Monday, March 21, 2011

Hydrofracking in Ohio

The Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests that span much of the Southeastern United States are all that remain of the broadleaf forests that at one time covered most of North America. These forests compose one of the most biodiverse temperate regions in the world, but they are severely reduced in size, degraded, and fragmented due to human development (Ricketts, 1999). In Ohio, the remaining forest is only in the southeast portion of the state. The Wayne National Forest comprises the majority of this forest area. As the map of the Marcellus shale shows, the shale lies directly under the southeastern forests of Ohio.
Image courtesy of

New Ohio governor John Kasich has proposed H.B. 133 that would allow oil and gas drilling on state-owned land such as state and national parks. That would mean that the Wayne National Forest, one of the few remnants of the already fragmented and degraded Appalachian forest, would become even more degraded and fragmented. H.B. 133 encapsulates the hydrofracking issue very well. The drilling is seen as a huge economic boost for a state that is suffering greatly from the current recession, and in the short-term it could be just that. However, the long-term effects of destroying forest and potentially polluting ground water and air must be considered.  In previous posts, I have listed numerous articles citing the environmental impact of natural gas mining, particularly water contamination, but here is a New York Times - produced video of actual people living near gas wells in Colorado who give a firsthand account of the health impacts of the process. I for one do not want to see this happen to my family and friends. That’s why I created this blog, to get the word out and inform people about the dangers of hydrofracking.

National environmental organizations such as The Sierra Club and local groups such as The Buckeye Forest Council oppose drilling of any kind in state and national parks. Hydrofracking is potentially even more dangerous that traditional drilling because of the potential for contaminated drinking water. If you would like to become involved in the fight against hydrofracking, please visit these sites and find out more about what we can do.

Works Cited
Ricketts, T. H. (1999). Terrestrial ecoregions of North America:  a conservation assessment. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Laws, Acts, and Legislation. (n.d.). 129th Ohio General Assembly. Retrieved March 21, 2011, from

Natural Gas and Polluted Air - Video Library - The New York Times. (n.d.). Video Library Home Page - The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2011, from


  1. This is awesome! I really appreciate sharing this information. Check out the proposal to drill in Ohio State Parks!

  2. hydrofracking in our state parks,and national forests is an inexscusable defamation of the environment. Not only are parks supposed to be protected, but the environmental damage caused by this is catastrophic.

  3. This is truly a violation of state rights. These parks ARE LAND, they are not commodities. I am looking forward to representing Mountain Justice at All Good music festival this weekend.