A Campaign to Protect Pennsylvania's State Parks
Our award-winning state parks are in grave danger as "drill, baby, drill" takes over our state.
And there is so much at stake. Each year about 38 million people visit one of Pennsylvania's state parks - from the thrill of the whitewater rapids at Ohiopyle in the southwest to the breathtaking fall foliage at Worlds End in the northeast to the ice fishing at Presque Isle at Lake Erie to the hiking, birding and camping at all the state parks.
With 120 parks, our state parks are the heart of Pennsylvania.
While the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources doesn't lease state park land for gas exploration, the Commonwealth doesn't own the mineral rights beneath about 80 percent of state park land. This is because in many cases when the Commonwealth acquired these lands, the mineral rights had been previously sold or were prohibitively expensive.
So the Commonwealth bought only the land -- the glorious land -- and not the subsurface rights. And more than half of our 120 parks -- 61 in total -- lie atop the Marcellus formation.
Under Pennsylvania law, owners of those minerals have the unquestioned right to develop their property. But just because something is legal, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.
State Parks at highest and
most immediate risk:
We intend to make sure our state parks are protected — and that the specter of drilling through the heart of Pennsylvania never becomes a reality. [more information]
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