by Max Brantley
The New York Times reports here on how the growth of fracking for gas in Pennsylvania has reduced the pleasure of deer hunting and other outdoor pursuits.
Now THAT could get someone's attention in Arkansas as drilling activity continues to increase. Nothing like the roar of a compressor when tromping through the woods in search of game, particularly on lands purchased by ever increasing license fees.
The Pennsylvania game and fish authority insists it will be able to expand hunting lands with gas lease and royalty proceeds. But there are problems. And frackers aren't necessarily happy about all those guns near their facilities.
Still, the commission had to warn hunters late last month to scout their favorite spots in part because a “dramatic increase in drilling” due to interest in the Marcellus Shale had disrupted traditional hunting and trapping areas.
In 2008, the game commission received $556,000 in lease payments for Marcellus wells on game lands; by the end of this year, it expects to have received more than $18 million. About 50 Marcellus wells have been drilled on game lands across the state, with permits issued for 148 more.
The Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, representing the industry, and the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania, which supports the drilling, plan to issue their own advisory.
“We don’t want hunters to use our tanks for target practice or to sit on top of them,” said Louis D’Amico, president and executive director of the gas association, which issued a similar statement last year. “We want them to be especially careful during bear and deer season, because of the long reach of their rifles.”
I'd guess these issues should emerge more prominently in Arkansas in time.