Almost 500 people from multiple Ohio counties have signed a petition urging officials with the Wayne National Forest not to lease forest land for hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method for drawing oil and natural gas from underground shale deposits.
Forest officials said recently the leasing is a possibility. It's the second time such an announcement has been made in eight months, with forest officials having backed off the idea the first time due to increased public interest and new information having been received about deep horizontal drilling.
The idea is drawing criticism from some people, including Friendly resident Steve Pelsor, who was camping at the Leith Run Recreation Area within the 242,000 acre forest Monday.
"I don't like the idea," Pelsor said.
"I don't think they should disturb the national forest. Our forefathers gave it to us and you're disturbing a whole bunch of stuff, like the animals."
"When it comes to stuff like that, you don't know what you're going to get into," added his friend, Smithers, W.Va. resident Eddie Lole.
Heather Cantino with the Athens County Fracking Action Network explained that the group learned at the end of September that Wayne National Forest officials had offered more than 3,300 acres of land to the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management for the purpose of horizontal drilling.
"Comments closed Oct. 7 so we had one week's time to organize protests of these sales," Cantino said.
She said 36 letters of protest were submitted to the bureau of land management from individuals, organizations and official bodies and on Nov. 15, Wayne National Forest officials withdrew permission for the sale of the land to occur.
Read the rest of the article here.
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!