Ohio’s only National Forest, “The Wayne”, as it’s affectionately called, extends across approximately 240,000 acres. This natural treasure preserves unique forest habitat, protects threatened and endangered species, and helps clean and filter Ohio’s air and water. Our only national forest boosts our economy too, as many thousands of visitors flock to the Wayne each year to explore Ohio’s wildside.
With all the Wayne has to offer, you might assume it is well protected. Sadly, this is only partially true. The federal government is trying to auction off a staggering 40,000 acres (roughly one sixth) of Ohio’s only national forest to private oil and gas developers.
Industrial development is the last thing we should want for our public outdoor spaces. Air pollution, forest destruction and fragmentation, degradation of aesthetic and recreational values, and harm to wildlife will occur if shale operations come to the Wayne. We can say this with absolute certainty.
That is why we are fighting for the Wayne in federal court. The federal leasing plan is unlawful, and we intend to stop it completely. The OEC won’t be satisfied until the Wayne is protected and intact for current and future generations.