450 Acres Of Prime Woodlands May Be Cleared In Pocono Twp

According to an environmental alert issued by the Brodhead Water Shed Association on April 25, Swiftwater Solar is requesting approval from Pocono Township to clearcut approximately 450 acres of mature upland forest outside of Pocono Manor.

The alert listed multiple concerns, including increased risk of flooding and erosion of stream banks. Environmentalists consider this a key ecological corridor and are concerned that many woodland creatures that call the 450 acres home will be displaced, possibly resulting in death if proper steps to mitigate the loss of forest are not taken.

Here is the complete Environmental Alert:

“In Pocono Township, “Swiftwater Solar” is asking for permission to clearcut over 450 acres of pristine forests near Pocono Manor. The developer is seeking approval to then build 15 stormwater detention basins. The basins are designed to fail simultaneously during a very heavy rainstorm. The risk of severe flooding and sedimentation, erosion of stream banks is a known threat to an “Exceptional Value” PA designated stream.

There’s no mitigation proposed to replace the clearcut forest. Most of the animals that live in those forests will die. Porcupines, opossums, foxes, coyotes, deer, turkeys, grouse, rabbits, and countless songbirds will lose habitat and perish. Black bears and their cubs frequent this to-be-destroyed forest as a key ecological corridor/connection between state game lands and Big Pocono State Park.

This project is financial speculation for the developer and would result in few local benefits (few jobs, low local tax revenue). The developer has no requirement as it stands now to reclaim the land once the use is removed.”

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