Ohioans work to influence next Wayne National Forest Plan
January 28, 2019: Citizen-initiated Working Group on Ecological Forest Management, Climate Protection, and Sustainable Economies submits comments to Wayne NF Planning Team for the assessment phase of the new Plan development. See the 116-page document here.
The Wayne National Forest, Ohio’s only National Forest, has begun the process of revising its principal document, the Forest Management Plan. Under the 2012 USFS Planning Rule, this process must include a rigorous effort to engage the public during the current assessment period and all subsequent phases of Plan development. The Wayne Planning Team has been meeting with interested parties for several months and is reviewing submissions by hundreds of citizens and stakeholders about what must be changed from the current 2006 Plan, which it must consider in preparation of the forthcoming Draft Assessment report.
The Wayne Planning Team created several working groups to give input. Ohio University and Marietta College are each receiving $100,000 for specific work, the latter for an assessment of oil and gas “assets”. Landowners and representatives of recreation, renewable energy, biodiversity and forest health, wild and scenic rivers and wilderness interests are participating in various groups as volunteers. When members of ACFAN (Athens County’s Future Action Network, formerly Athens County Fracking Action Network) realized there were no concerned-citizen groups, we initiated one: the Working Group on Ecological Forest Management, Climate Protection, and Sustainable Economies. Folks from all over Ohio who seek deep changes to the current destructive Wayne management, which is largely governed by the highly flawed 2006 Plan, met by phone over a 3-month period and produced a 120-page document, recently submitted to the planning team. The report outlines the group’s concerns and recommendations, much drawn directly from the Economic Analysis of the 2006 Wayne National Forest Plan, a report commissioned by Heartwood and produced in 2008 by Christine Glaser and Karyn Moskowitz, then of GreenFire Consulting. The working group’s report, developed by Heather Cantino with input from many group participants, documents, in an extensive annotated bibliography of peer-reviewed research, the profoundly negative impacts of current Wayne management practices, especially logging, prescribed burns, leasing of oil and gas minerals, and OHV/ORV trails, as well as other forest-disturbing activities.
The Wayne has never taken the hard look required by federal law to assess its role in keeping our region and local economies healthy and how to help save our planet rather than contribute to its destruction! Ohioans will continue to demand that the Wayne serve the economic best interests of our region, as required by law, and practice ecological forest management to protect biodiversity, climate, regional air and water, and human and animal health.
by Roxanne Groff and Heather Cantino, board members, Buckeye Environmental Network, and steering committee members of Athens County’s Future Action Network (ACFAN, formerly Athens County Fracking Action Network)
December 2016:Check out acfan’s front page for call to action: E-mail Regional Forester Kathleen Atkinson and Senator Sherrod Brown’s office with documentation of fracking’s harms. They don’t yet seem to get it! If you’d like to call as well on Monday, Dec. 12, please do. Printable call sheet available here. Take action now! Auction (online) is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 13.
A legal protest to BLM has been filed on behalf of TWENTY-SIX grassroots groups, including ACFAN, authored by Fair Shake attorneys. Thanks, Lea Harper, of Freshwater Accountability Project, for facilitating and supporting this legal effort! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy (until it is posted on the BLM website).
See newly filed formal protest to BLM here on behalf of Buckeye Forest Council and ACFAN by the Center for Biological Diversity. Thank you to CBD for this powerful, important appeal to BLM and USFS to follow the law! 11-14-16
Change.org petition against fracking the Wayne. Over 92,000 signatures delivered to the BLM in D.C.. by ACFAN, Buckeye Forest Council and Sproutogether. 11-14-16. Update: As of 12-8-16, the petition had over 98,700 signatures.
Marietta residents also oppose fracking in national forest, contrary to claims by now-absent Wayne supervisor Tony Scardina. Thanks, Marietta residents, for educating and activating your community! 12-8-16
Ecowatch article on upcoming scheduled lease sale of 1600 acres of Wayne land for fracking. 11-2-16
Athens County Commissioners host public hearing on Wayne fracking plans, June 28. Press after event here and here. Details prior to event: acfan blog post. Some comments submitted: Choices — F. Mettler testimony, N. Cooper letter to T Scardina, Melissa Wales comments.
Tony Scardina, Wayne National Forest Supervisor, wants peer-reviewed studies (not that the BLM EA contains any meaninful peer-reviewed references). Send him some and then ask if he’s read them! Visit acfan’s water-air-and-health/ and economics/ pages and some of these comments, following, for plenty to send Tony’s way:
Buckeye Forest Council, ACFAN, Heartwood, and Center for Health, Environment, and Justice submit important legal comments on BLM Environmental Assessment (EA) of Wayne plans to frack the Marietta Unit: EA comments BFC-ACFAN et al.5-31-16
Center for Biological Diversity, joined by Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, and Ohio Environmental Council, submits powerful comments on BLM/Wayne Marietta Unit Environmental Assessment (EA). CBD press release here. June 1, 2016
Other EA comments here: draft BLM EA comments HCantino DOI-BLM-ES-0030-2016-0002-EA-5-25; RGRoff draft EA comments and request for extension and public hearing 5-25-16; Brian Blair EA comments 5-16. And Michael Rinaldi-Eichenberg’s powerful letter to Tony Scardina.
Office of the President: 2015 memo on ECOSYSTEM SERVICES needing to be considered in federal land planning decisions.
NEPA language and relevant citations on Forest Supervisor responsibilities.
Earlier post during EA comment period: Urgent: Please write the BLM and FS to request an extension of the comment period and a public hearing on the BLM/FS Draft “Environmental Assessment” released on April 29, 2016, which tries to justify fracking the Wayne. The comment period currently ends 5-29-16. See acfan post on front page here for instructions on submission and talking points. Press release from press May 18 conferences here. 5-16
Appeal for comments to Wayne National Forest Supervisor Tony Scardina to say, No fracking the Wayne! No consent to lease! Wayne talking points and contact info. 3-1-16
Wild Earth Guardians submit powerful petition calling on BLM to do a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement assessing climate and non-climate impacts (costs and benefits) of its oil and gas leasing program. Great work! 1-16
The Waynettes debut at Wayne National Forest Headquarters, with carols and a message to Mr. Scardina: Do the research. Follow the law. No consent! 12-21-15
National report documents necessity for U.S. to halt all leasing of federal minerals in order to meet obligations to international climate agreement. Press release: Climate Study: Ending New Federal Fossil Fuel Leases Would Keep 450 Billion Tons of Carbon Pollution in Ground 8-15
BFC letter to USFS 11-15: No consent! Do the research! Follow the law!
Wayne National Forest ignores science and community and moves ahead with leasing plans: WTAP Parkersurg tv interviews local organizer Heather Cantino, retired natural resources professor Rebecca Wood, business owner Christine Hughes, and Wayne National Forest Supervisor Anne Carey (9-6-12). Note factual error by reporter: it is 13 well sites, not 13 wells that the Wayne plans to authorize. 13 sites can mean 130 wells. Since Ohio law permits all volatile organic emissions (23 TONS per well) to be released directly into the air, air pollution alone may mean 6 million pounds of additional air pollution from well emissions alone. This does not count truck traffic or methane emissions. Also note Risberg’s commentary disguised as fact that the wells are designed to be drilled “safely.” What is the evidence for her statement? Carey’s explanation is certainly not reassuring.
See also: Drilling Dysfunction: How the Failure to Oversee Drilling on Public Lands Endangers Health and the Environment, 2-12
WTAP interviews with Heather Cantino, Rebecca Wood, Christine Hughes, and Anne Carey (9-6-12). Note factual error by reporter: it is 13 well sites, not 13 wells that the Wayne plans to authorize. 13 sites can mean 130 wells. Since Ohio law permits all volatile organic emissions (23 TONS per well) to be released directly into the air, air pollution alone may mean 6 million pounds of additional air pollution from well emissions alone. This does not count truck traffic or methane emissions. Also note Risberg’s commentary disguised as fact that the wells are designed to be drilled “safely.” What is the evidence for her statement? Carey’s explanation is certainly not reassuring.
Messenger July Wayne event coverage, including citizen concerns and officials’ inaccurate statements
questions for Wayne open house 7-12 and background info
BFC et al Letter to Wayne – 6-4-2012 Important legal argument for pre-leasing EIS.
Call or write the Wayne June 2012 Decision expected any day. Please contact Supervisor Carey today!
Wayne talking points: to understand why Wayne officials’ arguments are misguided and misleading.
Geoff Buckley WNF talk at Wayne May 2012
Athens City Resolution re Wayne May 2012
April 26 2012 letter to Anne Carey re Wayne leasing
Excerpts from National Park Service
“Development of the Natural Gas Resources in the Marcellus Shale”
Wayne National Forest: Steps beyond the RONI Presented to Anne Carey 4-12
Debbie Phillips’ Letter to Anne Carey, May 2012
Mineral Rights Committee Recommendations to OU Trustees
Ohio University’s conclusions on economic, safety, and environmental risks of fracking 4-12
Wayne protest, Nov. 16, 2011: In spite of the Wayne’s Nov. 15 decision to withdraw the Wayne parcels from BLM’s Dec. 2011 planned lease sale, activists headed to the Wayne, now both to thank the Wayne for its decision and to call for thorough review of shale extraction on the forest and region.
Wayne rescinds decision to offer parcels for Dec. 2011 lease sale, following Wayne’s new Forest Supervisor Anne Carey’s Nov. 14 meeting with Athens county concerned citizens. Nov. 15, 2011
BFC et al BLM Protest 10-7-11