More Support for Ohio Mineral Owners

by Elizabeth Alford on January 28, 2016

Hundreds come out in public support of oil and gas drilling in the Wayne National Forest.

Related: Tensions Escalate at BLM Meeting in Ohio

The Bureau of Land Management  (BLM) is trying to determine whether it should lease 31,900 acres of the Wayne National Forest for oil and gas exploration, which has hundreds of Ohio landowners up in arms.  Though the decision involves only federally owned mineral rights, if the mineral rights of the forest remain off limits, it can block adjacent property owners from leasing their minerals.

The issue has drawn heated debate and in November, protesters shut down a routine meeting held by the BLM to get public comment. The group got a boost of support recently as federal, state, and local leaders, community organizations, businesses and labor unions joined them in their fight.

Becky Clutter of Landowners for Energy Access and Safe Exploration (LEASE) spoke on behalf of the coalition saying, “After receiving comments from this broad coalition, representing hundreds of local landowners, taxpayers, job-creators, economic development groups, laborers, and elected officials, land management and Wayne officials have ample support to make a ‘finding of no significant impact’ and move forward with the leasing process. Together, we have made it abundantly clear that there is strong support among the people who live and work in southeastern Ohio to develop our federal minerals in the Wayne National Forest. We stand united in support of seeing our property rights restored by gaining access to the Wayne.”

In a recent letter from LEASE, nearly 40 bipartisan federal, state, and local voices added their support. Following are key supporters who are adamant that the issue is not only economic but vital to the national value of private property rights.

  • Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
  • Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH-6)
  • Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel
  • Sen. Andy Thompson (R, OH-95)
  • Sen. Troy Balderson (R, OH-20)
  • Washington County Commissioner Ron Feathers (R)
  • Monroe County Commissioners Tim Price (D) Carl Davis (D) Mick Schumacher
  • Switzerland School District (Monroe Co.)
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 18
  • Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth
  • Consumer Energy Alliance
  • Southeastern Ohio Port Authority
  • Noble County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau
  • Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce 


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