Legislation Threatens Ohio’s State Parks & State Forests

New state legislation threatens the biodiversity and natural beauty of Ohio’s State Parks and State Forests. House Bill 133, passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Kasich in 2011, opened Ohio’s state parks to oil and gas fracking for the first time in their history. A provision in House Bill 153, passed at the same time, also opened Ohio’s state parks to commercial logging for the first time ever. These lands are places of great value to all Ohioans and serve as important reservoirs of Ohio’s natural heritage. The unintended consequences of this legislation could be devastating. * Commercial logging in Ohio State Parks will harm scenic values, disrupt well-established forest communities, and ultimately decrease biodiversity. Our state parks were never intended to be state forests, and commercial logging in them was never allowed until HB 153. * Allowing fracking in Ohio’s State Parks and State Forests will fragment wildlife habitat, create ugly scars on the landscape, and diminish the visitor experience. Horizontal fracking well pads require a five acre treeless site, and more trees will have to be cut down to install pipelines. Well pads can be located within 300 feet of a campground. * Fracking can potentially pollute the waters of our parks and forests through surface spills, accidents, and well construction problems. Wastewater produced by fracking is also hazardous and must be trucked out and disposed of in a specially licensed facility. * Air pollution will increase several-fold with the increased level of truck traffic, use of construction equipment, and the operation of the wells themselves. * Construction of the well pads outside park boundaries may mitigate habitat fragmentation, but the noise and pollution will still affect wildlife and park visitors. The possibility of contamination of park waters will remain also. The potential damage will take generations to heal, and the vibrant long-standing tourist economy that has grown around many of Ohio’s state parks will be affected as a result. We have a sacred trust to preserve Ohio’s state parks and state forests for future generations. Please help us by signing your name to this message to Governor Kasich, the leadership of the Ohio General Assembly, and the Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Simply fill out the form below and click “submit.” And tell your neighbors, tell your friends to sign. We must speak up now before it’s too late. Thank you.

Message

Dear Armond Budishr (House Minority Leade),
Dear Dave Hall (House Ag Comm/Chair),
Dear Cliff Hite (Senate Ag Comm/Chair),
Dear Eric H. Kearney (Senate Minority Lead),
Dear Tom Niehaus (Senate President),
Dear Lou Gentile (Senate Ag Comm/Ranki),
Dear John Kasich (Governor),
Dear Brad Reynolds (Director of Constitu),
Dear James Zehringer (ODNR Director),



I look forward to your reply.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

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