The Farmers’ Museum and the New York State Historical Association Statement on Hydrofracking
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The Board of Directors of The Farmers’ Museum and the Board of Trustees of the New York State Historical Association share grave concerns about the consequences of hydrofracking for the long-term safety of the local water supply, public health, the irreplaceable historic landscape and natural beauty of this region, and our regional economy. Located on the pristine shores of Otsego Lake at the headwaters of the Susquehanna River, these organizations recognize the importance of safeguarding the distinctive qualities of the area.
For over 70 years The Farmers’ Museum and the New York State Historical Association and its showcase Fenimore Art Museum have drawn tens of thousands of visitors annually to Otsego County from all parts of the United States and internationally. Those visitors have consistently rated the serenity and beauty of the region as a major attraction of their visit. The natural gas industry’s use of hydrofracking practices endangers the very qualities that attract people to Central New York. Hydrofracking threatens not only to produce environmental damage and a blighted landscape, but also a negative perception of the region in the minds of potential visitors. If people choose to travel to other destinations unspoiled by the natural gas industry, the resulting decline in tourism would seriously harm the museums and our local economy, which depends on tourism to support area businesses and produce essential revenue for our town, county, and state.
As museums our mission is the preservation of our heritage into the future. We understand that conscientious stewardship of the land is critical to the future of our institutions and our community, and we believe that a more complete understanding of the long-term impact of gas exploration and extraction in our region is needed. We wholeheartedly support the efforts of our local officials to research and, with abundant caution, act in order to preserve our area's precious environment and its long-term economic well-being.