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Wayne National Forest Lease Sale Brings In $1.7 Million

A drilling pad in Susquehanna County. [photo: Matt Richmond / ideastream]

The bidding in Tuesday's sale was focused on a couple of parcels in Monroe County while the overall revenue from the federal government’s auction of oil and gas leases in the Wayne National Forest was $1.7 million.  

Two parcels, out of the seventeen in southeast Ohio auctioned this week, made up about 40% of the sale’s proceeds. One parcel sold for $4,800 an acre, the other for more than $5,700. Both are located in Monroe County, where hydrofracking is already taking place.

The leases give oil and gas development rights. But drilling, fracking and the construction of roads and pipelines would require separate permits from the state and federal governments.

Opponents of the sale criticized the federal government’s assessment of potential environmental impacts on the forest if drilling occurs. Supporters say the sale makes it possible for owners of mineral rights and land near the national forest to move ahead with plans to develop their property.

Matthew Richmond is a reporter/producer focused on criminal justice issues at Ideastream Public Media.