the Scenery Hill neighborhood.)
  3. Worst case scenario is that Chesapeake refuses to cooperate and do as they wish, including accessing the drilling site from the scenic, tree-lined neighborhood streets.

They would encounter major resistance to #2 and fierce resistance to #3. One thing is certain; Scenery Hill is a too special a place to drill on and deserves protection and preservation. If you are interested in taking part in any meetings and/or public protest regarding this potential impact on the surrounding neighborhood, Tandy Hills Nature Area and/or adjacent acreage, please contact, Don Young at: donyoungglass@earthlink.net

You may learn more about efforts to restrict gas drilling in urban areas at
http://www.fwcando.org

For more information about Friends of Tandy Hills Nature Area and Fort Worth Prairie Fest:
http://www.fortworthprairiefest.com

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