Callie Houghland, a second year at the University, has spent the past eight summers as a camper and student with the Nature Camp Foundation in the heart of the George Washington National Forest, just south of Shenandoah. Houghland recently assumed a counselor position to teach young children the effects of natural disturbances ranging from hurricanes to coal mining. The timing of last year’s theme couldn’t have been more perfect. As campers hiked, swam, and foraged, plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline were being unfurled.

The pipeline — which is proposed to run through GWNF to deliver gas being produced in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia — endangers forestry practices, recreational areas and ecosystems. Effects of the pipeline construction could reverberate throughout the state, threatening biodiversity along its path, including fragile ecosystems that the campers study. Houghland worries that “these issues could affect the ability of the camp to run if there were an issue with the pipeline.” The ACP has potential to affect far more than the Nature Camp Foundation and its students. Plans for the pipeline include the disruption of thirteen counties in Virginia running from Highland to Greensville.

Full story here.

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