The Baum Forum’s dedication to preserving and strengthening regional food systems has led us to take an active role in the movement against hydrofracking — a dangerous method of extracting natural gas — in upstate New York agricultural areas.
We have partnered with farmers, markets, universities, food and environmental organizations to raise awareness, and now we have helped to organize Chefs for The Marcellus, a campaign designed to focus chefs, restaurateurs and other food professionals to take action and protect the vulnerable agricultural region that sits atop underground gas-infused shale deposits known as the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus stretches across several states. In New York it ranges from the Catskills and Finger Lakes across the state to Buffalo and beyond.
In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, the deleterious effects of fracking on hundreds of farms are already being felt. They’ve been documented in films like the Oscar- Gasland. In New York, the Department of Environmental Protection is, right now, in the midst of evaluating the impact of introducing this toxic industrial process into the rural landscape. That’s why it’s important for us to act now.
The Baum Forum’s work on strengthening New York City’s regional foodshed against hydrofracking began with Water Fight! Fracking, Food, Art & Economy, the May 2011 conference that helped galvanize attention on the looming threat to farming from this polluting process.
Hydrofracking, also known as fracking, a dangerous, modern technology employed by the gas and oil companies to extract hard to reach gas under the Marcellus Shale and other low permeable shales, is recognized for its potential to degrade the watersheds of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and beyond. The toxic effects of fracking on water, air, soil and health have been documented and measured, and will compromise the sustainability of farming, vitaculture, and tourism in much of New York’s southern tier and elsewhere.
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Recent Events from Baum Forum
2010 Festival & Youth Forum
2009 Youth Forum & Expo
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Youth Forum & Expo: Food, Farming and Active Living 2009
These programs followed previous Baum Forum conferences on related themes: