Last year, Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission decided to lease out 43,000 acres of land for natural gas drilling.
In a recent interview with the Post-Gazette, executive director John Arway said the decision wasn’t easy, but ultimately came down to “business”:
“We struggled with that decision,” Mr. Arway told a group of several dozen people who turned out in Claysville on Wednesday for an update on the progress of repairs at Dutch Fork Lake in nearby Donegal Township.
In the end, Mr. Arway said, the commission chose to lease some of its properties, including the 91-acre Dutch Fork, the Rose Valley Lake in Lycoming County and Donegal Lake in Westmoreland County.
For now, those recreational lakes — used for fishing and boating, not for drinking water — are the only bodies of water being leased by the commission, though more waterways and lakes could be leased if natural gas companies express an interest in them.
“With natural gas, we discovered we had a new asset,” Mr. Arway said. “We had to look at it from a business perspective.”