JacksonHeights.nyc:Today's featured article/August 8, 2017

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White birches in Marion Brooks Natural Area within Quehanna

Quehanna Wild Area is a wildlife area in Cameron, Clearfield, and Elk counties in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. At 48,186 acres (75 sq mi; 195 km2), it is the largest state forest wild area in Pennsylvania, and hosts herds of native elk. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the logging industry cut the virgin forests. In 1955 the Curtiss-Wright Corporation bought 80 square miles (210 km2) of state forest for a facility developing nuclear-powered jet engines. A succession of tenants further contaminated the nuclear reactor facility and its hot cells with radioactive isotopes, including strontium-90 and cobalt-60. Pennsylvania reacquired the land in 1963 and 1967, and in 1965 established Quehanna as a wild area, but retained the nuclear facility and industrial complex. The facilities were used to treat hardwood flooring with radiation until 2002. The cleanup of the reactor and hot cells took over eight years and cost $30 million. Quehanna Wild Area has many sites with radioactive and toxic waste; some have been cleaned up, but others have been dug up by black bears and white-tailed deer. (Full article...)