Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

TransCanada Keystone Pipeline from Edmonton Vs. Chaplin Nature Centre, Kansas

Proposal alarms Chaplin
Oil pipeline officials may adjust their route

Traveler Staff Writer

The Chaplin Nature Center west of Arkansas City may be harmed by an oil pipeline from Canada that would run through its property, a nature center manager said today.

Shawn Silliman, the center's naturalist, said a flag planted on the south side of the 230-acre Chaplin center property indicates that the pipeline would run through the property.

But a land agent for the pipeline project today indicated the pipeline may be re-routed to avoid the property.

The TransCanada Keystone pipeline will extend from Alberta, Canada, east to Manitoba and then south through the Dakotas, Kansas and into Oklahoma. The project includes about 1,070 miles of new pipeline to be constructed in the U.S.

A project spokesman said the pipeline's exact route has not been determined. Chaplin Nature Center people were reacting to a preliminary "desktop" route, he said.

"There's a saying in the oil pipeline business, 'The route is not final until the pipeline is laid,'" said Jim Prescott, spokesman for the project.

The construction schedule for the project will be done in phases and will take a total of three years, Prescott said. The part in Kansas and in Cowley County is scheduled to be done in 2010.

Meetings with landowners and public officials will precede any finalization of the pipeline route, he said.

The pipeline is a 30-inch diameter pipe buried 4 feet below ground.

"They will clear a swath 100 feet wide of all trees and shrubs," Silliman said. "After construction is complete, a watch 50-feet wide will be kept free of all trees and brush forever for maintenance access."

Silliman said if the pipeline were to go through the nature center the result could be disastrous for wildlife there.

"Part of our purpose is preservation and the second part is education," he said. "So we certainly don't want to destroy the woods where there are nesting birds, forest birds."

A pipeline through the property would result in a loss of habitation for wildlife and would put birds at risk from predators, he said.

Silliman said his first contact with pipeline project workers was last December when two engineers showed up at the nature center. They showed him a map with aerial photos that showed that the pipeline would go through the center property.

"I called (the project land agent) and he said that the pipeline company didn't want to come through our property," Silliman said. "We're just concerned it still could be a reality."

The Chaplin Nature Center contains different types of Kansas habitats including forest, flood plain and prairie, and the Arkansas River and spring-fed creek, he said.

"It draws people that want to come and enjoy nature," he said.

The nature center is owned and run by the Wichita Audubon Society.

Oilsandstruth.org is not associated with any other web site or organization. Please contact us regarding the use of any materials on this site.

Tar Sands Photo Albums by Project

Discussion Points on a Moratorium

User login


Syndicate content