What is the issue? Anadarko Petroleum Corporation wants permission from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to drill for Marcellus Shale gas in an extraordinary part of the Loyalsock State Forest known as the Clarence Moore lands. The Commonwealth owns the surface of these lands, and under its deed has the power to deny Anadarko surface access to at least 75% of the area. The issue is whether the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) will use this power to protect this gem of the Pennsylvania Wilds.
What are the Clarence Moore lands? The 25,621-acre Clarence Moore lands are one of only a few large public land areas in north-central PA that has not yet been opened to shale gas development. Located in the heart of the Loyalsock State Forest, the area includes valuable features such as the Old Logger’s Path, a renowned 27-mile hiking trail that opens onto stunning vistas, and most of the watershed of Rock Run, an Exceptional Value stream widely hailed as the most beautiful in Pennsylvania. The area also contains a National Audubon Society-designated Important Bird Area, and provides habitat for rare, endangered, or threatened species such as the timber rattlesnake, northern water shrew, creeping snowberry, northern bulrush, northern goshawk, and yellow-bellied flycatcher. The oil and gas under the Clarence Moore lands are owned by Anadarko and other private parties – but a provision in the Commonwealth’s deed gives the DCNR the power to keep Anadarko off of most, if not all, of the surface.
What impacts would drilling have on the Clarence Moore lands? Any gas development in these lands will require clearing and fragmenting large areas of the forest for wellpads, compressor stations, water impoundments, and miles of new pipelines and roads. The drilling and fracking of wells (and the years of production afterward) would bring truck traffic, chemicals, wastewater, air emissions, light, noise and a host of other industrial activity to one of the largest and most ecologically sensitive islands of quiet, scenic, and relatively undisturbed sections of Pennsylvania’s State Forest land. If drilling proceeds, the wild and scenic character of the Forest would be permanently altered, and its precious natural resources threatened.
What are we asking for? The Loyalsock State Forest is public land. Therefore, the public has a right to input on how it is managed and protected. So far, though, the public has been shut out of the decision-making process for the Clarence Moore lands – just as it was shut out of the DCNR’s decision-making process for leasing State Forest lands a few years ago. The DCNR has not shared Anadarko’s development plans, and held only one, poorly managed public meeting – in Williamsport, on a weekday afternoon. Despite the inconvenient timing, some 500 people turned out at this meeting, all speaking in opposition to Anadarko’s plans. We are asking Pennsylvania Governor Corbett to share Anadarko’s development plan with the public, accept public comments, and hold six public hearings across the state. The public must have a say in the DCNR’s decisions about these public lands.
How can you help? Signing this petition will send a message directly to Governor Corbett, asking him to tell the DCNR to stop meeting behind closed-doors and let the people have their say on the fate of these valuable public lands.
Tell the governor why this is important to you and why you don't want shale gas drilling industrializing the Clarence Moore lands of the Loyalsock State Forest, then copy your message and send it to the DCNR at [email protected] and your state legislators (http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/ - address) as your public comment on the Anadarko/DCNR negotiations.