10-Yr Wait is Over, BLM Auctions Wayne Natl Forest Leases Today

As MDN alerted you in October, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced they would auction 33 parcels in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest (WNF) to allow shale fracking (see BLM Launches Auction to Lease Wayne National Forest for Fracking). The parcels add up to just 1,600 acres, but hey, it’s a start. As we said at the time, “WNF is a ‘patchwork’ of public land scattered among private land. Some 60% of the mineral rights below WNF are privately owned. Those mineral rights owners have been denied the use of their property rights for a decade.” An anti-fossil fuel nutter stopped by and left a somewhat profane comment on that post (since deleted) opining that private landowners in WNF could have allowed drilling at any time–that we don’t know we’re talking about. But the obtuse commenter either doesn’t understand, or intentionally overlooks, the fact that without these little parcels of federal land–which have been off limits for the past 10 years–drillers cannot form large enough units on which to drill in WNF. Without the federal land getting leased, private land can’t drill either. Today is the day that the BLM conducts its first WNF auction. Fortunately the auction is online, so we won’t have to endure the typical freak show by anti-fossil fuelers so often associated with these events…

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