One wonders if it might be linked to 'fracking' in the area, i.e. if they have done any so far. It is one of the more 'desolate' areas I suppose, as opposed to the desolate areas of the North East!
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.