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Protect Ohio’s State Public Lands

Ohio’s public lands need us now more than ever. After twelve years of the OEC, partners, and concerned citizens fighting off fracking threats to Ohio’s parks — including a lawsuit we are still waging — the oil and gas industry’s push to use our natural resources for profits has reached a new level. May 30, 2023 marked the start of a leasing “nomination” process for Ohio’s state parks and public lands before the Oil & Gas Land Management Commission.

Public comment is one of our most important tools for protecting our parks in this new nomination and leasing process. The public has 45 days to comment on each nomination after it is announced.

The OEC will continue to update our members and send alerts for nominations of major state public lands. 


Latest News:

On November 30th, the OEC and partners sued to halt oil & gas leasing in Ohio State Parks and Public Lands. Click here to read more about the appeal and words from the groups and attorneys representing the case.


Despite enormous public resistance statewide and a pending Ohio Attorney General investigation, the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission voted to approve fracking for fossil fuels in three state parks and wildlife areas:

  • Salt Fork State Park in Guernsey County
  • Valley Run Wildlife Area in Carroll County
  • Zepernick Wildlife Area in Columbiana County

Click here to read our full statement about the Commission’s decision.


Join us at the Rally for State Parks, Climate, and Democracy at the Ohio Statehouse on Friday, October 27, 2023 at 12:00 PM. Ohioans from around the state will come together on the West Plaza steps facing High Street to tell our state legislators that we the people want to see our state parks and climate protected. RSVP here!


On September 18th, the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission tabled further discussion of leasing state parks and wildlife areas until its next meeting in October.


An investigation by The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com revealed that dozens of Ohioans — including a 9-year-old girl — believe their names and personal information were used without their permission in public comments that falsely claimed they want fracking in Ohio’s state parks.

The Ohio Environmental Council and Save Ohio Parks are calling on the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission to remove the comments in question from all leasing nominations and pause decision-making on all leasing nominations containing allegedly fake public comments until the public record is accurate.


A few weeks after HB 507 went into effect in April, and a few weeks after we filed our lawsuit, the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission implemented rules governing the leasing process, causing the mandatory leasing provision to be superseded by the new rules.


Additional Nominations:

To stay informed of all land nominations, please register for updates from ODNR Oil & Gas Commission (send an email to Commission.Clerk@oglmc.ohio.gov), and/or join Save Ohio Parks email list.


Salt Fork State Park – DUE SEPTEMBER 25TH

The public has 45 days to comment on each nomination after it is announced.  Public comments on the second Salt Fork nomination are due by September 25th. The detailed OEC technical comment for the original Salt Fork nomination is available to view, along with a more general example comment from an Ohio citizen.  We have pulled together science and data to help the public make the case for protecting the places we love. However, your comment can include as much or as little data as you want. Share why Salt Fork matters to you!

While resubmitting your public comment for Salt Fork State Park may feel redundant, it is one of the most impactful ways that we can protect our parks in this new nomination and leasing process. Since this is a brand new process, we don’t know how the committee will evaluate multiple nominations for the same area. It is possible that they could just choose one nomination, and therefore only comments from that nomination, to be evaluated. The fossil fuel industry is dedicating time and resources to each nomination, so we must as well if we want to save our parks.

To submit your comments, please email to the Commission Clerk at Commission.Clerk@oglmc.ohio.gov and include the following statement in your email subject line: “Public Comments on Nomination #: 23-DNR-0009.”

Because of the significant impact this decision will have for Ohio’s largest state park and for all state public lands, we are asking you to submit your own comment. Comments from individual Ohioans that showcase why Salt Fork State Park matters to YOU are an especially persuasive way to impact the commission’s decision. 

Suggested topics to include your comment: 

  • Public health impacts
  • Damage to quality outdoor recreation
    • Include any of your personal recreational experiences (hiking, boating, camping, swimming, climbing, running, bird watching, etc.) at Salt Fork that would be impacted!
  • Toxic air pollution, light pollution, noise pollution, and climate pollution from fracking.  
Nomination #: 23-DNR-0009

Wolf Run State Park – DUE SEPTEMBER 10th

Located in southeast Ohio’s Noble County, Wolf Run State Park offers more than 1,000 acres of scenic, peaceful woodlands and cool, clean waters for a quiet retreat. Nestled in the heart of Appalachia, the region’s second growth forest now provides high-quality outdoor recreation such as camping, hiking, fishing, boating, hunting, and winter recreation, including 3.5 miles of the Buckeye Trail, and a 200-foot public swimming beach.

Home to diverse flora and fauna, including deer, weasels, bats, black rat snakes, box turtles, wild turkey, ruffed grouse and great horned owls who make their home in the recovering mixed-mesophytic forest. Now is the time to stand up for Wolf Run State Park, the protection of all our public lands, and the quality of life they make possible for all Ohioans.

Update: Due to new state landowners being identified, this nomination has been reposted.

TAKE ACTION:

The OEC has drafted technical comments on the leasing nomination. You are welcome to use these comments in your own letter, however, personal letters are strongly encouraged.

Suggested topics for you to include your comment: 

  • Public health impacts
  • Damage to quality outdoor recreation
    • Include any of your personal recreational experiences (hiking, boating, camping) at Wolf Run that would be impacted!
  • Toxic air pollution, light pollution, noise pollution, and climate pollution from fracking.  

To write your own comment on the Wolf Run State Park nomination, email the Commission Clerk at Commission.Clerk@oglmc.ohio.gov and include the following statement in your email subject line: “Public Comments on Nomination #: 23-DNR-0008.”


Salt Fork State Park – DUE JULY 20

The state announced that the oil and gas industry has nominated Salt Fork State Park, Ohio’s largest state park, for leasing and fracking. That is why we are asking you to tell the Land Management Commission to DENY industry nominations to lease Salt Fork.

TAKE ACTION:

Please feel free to use this example comment from a concerned Ohioan as a guide along with OEC’s example comment to help craft your own comment. We have pulled together science and data to help the public make the case for protecting the places we love. However, your comment can include as much or as little data as you want. Share why Salt Fork matters to you!

Because of the huge impact this decision will have for Ohio’s largest state park and for all state public lands, we are asking you to submit your own comment. Comments from individual Ohioans that showcase why Salt Fork State Park matters to YOU are an especially persuasive way to impact the committee’s decision. 

Suggested topics for you to include your comment: 

  • Public health impacts
  • Damage to quality outdoor recreation
    • Include any of your personal recreational experiences (hiking, boating, camping) at Salt Fork that would be impacted!
  • Toxic air pollution, light pollution, noise pollution, and climate pollution from fracking.  

Please email your public comment to the Oil and Gas Land Management Commission at Commission.Clerk@oglmc.ohio.gov and include the following statement in your email subject line: “Public Comments on Salt Fork, Nomination #: 23-DNR-0005, 0006, 0007.”