BLM Hearing Held in Marietta Nov.17 Regarding Drilling in Wayne National Forest

There are a number of articles published today regarding hearings on drilling on Wayne National Forest properties in SE Ohio.  In the Marietta unit 18,800 acres are under consideration for drilling.

Please read the press release from the Wayne National Forest.    I will be posting links to other articles.

IMHO this is of great importance to landowners in Monroe and Washington counties whose properties border the WNF.  In Monroe county alone 25,000 acres is owned by WNF.

Views: 2001

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

We could sure use an army of pro-development landowners at these meetings! Please encourage friends, family, and neighbors to show up. Talk to your Twp trustees and ask that they spread the word to their residents. If we want to preserve our mineral assets for development, we need people to show up.

This is the ad which appeared in the Marietta Times announcing the BLM meeting.   The twelve townships of two counties are all in a solid block and have historically had oil and gas development in these townships,  some of them since the 1890's which is 125 years of drilling.   It is extremely important for landowners in these twelve townships to show up and speak up.

Good point searcherone -- oil and gas development in Ohio is nothing new. If BLM doesn't hear voices of support now, it will be years before we have another opportunity to approve shale development in the Wayne and restore our private mineral rights.

Attend one of the hearings in Athens, Marietta, and Ironton this week. If you can't attend, submit public comment to the BLM: 

  • Kurt Wadzinski, Planning & Environmental Coordinator, BLM-Eastern States Northeastern States District Office, 626 East Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 200, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202 OR

Hearing details: 

  • Marietta Hearing: November 17th, 6:30-8:30 pm, Marietta College 215 Fifth Street, Andrews Great Room, 203 Marietta, Ohio

  • Athens Hearing: November 18th, 6:30-8:30 pm, Athens Community Center 701 E. State Street, Multipurpose Room A. Athens, Ohio
  • Ironton Hearing: November 19th, 6:30-8:30pm, Ironton Ranger Station, 6518 State Route 93, Pedro, OH 

Be present this evening to see and hear your government in process.  This is vitally important to Southeast Ohio residents and landowners.   We are the people who live and work here and our opinions are important and count!

If you are a landowner, resident, elected government official, doing business in Southeast Ohio, high school and college students you need to be present to see and hear the process of government first hand.

Show up in support of drilling on the Wayne National Forest.

I have conducted a large amount of business with local government. From my experience, the only way to get something done is to show up in droves. The outcries of a few opposed individuals will always seem louder than that of supporting individuals. Support MUST be present and vocal to get these kinds of issues fairly discussed.
I'll be there!

Meeting was held with probably 250 to 300 people in attendance.   If you or yours is into Facebook there is a site called Landowners for Energy Access and Safe Exploration where you can see several pictures and a brief video of the crowd.  This LEASE group had a table at the meeting where people could sign paper in favor of drilling on the Wayne.    You can also "like" this page to show support for drilling on the Wayne.

Thanks searcherone! Here's the link to the LEASE page:

Here is link to Marietta Times article regarding meeting held Nov. 17 at Marietta College.  What are the comments or questions?  As you can see this process is just beginning, lots of time for landowners to speak and support drilling.

Since it's behind a paywall, here's the full story too: 

Forest, Mineral Rights Discussed

Marietta Times

November 18, 2015


More than 250 landowners, oil and gas industry representatives, and local residents turned out on the campus of Marietta College Tuesday night to hear about possible leasing and development of minerals in the Wayne National Forest. Representatives from the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management and the Forest were present to answer questions and begin the conversation about the consideration process. The bureau manages all mineral rights owned by the federal government, in this case, Wayne National Forest.


"We had this open house event to really educate people about what our process is," Dean Gettinger, district manager for the bureau, told the crowd. "There will be lots of opportunities like this for the public to get involved."


The public hearing offered answers to many landowners' questions about the federal process involved in leasing mineral rights owned by the government. The meeting was also monitored by several law enforcement officers due to the volume of attendees and possibility of protest.


Dean Gettinger, eastern states district manager for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, speaks to a crowd of over 250 people at Marietta College Tuesday about the federal process to consider leasing mineral rights beneath Wayne National Forest.


Attendees learned that the complicated issue arose following over 100 expressions of interest from approximately 20 oil and gas companies looking to set up well pads in Monroe, Noble and Washington counties. However the patchwork nature of Wayne National Forest presents a challenge with installing a new drilling operation that is worth that investment of time and resources for a company.


"Wayne National Forest is in a patchwork quilt sprinkled with private properties," explained Becky Clutter, 53, of Chatham Township, who owns 20 acres surrounded by the forest on three sides in Monroe County. "And like a quilt there's the surface properties owned by both the forest and private entities but then there's that batting beneath it which is the mineral rights."


With a vested interest in leasing her mineral rights beneath her property, Clutter hopes the bureau opens up surrounding parcels' mineral rights owned by the federal government. For the past month Clutter has been organizing a group of landowners in all three counties in support of this movement. At the hearing her organization, Landowners for Energy Access and Safe Exploration, gathered 200 signatures petitioning the support of this development.


Treasurer of Switzerland of Ohio Local School District Lance Erlwein also submitted a letter in support of the development since much of the school district's coverage is taken up by forest land.


"Approximately 24,000 acres of Wayne National Forest is located within our district," wrote Erlwein. "Because this land is tax exempt, the school district receives around 75 cents per acre in tax revenue which equates to around $18,000 per year. This places us at a significant competitive disadvantage because this land cannot generate additional mineral taxation that our students so desperately need."


But according to Jim Wood, a petroleum engineering technician with the bureau, land and mineral ownership are not as black and white as some might think.


"In the past as land was purchased to add to the forest, some landowners would retain their mineral rights," Wood explained. "We call those outstanding rights, so the federal government may own the top layer but not the minerals beneath it."


He also said there could alternatively be a privately acquired lease already in place on a piece of property with an existing well which would play into how a new pad could be added to the area and who would receive royalties off of the production of those wells.


Gettinger explained the responsibility of the bureau is to analyze each parcel of interest and ascertain the exact ownership of both the surface and underlying minerals before making a judgment as to whether federally owned land may be drilled.


"As we go through this environmental analysis and decision process it would be a parcel by parcel decision not a blanket 'no' or 'yes'," he said. "And we do take any comments that you give us. That helps us determine the public interest and understand your concerns."


One concern voiced by Steve Spencer, 45, of Belpre, is the environmental and tourism impact of drilling in the protected federal forest.


"Being an active member of the River Valley Mountain Bike Association, my concern has to do with the recreational trails in the area," said Spencer. "We'd like to see those preserved and feel they're possibly threatened. We've noticed people coming to the area even more to use the trail systems there because Wayne is like the 'Holy Grail' of the trails. We'd like to see that green space protected for people to enjoy."


Tony Scardina, forest supervisor, said interests like Spencer's are what he would represent throughout the bureau's decision process.


"We're the surface management agency and work in partnership with BLM as they go through this," said Scardina. "The challenge is how do you make energy development work in concert wit the conservation efforts of the forest?"


He said much of his input in the process would consider the forest plan to minimize impact to endangered plants and animals, to the ambiance of trails, and to protect waterways.


"It's a case by case process as we look at how an operation would impact each individual parcel," he explained. "Say for example we have a stream we'd like to protect, we might require certain setbacks if drilling were to happen in that area."


Both the forest and the bureau will each perform an environmental analysis of the land oil and gas companies have expressed interest in. Those analyses include consideration of air, water, wildlife, soil, socio-economic, social justice and recreational impacts.


The length of the federal process can last between 9 months and 3 years dependent on the land and mineral rights ownership, the environmental analysis and leasing of the federal minerals.


The two agencies will hold two more public hearings about the interest in mineral rights beneath the forest tonight and Thursday. The first will be held at the Athens Community Center and the second at the Ohio University southern campus in Ironton.


© 2024   Created by Keith Mauck (Site Publisher).   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service