West Virginian Buddhist monastery initiates petition

The Buddhist Channel, July 12, 2007

Petition is to stop company's encroachment into its property

Hampshire County, West Virginia (USA) -- The Bhavana Society Buddhist Monastery recently assigned a petition to oppose the development of a transmission power line by the Allegheny Power Company's (TrAIL) over its designated property.

The power company is proposing a route change for it's TrAIL 500 Kilovolt line through Hampshire County, West Virginia. The Bhavana Society Forest Monastery and Meditation Center is located on Back Creek Road in the Capon Valley of Hampshire County.

It was learned that a new route has been proposed to avoid an auto junkyard. As a result, the new alignment would severely encroach on the monastery property. The petition statement says that apart from the health concerns due to close proximity to electromagnetic radiation, the development would seriously infringe on the peaceful nature of worship and the integrity of the monastery's contemplative way of life.

In a statement released today, the society says that the Allegheny Power Company's (TrAIL) transmission line proposal violates "the sanctity of our place in Beautiful West Virginia."

The statement further adds that "as the only Theravada Buddhist forest monastery in the eastern U.S., we are one of only a handful in all of North America. Many hundreds of people visit us every year from not only West Virginia and surrounding areas, but all over the U.S. and abroad. A unique cultural and spiritual resource, visitors spend time here in prayer and meditation in the peaceful setting of the forest."

"We protest the disfigurement of a beautiful forest monastery and spiritual refuge in order to save a junkyard. We, the undersigned, strongly urge the Power Company to move the power line route so it would traverse the center of the junkyard property, so as to keep the Bhavana monastery intact and relatively secluded from the ugly eyesore which the wide swath of the power line will create," it concludes.

The Bhavana Society Buddhist Monastery have requested public support by signing the electronic petition. The petition will be compiled and will be sent to the Allegheny Power Company's (TrAIL) at a later date (yet to be announced).

Click to sign online petition form: