Note the first bullet point paragraph in this article.
If the Marcellus Shale pulls out something has gone horribly wrong. :)
Yeah, dry gas prices aren't so good compared to oil and wet gas so a lot of the drilling is headed west. But you have to remember that the gas companies don't act as a cartel. Each one has their won strategy and interests. Less supply = higher prices so it might not be all bad for landowners. And personally, I'd like to see the royalties spread out to help with taxes. So don't panic.
Royalties are spread out since you only earn them monthly and owe tax on them annually. There is no way possible to believe that a royalty income thatmight be earned over 2-3 decades could be "spread". If you meant "bonus", you still would not gain anything since the bonus payment would be paid in the same years as royalty payments and you would be in a higher tax bracket anyway.