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An environmental conservation organization defending Ohio's Appalachian communities by celebrating and protecting Ohio's only National Forest.



The land in Wayne National Forest and many other areas in Ohio is being pursued by oil companies for fracking due to the shale it rests on. It could potentially create an environmental disaster for the ecosystem and Ohio residents.


Fracking requires millions of gallons of water and is ultimately destructive to water quality, air quality and creates a byproduct of toxic waste. Additionally, the clear-cutting of the forest that would have to be done to ultimately create these wells would essentially deforest the Wayne.

Information below explains how land is leased for fracking. We have listed petitions and other ways to take action to help halt these destructive ventures.

Land Leasing : taking action

Under two 20th-century acts — the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 and the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 — Wayne is legally permitted to lease parcels of land for extracting minerals for a defined period of time through a competitive bidding process.


The purpose of such sales is so citizens can benefit from mineral holdings and to encourage nonrenewable, domestic energy development, including hydraulic fracturing. 

wayne national forest ohio scenery trees lake pretty

We must urge the BLM to cancel its plan to lease out, up to 40,000 acres of the Wayne National Forest to fracking operations. The damage that such a large scale project could inflict on the forest and the rare and threatened wildlife species that depend on it is tremendous. 

Please click below to add your name!

ohio wayne national forest sign

Stop the Auctioning of Wayne National Forest for Oil

A large portion of the Wayne runs along the Ohio River, which supplies drinking water for 3-5 million people. Despite the risk of contamination, our beloved forest is still in danger of fracking. The United States Bureau of Land Management is planning to hold auctions every quarter until at least 18,000 acres will be leased.  Please add your name to the petition and show your support for the Wayne.  

Buckeye Environmental Network (BEN, formerly Buckeye Forest Council) and ACFAN (Athens County Fracking Action Network) have been fighting to prevent the leasing of Wayne National Forest since 2011, when 7 parcels in the Athens District came up for sale.  These parcels were pulled from the Dec. 2011 sale based on widespread community opposition.


Unfortunately, the process restarted with parcels in the Marietta unit, mostly in Monroe County, going up for sale in the fall of 2016. In spite of both science and appeals from over 100,000 people, Kathleen Atkinson, U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester, allowed the Dec. 13, 2016 and March 23, 2017, BLM auctions to take place.

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) is now leading a coalition of environmental organizations, including Sierra Club, Heartwood, and the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC), in filing an intent to sue the government for this illegal and very dangerous attack on WNF.  If anyone who uses the Wayne would like to help CBD, Sierra Club, or OEC with standing in their lawsuit, please join the organization of your choice and let us know of your interest, specifically HOW you use the Wayne. Contact and ACFAN will pass along your name, contact info, and statement of your connection to the Wayne. The first priority is people who use the Marietta district, although parcels in the Athens District may also come up for auction. 

See and acfan’s Wayne page for history and more information.

river in wayne national forest, water is life, ohio


We need everyone to write to their local papers (especially if they live in Ohio) about opposing fracking in Wayne National Forest. Then once that letter gets published, please email us the article through our contact us page. 


Kathleen Atkinson (USFS Regional Forester) @ 414-297-3765
Tom Tidwell (Chief USFS) @ (202) 205-8439
Dan Jiron (Assoc Chief USFS) @ (202) 205-1779

Sherrod Brown @ (513) 684-1021
Rob Portman @ 513-684-3265


and say something like this:

Ask them to openly oppose the leasing of our public land for fracking. Also please ask them to urge those with the authority (such as Kathleen Atkinson) to withdraw consent and withdraw the parcels slated for sale! Kathleen Atkinson CAN do this (contrary to what her office staff may tell you), just as Wayne Supervisor Anne Carey did in 2011. 

If you leave a message with her staff, please tell them you’d like to send Ms. Atkinson evidence of NEW INFORMATION on the dangers of fracking (since their last forest plan was written in 2006, examples of new information would be the official link between fracking and earthquakes, the house fires in Colorado attributed to drilling activities, and the Indiana bat facing the threat of white-nose syndrome, etc). Please request acknowledgment of your e-mail. Send emails to; cc Judi Henry: Atkinson has not properly evaluated fracking as required by law, but stated that only “new information” will make her change her mind and withdraw consent. Feel free to send her any of the research linked on ACFAN’s ( research page or anything else you find important.

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