No Consent!

No Consent

Ask the forest service not to send a letter of consent to the Bureau of Land Management to allow the sale of oil and gas leases for fracking in Wayne National Forest. Kathleen Atkinson, the Region 9 Forester has the final say. Her number is 414-297-3765, her email is She will be consulting with Wayne National Forest Supervisor Tony Scardina. His number is 740-753-0880 and email is Please share! You can also comment via official channels by emailing to: BLM will accept written comments regarding potential oil and gas leasing on the Wayne National Forest until Friday, January 8, 2016. More info here:…/eplanning/…

Sample Email:

Ms. Atkinson:

I am writing to voice my strong opposition to leasing land in the Wayne National Forest for fracking. I strongly urge you to not give consent to the Bureau of Land Management to lease land within Ohio’s only national forest.

While I acknowledge the long history of using national forests for timber and other resource extraction, fracking Wayne National Forest is a mistake that benefits a few outsiders while placing at risk the future of many within our county.

While I take issue with private corporations profiting from extracting resources on public lands, I will focus instead on the more tangible effects that fracking will have upon Wayne National Forest. The dangers of fracking are by now well publicized. Each step of this gas-extraction process presents different threats, including:

  • the release of large amounts of methane and other greenhouse gases as they are vented into the air
  • the potential for earthquakes and the violent explosion of the shale deep beneath the ground that is necessary to release the methane gas
  • waterway contamination
  • the creation of large amounts of toxic, radioactive waste that will almost certainly be pumped into the ground in Athens County
  • an unimaginable increase in truck traffic and large-scale industrial activity
  • long-term effects that we are not yet aware of

The resident wildlife, recreational users, and the health of the Wayne ecosystem will all be placed at risk. Watersheds will be compromised, and by extension so will the health of plant and animal life. Recreational uses of the forest will also be undermined. Why should Athens County assume so much risk? Why should Wayne National Forest, for that matter, assume so much risk? What benefit will come from this?

In closing, I strongly urge you to not consent to fracking the Wayne. Keep it in the ground. Do your part (however small) to promote a shift (however slow) to a greener energy future.



Michael Rinaldi-Eichenberg

lifelong Athens County resident

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