Close to 60 people gathered outside Wayne National Forest headquarters on Wednesday, July 11, for a teach-in, while continuing to ask officials to hold a public forum instead of the open house being held inside, in which people could only have one-to-one, privatized conversations with government officials. State and national environmental organizations as well as local officials and residents are concerned about Wayne National Forest (WNF) leasing public forest for industrial shale oil/gas operations without an Environmental Impact study (EIS) as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The open house at the Wayne was on “oil and natural gas development.” WNF, ODNR, OEPA, and Bureau of Land Management participated.
Speakers at the teach-in included Nathan Johnson, Buckeye Forest Council staff attorney; Teresa Mills, child health organizer for Citizens for Health, Environment, and Justice; Jed Thorp, director of Sierra Club, Ohio; and Don Wirtshafter, local attorney. WCRS FM recorded some of these presentations as well as interviews with officials inside. After the teach-in, concerned citizens went inside en masse and grouped around the officials standing around. When answers to questions were inadequate, listeners held up signs that gave failing letter grades or stated, “You haven’t done an EIS,” “Follow the law,” “What about NEPA?” and “Obfuscation!” Athens Messenger coverage for attendees’ statements of concern and misleading and inaccurate information by Wayne officials here.
If you attended, please send us your responses to officials’ answers to your questions. Send to acfanohio AT gmail.com. We’ll post some here soon. Thanks and thanks for your support!