Until today I was ignorant of the spread of this nasty sort of mining. Its impact is well documented in the antelope and sage grouse country of the intermountain West, leaving a trail of ruined land and poisoned wells. But companies are also drilling and fracturing this stuff out of the ground in the East, too.

Some communities have succeeded in beating it back, like in northern New Mexico, where the very diverse and effective Coalition for the Valle Vidal recently prevailed, but most other places are not so fortunate.

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And now it’s making advances in places like Maryland, Kentucky, Florida, and New York. Alabama’s Bankhead National Forest, home to lots of great things including some rare Southeastern U.S. old growth, may well be next. But another great grassroots group, WildSouth, is taking this issue head-on.

Is coal bed methane drilling coming to your state? Check the maps here and find out …

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