Fracking in Wayne National Forest


Liam O'Connor, Writer

Wayne National Forest in southeastern Ohio may be a target for fracking. Fracking is when oil and gas companies vertically drill 8,000 ft deep into the earth to the shale layer, then they turn the drill 90 degrees to break up natural gasses and oils. Water and chemicals are injected into the earth to break-up and free the resources in the earth leaving the soil and earth polluted with harmful chemicals.

Advocacy groups like The Sierra Club, and others requested for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to conduct a “full-scale environmental report” before drilling beneath 31,900 acres of the National Forest through hydraulic fracturing. WNF is considered a “patchwork” of public land scattered among private land causing conflict in ownership. 60% of mineral rights below Wayne National Forest are privately owned.

Companies attempted a similar proposal for the fracking of WNF in 2011 but failed due to the environmental concerns from activist groups, and the outrage of local residents. The Bureau of Land Management is investigating to see if the Federal Government owns the Mineral rights to the shale beneath the forest. Wayne National Forest representatives and The Bureau of Land Management will meet later this month to discuss the proposal before further action.