Interesting article from The Athens News discussing the recent firing of Larry Wickstrom, the ODNR geologist that re-drew the oil and gas prime areas map. I've seen others discussing that this might have been an underhanded play to get leases on those lands for a lot less than they are worth. This makes me think there may be something to that idea.
Let me save all of you the time of reading this article.
Just scroll down to the last sentence. It's an anti Kasich hit/attack piece.
Corbett gets the same treatment over here. Dems will do anything, to tie anything negative...true or not to him. It does not matter.
Dear author.......Swing and a miss!
Truthfully, that last line seemed out of place with the rest of the article and I wondered about it. However, that's not what the article seems to be about. It's mainly about the man who re-drew that very controversial map and the fact that he's been fired after working there for 29 years. That's what makes this very interesting to me. I'm actually holding a hope that we could see that map re-drawn again soon - even though I don't own land in Athens Co. From the time I saw the new map stuff seemed fishy about the whole situation with it not fitting in with the rest of the info available as well as it's timing.
Have you seen any other reports of Larry Wickstrom being fired? This is the first I heard of it. If this isn't already well known, why would you want to discourage folks from reading about it?
Dee please read paragraph 5 again. This should be at the top of the map he produced as a disclaimer.
I can't imagine firing someone who worked for me for 7 years let alone 29 in the same place. It's a huge deal letting someone go who has been employed anywhere, especially at a State agency for that long.
It only points in one direction, an overblown ego and sence of importance and entitlement on the part of the employee.
Just my call.
That's why I find this all so intriguing. A very long term employee has been fired after re-drawing a map that was very controversial and hugely changed the monies that were about to pour into Athens Co. landowners bank accounts.
And there is a lot of mystery about the "whys" he was fired. This makes for a very interesting story and could possibly point to some hope in the near future for the Athens folks.
Most maps still show that Athens and south is full of oil and wet gas but O&G companies are using that one map to pay landowners far, far less than just a few weeks before that map showed up. Now the man that released it has been sacked. Very, very interesting.
I wrote the article (sort of a mixture of reporting and opinion). If its motive was to attack the governor, I sure would have gotten to that a lot earlier in the piece. And anyway, the final paragraph doesn't contain a value judgment; it really doesn't. I'm open to the idea that the administration might have had a good reason to sack the geologist. I think I make that clear earlier in the article/column. But I mainly would just like to know why he got canned, and whether the map is the reason. It had a huge effect here in Athens.
So does this latest current event have the energy companies leasing at the same bonus values as the neighboring Utica counties?
Without evidence, I wouldn't want to put anything on the record that tarnishes LW's reputation. I'm hoping the state will release enough information in response to my public records request to paint in more of the details. They're legally required to release that information, but I'll believe it when I see it.
Ron, it's too early to tell if LW's firing has any effect on local lease offers, plus we're dependent on property owners to relate that information to us. I guess we'll see. One aspect of this I want to make clear is that my view of what's happening is mainly local, and it's hard to draw wider conclusions without knowing what's happening elsewhere in Ohio's Utica play.
I'm sure many on this site are impressed with the article you wrote and it is good someone in your county is astute to the blessings discovered in Eastern Ohio. With Ohio University being in Athens, many would have assumed that liberalism permeates unchecked in your county. I have visited Athens and the University and can honestly say that your campus is one of the most beautiful real estate I have ever seen in the country. Your neighbor Pomeroy has enlightened me two decades ago when I was on a search for the Eiselstein ancestry all the way from the Philippines. As with Europe in the Philippines, the Eiselstein name was all but wiped out during WWII. I was the first generation from the Philippines to unearth the Eiselstein saga and it was Pomeroy and Athens which revealed where my folk decended from.
That being said, I notice you are new here and would like to suggest that you read the recent history here on the great Utica play and how it has and continues to evolve. You will find here that us landowners have pretty much educated ourselves and rose to protect our interest as landowners wherein most all of us had to learn from scratch how to deal with the various actors with no experience in the new discovery of the Utica. One of the many lessons we learned that maybe applicable to Athens now is that landgroups most often is a double edge sword. It can be a strong alliance or merely if led by the uneducated and experienced, a parade down a path to an unfair bargain with repercussions lasting a generation if not a century. Nonetheless, enjoy the archives here and "good luck Athens!"
When you sat down with Larry, what did he have to say?
I'm assuming this is a question for me? Everything he told me is in that article/column. But here's what he told me in the interview earlier this year: