On January 29, 2016, a collection of environmental organizations, as members of the Save the Loyalsock coalition, wrote a letter to the Pennsylvania State Forester Daniel A. Devlin concerning the effects of shale gas development on state forest protection and preservation.
In 2015, Pennsylvania DCNR initiated a revision of the State Forest Resource Management Plan (SFRMP) and released a draft plan on September 24, 2015. In the letter, the environmental groups noted that “400,000 acres of state forest land is currently under lease for natural gas extraction” and explained that the draft plan “falls short of laying out a comprehensive plan for how all [shale gas] impacts will be avoided, minimized, or mitigated in a matter that will prevent the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of Pennsylvania’s state forests from being diminished.”
Thus, the letter recommends that Pennsylvania DCNR should implement restrictions on access to state forest lands for drilling operations suggesting that oil and gas reservoirs could be reached from outside lands using advanced extraction technologies. In addition, the letter requests that Pennsylvania DCNR review its key role to protect Pennsylvania’s natural resources.
More information on the 2015 SFRMP revision process is available here.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow