Gas Drilling Impact Will Be Felt On Region’s State Forest Land

From Potter County Today

COUDERSPORT – Hunters, snowmobilers, hikers and others will feel the effects of increased natural gas drilling on state forest land. Some of the likely impacts of Marcellus Shale gas production were spelled out for about 90 people attending this month’s meeting of the Potter County Natural Gas Task Force. Senior geologist Nathan Bennett (left) and District Forester Chris Nicholas from the Pa. Bureau of Forestry were featured speakers.

In instances where the state owns the subsurface rights, drillers are required to avoid areas of special concern, based on wildlife habitat, natural resources and other factors. Those limitations are spelled out in lease agreements. That’s not the case, however, with about half of the 260,000 acres of state forest land in Potter County. Oil, gas and mineral rights for those tracts are privately owned and drillers are legally entitled to set up on the surface to access those resources.

With more drilling, forest users can expect to encounter traffic, road closures, trail relocations, forest fragmentation and noise.  DCNR anticipates that hundreds of gas wells are coming on state forest land over the next decade, a large percentage of them in Potter and McKean counties.

More information on Marcellus Shale/natural gas issues is available on the Potter County website at pottercountypa.net.

Article courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners.


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