Don’t Fall for Claims Regarding Wayne Forest

Editor, News-Register:

Wayne National Forest will be updating its Forest Plan this year to better align with the state’s Forest Plan — a move that landowners will participate in to ensure the activities that occur in the Wayne National Forest (WNF) are both protective of the environment and the economic health of our community.

For out-of-touch anti-fracking activist groups like Keep Wayne Wild and Center for Biological Diversity, this is just one more opportunity to try to ban fracking in WNF. The routine has gotten old.

We’ve been down this road before with these groups. The protests that only sought to disrupt the public input process rather than offer substantial commentary. The unnecessary litigation that would have stifled our rights as landowners and added costs to us — the taxpayers. The fearmongering and misinformation that contradict the scientific and experiential evidence seen in our own state and others.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), WNF and we landowners saw through these acts throughout the years-long process that resulted in leasing oil and gas minerals in WNF. And we will again.

BLM’s Environmental Assessment, that we landowners were very involved in, found that “no significant impact” would result from developing our forest resources. WNF has shown throughout decades of resource development and over 1,200 producing wells that the regulatory process works in the forest. The result has been over $8 million generated from just the first four leasing sales. This benefits our schools, our counties and our state, and it’s only a fraction of what we are likely to see.

We can enjoy the amazing hiking, fishing, camping and other recreational activities that make WNF such an incredible place, and also benefit from the revenue generation that oil and gas development provides. Make no mistake, the landowners will be there at every step of this process to ensure that this continues to be the case and out-of-touch activist groups don’t get to dictate what happens for those of us who call this area home.

Becky Clutter

Sarahsville, Ohio

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