On December 3, 2015, the U.S Forest Service issued a final record of decision amending the 2002 White River National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan and modifying federal oil and gas leasing availability on lands administered by the National Forest.
The White River National Forest covers 2.3 millions of acres and the Forest Service made the decision to close approximately 1.3 millions of acres of federal lands for oil and gas leasing. In taking this decision, the U.S. Forest Service took account of the fact that most of the acreage has “little or no potential for oil and gas production” due to geological conditions. It also declared that “[p]art of the recreational setting that is valued is the quiet and the remoteness from the sights and sounds of human development, clean air, and clear night skies. [The public] felt that these values would be compromised if leased and subsequently developed by additional oil and gas related activities.”
The U.S. Forest Service however decided that 194,100 acres will be administratively available for leasing which are considered as having “high oil and gas potential.”
Click here if you would like more information on the Forest Final Oil and Gas Leasing Environmental Impact Assessment and Record of decision.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow