State Extends Drilling Moratorium In Forests, Parks

Sep 24, 2016

The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is extending a moratorium on gas drilling in state parks, like Clear Creek State Forest, pictured above.
Credit Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Pennsylvania has extended a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in state forests and parks for five years.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that a new five-year forest management plan spells out an oil and gas management policy that supports the public lands drilling moratorium ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf.

The 234-page plan released last week by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources also addresses climate change impacts for the first time.

The Forestry Bureau holds 123 oil and gas leases on 301,000 acres. Drilling is allowed to continue on those leases. More than 1.5 million acres of the 2.2 million acres of state-owned forest land remains unleased, and the division chief of the Forest Resource Planning Section says officials don't think additional leases would be wise now.