Without much fanfare, the Town of Forestburgh has become the fifth town in Sullivan County to pass zoning that effectively bans natural gas drilling within its borders.
Perhaps one reason the town has escaped the publicity received by its four predecessors in the county -- not to mention the two towns, Fremont and Delaware, that have passed resolutions essentially welcoming drilling -- is because it is further away than any of them from the "line of death" considered to separate natural gas that is commercially viable from that which is worthless. But it is important nevertheless, if only from a PR point of view.
To the degree that Sullivan County towns can show solidarity with regard to their attitudes toward the industrialization of the local landscape, to the same extent do they provide a firm foundation for marketing and branding our area as a center of green consciousness. That can have positive repercussions for tourism, second-home ownership, the attraction of green technology companies, and the development of a wholesome foodshed for both local food consumption and selling to nearby municipal areas.