This Land: A Guide to Eastern National Forests

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There are approximately 8 million acres of public land in 17 national forests in the Southeast. Fracking has already occurred in two of these forests and is proposed for at least two more. Pennsylvania has been ground zero in the Eastern fracking debate, sitting on top of the thickest part of the Marcellus formation.

The National Forests

The Allegheny National Forest contains , acres and is home to more than 12, gas and oil wells. The biggest concern is George Washington National Forest.

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At over one million acres, the GW is one of the largest undeveloped areas on the East Coast. Recently, the Forest Service began revising its management plan for the GW.

National Forests vs. National Parks, - Forest History Society

Fracking opponents pushed for a prohibition on horizontal drilling in the forest. This was included in a draft of the plan before political and industry pressure forced to it be dropped. All national forests are administered by a management plan that is revised every 10 to 15 years. The GW is the first to come up for revision since fracking became prevalent.

All eyes are on the GW. A finalized management plan for the GW is scheduled to be announced this month. Meanwhile, other national forests are beginning to revise management plans, and fracking could be a major issue. Two of the most popular national forests in the Southeast—the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests in North Carolina—are revising their management plans this year.

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Areas of privately held mineral rights occur in all of the national forests. Ninety-three percent of the land in the Allegheny National Forest has its mineral rights in the hands of private companies. In the GW, , acres, or about 17 percent of the total land, has its mineral rights in private hands. When the Forest Service tried to prevent drilling on these leases, they quickly ran into legal challenges. In a federal appeals court ruled that the Forest Service was misinterpreting its powers and had no authority to control access to private minerals on public lands.

With political will and industry money pushing for gas drilling in the national forests, what options do people who enjoy public lands and oppose fracking have?


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The state quickly approved the permit. The county board of supervisors also seemed on the verge of signing off on the project.

Tongass National Forest (Alaska)

Then outdoor enthusiasts and local residents learned about the proposed well. They launched a campaign to educate the board and the community on the potential hazards of fracking.

They were successful. The trail is noted as access to sandstone cliffs and seasonal waterfalls as well as Hemlock trees and rare wintergreen plants. All trail locations are within the state of Indiana. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Forest Service.


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January Retrieved 20 June Archived PDF from the original on 28 October United States Forest Service. Retrieved December 31, Protected areas of Indiana. Big Oaks Muscatatuck Patoka River. National Forests of the United States. Full Detailed List former list. Hidden categories: Coordinates on Wikidata.

Gifford Pinchot National Forest (Washington)

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