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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What the Heck IS this?

Ohio might allow logging in nature preserves, parks
The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Environmental groups say commercial loggers could start harvesting nature preserves and parks under a bill to open oil and gas drilling in public lands.

The bill's sponsor says tree cutting would be limited to getting access to the wells.

"Our suspicion is it's much wider than that," Jack Shaner, a spokesman for the Ohio Environmental Council, said Tuesday. "The bill is just as wide open to logging as it is to oil and natural gas drilling."


Armbruster's bill would create an Oil, Gas and Timber Leasing Board that would have exclusive authority to lease oil and gas drilling, as well as logging, rights to private companies.

Ohio has about 183,000 acres of state forest.

Armbruster's bill would usurp the authority of the Department of Natural Resources to regulate drilling and logging on state land.

The agency, which permits limited logging and regulates 356 pre-existing oil and gas wells in wildlife areas, opposes "taking the management out of the hands of our foresters," said spokesman Jim Lynch.