OH Wayne Natl Forest Landowners Tired of Waiting, Take Fight to DC

Bureaucrats deeply embedded in the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are engaged in denying private property owners with property in the Ohio Wayne National Forest (WNF) their property rights. That’s the very serious (and true) charge being levied by members of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO). After “seven years of inaction,” property owners in WNF have taken their case to Washington, D.C.–to elected representatives from Ohio, along with federal agencies–in hopes of getting Utica drilling under way in WNF. After 10 long years, the BLM finally auctioned 719 acres in WNF in December 2016 (see BLM Auction Leases 17 Parcels, 719 Acres in OH Wayne Natl Forest). Since then BLM has held three more auctions. Ultimately there are some 18,000 acres under consideration for leasing by the BLM in WNF, 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 more than a decade. It was thought with the beginning of auctions the situation would be remedied. Not so. Not a single drilling permit has been issued following the auctions. BLM bureaucrats are threatening private landowners that their property, if it belongs to a drilling unit along with BLM auctioned land, will be subject to a full National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review. Enough! It’s time to put an end to unelected DC swamp dwellers blocking Utica drilling in WNF…

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