For us at Public Herald, 2012 was the ‘Year of the Snake.’
We’ve been intimately connected to water while shooting and editing our first documentary film Triple Divide, that began as a small project in 2011 but blossomed into a 95-minute Public Herald Studios production about fracking in the Marcellus Shale region. Like the water snake, we’ve been holed up in our Pennsylvania editing “den” for much of the year, only venturing out to devour necessary sustenance — truth and creativity — as the drama of deep shale extraction unfolds.
Snakes get a bad rap, even in the oil and gas industry. Timber rattlesnakes are an issue near drill rigs in the mountain regions of northern and central PA, but are also protected as a vulnerable keystone-state species due to habitat destruction. “So what?” some may say, “What’s so bad about less venomous snakes?” But snakes are only poisonous if you’re bitten. And the best prevention from a bite is being aware of, and intimately connected to, one’s surroundings.
Like our karate guru tells us, “To really know anything, you must first have respect.”
2012 had us trekking around and sleeping in the woods — a lot. But we weren’t deterred after getting bit unexpectedly in Tioga State Forest in the fall of 2011. We got to know tiny back streams and creeks that make up the forested watersheds of PA, and learned that 80% of drinking water here comes from these forests. It’s also where shale gas industrialization is underway with just under 10,000 wells in the state. Where the two collide, you find Triple Divide, a question mark on the future of fracking.
It’s been an historic year for Marcellus Shale and so many stories remain to be told.
We foresee 2013 as the ‘Year of the Pigeon’ — when seemingly ordinary things become of monumental importance.
We at Public Herald also take flight from our den, carrying true stories about the Marcellus to anyone with an open mind and ear to listen.
What else can you expect from Public Herald Pigeons in 2013? Well, for starters, our permaculture education projects at pribanicfarms.org are in the beginning stages with the first run of video tutorials coming this year. Triple Divide is also near completion after a successful batch of test-screenings and high praise from the public, our plan is to be on the road with the film all of 2013 and have an instant viewing option online for February.
Lastly, we hope to make more connections with the public as well as other media outlets.
In 2012 Public Herald was featured in 18 online publications as well as print copies of The Progressive magazine, and we began appearing in radio shows, articles, and videos across the U.S. All in all, 112 countries showed up to read publicherald.org.
We couldn’t be grateful enough to our friends, family, and growing list of supporters and members of Public Herald. “We” grew in 2012 to include editorial intern, Laurel Dammann, and Andrew Reidy, Jessica Aducci-Leikhran, Angela Francis, Ernest Pribanic, and Tom Robotham to our board and associate directors. Special thanks to them as we enter our second year, and to Pribanic & Pribanic for representing us in our case against Seneca Resources (see: Tioga State Forest snake bite above).
It was a great first full year for Public Herald!
Best wishes to all in the Year of The Pigeon,
Co-founders Joshua Pribanic & Melissa Troutman
Correction: snakes are not poisonous, as we originally wrote — “So what?” some may say, “What’s so bad about less poisonous snakes?” But snakes are only poisonous if you’re bitten — but are ‘venomous.’