First Posted: 2/22/2012
Pennsylvania's award winning state park system is threatened by the Marcellus Shale gas drillers.
The Commonwealth doesn't own the mineral rights beneath 80 percent of state park land, much of which lies over the Marcellus Shale. While the owners of the mineral rights have a right to drill, that doesn't mean drilling in state parks is good for our Commonwealth.
Last weekend (Feb. 11) I attended Lackawanna State Park's Winterfest – an annual event enjoyed by local families, with programs including animal tracking, crafts and horse-drawn wagon rides for children, safety demonstrations by the Scott dive team, search and rescue dogs showing their prowess and many other winter activities appealing to all ages. It is disturbing to think that parks which offer free programs of this caliber to the public are at risk from drilling activity.
The disastrous legislation pushed through and signed by Gov. Corbett doesn't contain any protections from the impact of drilling in our state parks. I thank our local state Senator, John Blake, and Representative, Sid Michaels Kavulich, who opposed this legislation.
We must protect our state parks so future generations of Pennsylvania families can enjoy what I and many others enjoy year round – the beautiful outdoors at a local state park.