Trees on Chopping Block for Natural Gas Pipeline

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NEW MILFORD TOWNSHIP -- A family's maple syrup operation is in jeopardy in Susquehanna County.

Megan Holleran surveyed her family's sugar bush, a group of maple trees tied to a syrup operation near New Milford and in jeopardy of being chopped down.

"It started as a hobby but turned into a business," said Holleran.

Holleran's family is taking a stand after a federal judge ruled under eminent domain, the planned Constitution Pipeline can cut through their property, cutting down the maple trees already producing sap.

"It’s syrup season, for this time of year we’re producing a remarkable amount. If they cut our trees we can’t do that this year," she added.

The pipeline would cut through part of the Holleran's field and right through the maple trees. Neighbors have joined the family in taking a stand.

"It all comes down to a federal judge. A federal judge is going to say what a federal judge’s going to say. That’s going to be it and the people don’t have a say," said Jeff Zick of Hop Bottom.

The 125-mile Constitution Pipeline is supposed to connect natural gas wells in this part of Susquehanna County with another larger pipeline that will deliver the natural gas to both New England and New York City.

"The feeling is this is ours, it is. We haven’t ever given permission for anyone else to be out here. We haven’t signed anything. We haven’t received any compensation for eminent domain. This is ours," added Holleran.

A spokesperson for Williams, the company installing the pipeline, said the Hollerans will be reimbursed and environmental issues prevent an alternative route around the family's maple trees.

"It would have required multiple crossings of the Bluestone Pipeline and a recently installed 14 inch water line (which creates technical construction issues). It would have also shifted impacts to additional landowners not affected by the project," said Christopher Stockton with Williams. "Also, the abutting parcel where they asked the line to be moved to is an active quarry."

Still the family is set on fighting somewhat of a Goliath in this case.

"It’s a little harder to feel like David when we have as many people coming out to support us as we do here," said Holleran.

The feds gave the pipeline company until the end of March to clear the trees before the work can begin.


  • I AM The Antipope

    Where’s the gas drillers’s “free market” Republican buddies on this?

    That’s right, the “free market” is anything but free.

  • jimbrony

    Save your time, money, and health. The best you can hope for is a reasonable settlement and some royalties / stipends. It doesn’t matter what infrastructure (gas, electric, highway) it is – they are going to come through – they’ve already done their homework and it will happen whether you like it or not.

  • Sam

    This area is known as the Endless Mountains,
    The state even has a sign on I 81 boasting this.

    Endless mountains of what
    Gas operations !!

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    What were those ranchers doing in Oregon a few weeks ago? Someone remind me, I can’t remember.

  • Ashley Dancho

    It’s just wrong. I’m tired of these natural gas pipelines ruining everyone’s property. We purchased a cottage on a beautiful peaceful mountain. It’s zoned agricultural and we have some livestock we enjoy. Now the gas company tears up the whole place next to my property and put in huge pipes with high pressure and valves. It’s a huge industrial complex right next to our rural property. It should have been built in an industrial city area. We are sick over it and don’t feel safe here next to all that high pressure gas . I’m not talking pipelines here, they built a whole industrial plant next to our mountain home. They took away our enjoyment of our rural property by destroying the area, the view and took away our feeling safe here. Now how do we even sell it? I hope these people fight them and win. Next they will build industrial plants in the middle of your beautiful farms. This beautiful mountain should have been zoned conservation or forest. It’s a precious natural treasure and they were allowed to build this monster here and destroy everythng. Fight them before they go further and ruin your homes too.

    • mark

      It’s tragic, and an eyesore between the pipeline and the powerline to New Jersey, up in Bear Creek area. EYESORE.

  • Valfreyja

    Just remember this is the doing of Corbett and his republicans every time you are crying about how Tom Wolf is “obstructing” government. You cannot have it both ways here.Either you want someone to oppose this mafia styled means of doing business or not. Republicans in the PA legislature need a time out, and we need no conservative incumbents when we put them back in power.

    • jg

      that should have been a thumbs up . it won’t let me change. my question is why pay property taxes at all if corporate land barons could just do what they want anyway.

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