Action Alert: DON’T spOIL THE WAYNE!

By Heartwood
In November 5, 2015
4575 Views
On Sunday, November 1, 2015, the U.S. Forest Service (FS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced plans to consider leasing over 31,000 acres of public mineral rights underneath Ohio’s Wayne National Forest to private oil & gas companies.
In their Public Notice riddled with errors (including wrong day, bad webpage link, and inconsistent acreage numbers), the FS/BLM announced that they would hold “Scoping Meetings” to provide information on the Proposal and solicit “feedback” from interested parties.  However, no project details were provided in the Notice or otherwise made available.
In addition, the Notice also states that the FS/BLM has already pre- decided to conduct piece-meal Environmental Assessments by district before receiving public “feedback” and despite the enormous footprint and potential impacts of this forest-wide proposal.
The FS/BLM are clearly indicating that they have already made the determination to categorically exclude the Proposal from full National Environmental Policy Act scrutiny in an effort to fast-tract the handover of public rights for private exploitation at the expense of forest ecosystems.
As has become their tactic, the Proposal is being lobbed at the beginning of the family holiday season and provides barely two-weeks notice prior to the first meeting.  The dates and locations of the known meetings are as follows:
Tuesday, November 17: Marietta,Ohio. Marietta College, Andrews Hall Great Room 203, 215 Fifth Street: 6:30-8:30 PM.
Wednesday, November 18: Athens, Ohio.  Athens Community Center Multipurpose Room A, 701 East State Street: 6:30-8:30 PM.
 
Thursday, November 19: Ironton, Ohio.  Ohio University Southern Campus, Collins Center, Bowman Auditorium, 1804 Liberty Avenue: 6:30-8:30 PM.
We are asking people to attend the scheduled meetings, if possible.  BFC members will be at each meeting. There is strength and synergy in numbers.
If you can’t attend,  please submit written comments critical of this contrived NEPA process, limited and incorrect notice, poor timing, and piece-meal Environmental Assessment approach.  Demand that the FS/BLM:
1. restart the process with proper Federal Register notice;
2. provide additional and meaningful opportunities for public input after the first of the year;
3. revise the outdated Wayne National Forest Plan to include consideration of the impacts of new oil & gas extraction technologies;
4. prepare a full & comprehensive EIS to address the site-specific AND cumulative impacts of this forest-wide proposal;
5.  not subsidize the oil & gas industry by handing over public rights at the bottom of a worldwide energy market;
6.    focus effort on acquiring some of the 120,000 acres of mineral rights under the Wayne N.F. that are currently in private hands since it is currently a “buyers market”; and
7.  prevent further contribution to climate change by keeping all public fossil fuels in the ground, undisturbed.
For background information on previous attempts to lease mineral rights under the Wayne, please see:
Please send comments to:

Kurt Wadzinski

Planning & Environmental Coordinator
 
BLM-Eastern States
Northeastern States District Office
626 East Wisconsin Avenue
Suite 200
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
 
Office:  414.297.4408
For more information, contact Teresa Mills at:
 

*NOTE: BUCKEYE FOREST COUNCIL IS A HEARTWOOD MEMBER GROUP

People helping people protect the places they love.

2 Comments

  1. Please don’t rape the Wayne. Leave our national and state and protected forests alone!

  2. Save this Ohio TREASURE! We have plenty of drilling elsewhere.

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