Proposed natural gas pipeline would cross through the Appalachian Trail

While environmentalists all over were focused on the battle at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline, another proposed pipeline project threatens to impede some of this land’s natural space.

RELATED: Kelly Slater shows support for Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in Instagram post

The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline is slated to cross through the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. According to The Huffington Post, it “would transport natural gas from northwest West Virginia to southern Virginia” and would “require clearing a previously protected corridor of forest.”

This iconic view from McAfee Knob could be drastically altered. Photo: Courtesy of Appalachian Trail Conservancy
This iconic view from McAfee Knob could be drastically altered. Photo: Courtesy of Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Allowing this to happen could set a major precedent for our wild spaces, and according to an editorial by The Wilderness Society:

“Cutting through one of the most celebrated hiking trails in America, the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline threatens wildlife habitat, recreational lands and the health of local Appalachia communities, while setting a terrible precedent of building energy infrastructure through our national forests.”

The proposed route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Photo: Courtesy of Mountain Valley Pipeline
The proposed route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Photo: Courtesy of Mountain Valley Pipeline

According to The Huffington Post, the pipeline route would “cross Jefferson National Forest in West Virginia and Virginia, pass through the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Corridor and cross the Appalachian Trail near Virginia’s Peters Mountain Wilderness Area.”

The view from Angel's Rest would have that pipeline seen in the distance in this rendering. Rendering: Courtesy of Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The view from Angel’s Rest would have that pipeline seen in the distance in this rendering. Rendering: Courtesy of Appalachian Trail Conservancy

The route would require clearing a 125-foot wide path that would cross 3.4 miles of protected forest under the “roadless rule.” Views from multiple iconic points throughout the trail could be drastically altered.

The public comment period on the project for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission runs through Dec. 22, so there’s a couple more days to voice your opinion to help preserve our wild spaces and keep them wild for future generations.