3,000 acres of state game land in Bradford County are being leased for natural gas drilling.
Environmental advocates have bemoaned drilling in Pennsylvania’s state forests, worrying the clearings, well construction and truck traffic will permanently damage the wildlife. But Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser takes a different approach in an interview with the Towanda Daily Review, arguing “well pad and pipeline construction can actually benefit wildlife in the long run” by clearing out space and creating “meadow-like areas.”
The Pennsylvania Game Commission recently announced that it would be accepting bids from natural gas companies to lease State Game Lands 36, which is located across Monroe and Overton Townships and consists of over 3,177 acres, for the development of natural gas drilling.
“We’ve found that state game lands can actually benefit two different ways from natural gas development,” Press Secretary Jerry Feaser said. “We’ve discovered that well pad and pipeline construction can actually benefit wildlife in the long run. The initial excavation, construction and drilling processes are temporary habitat displacements. When the development enters the production stage, we’ve actually witnessed and photographed habitat improvements because well pads in production are meadow-like areas and pipelines provide a linear food supply.
“The other benefit is for the game commission, itself, in the form of increased revenue,” Feaser said. “Through lease payment and eventual royalty revenue, we’ll be able to provide more funding to the game lands, hire more personnel and acquire more lands.”