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Study Finds Hydraulic Fracking Could Keep Visitors From Kentucky Parks

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A new study found that hydraulic facturing, or “fracking,” in or near public parks could cause tourists to stay away. 

The survey included 255 park users in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia. Thirty-three were from Kentucky.  

The survey found that 51 percent of Kentucky respondents said they would be unwilling to participate in recreational activities near a fracking operation. That compares to 38 percent in the five-state survey. 

Assistant professor of tourism, recreation and sport Management at the University of Florida Tim Kellison was a member of the research team. 

"Our goal wasn't to condemn fracking," said Kellison. "Whether the opposition is based on the public's actual scientific knowledge of fracking or it's based on misinformation or just a gut instinct, this is what actual members of the community are saying and it would be probably unproductive to dismiss the importance of perception here."

“Fifty-one percent of Kentuckians said they were unwilling to participate in recreational activities near a fracking operation," said Kellison. "Thirty-eight percent of our five-state sample said that, so about a 13 point difference.” 

Kentucky residents surveyed said they go to Barren River Lake Park, Cumberland Falls State Park, E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, Iroquois Park, Big Bone Lick State Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, and Natural Bridge State Park.

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