The Bureau of Land Management released another 142 acres of Wayne National Forest on Sept. 22 for private industries to lease with the intent of extracting oil and gas. The sale, combined with other parcels sold in Louisiana, netted the BLM more than $200,000, according to a press release.
The BLM started selling parcels of the Wayne National Forest, Ohio’s only national forest, starting in September 2016. BLM spokesperson Davida Carnahan said in February that they intend to release parcels quarterly. The BLM also sold parcels in Louisiana.
Some citizens worry the action could lead to hydraulic fracturing, a process in which chemicals are injected into the ground to fracture the earth and release natural gas. Since the BLM only leases the parcels to oil and gas companies, activists have the opportunity to submit proposals and protests through a formal process prior to the sale.
10 protests were made regarding the sales in the two states, but none of the six parcels were removed.
Previous sales of the Wayne National Forest have yielded more than $7 million. The oil and gas companies that purchase the land are required to pay the federal government a royalty equal to 12.5 percent the value of production.
Ohio receives 25 percent minimum of sales within the state.