Over 40 sportsmen groups and conservation organizations pressured Gov. Corbett on Thursday to halt additional state forest leases for oil and gas development.
More than half of Pennsylvania's state forest lands have already been leased for shale drilling, and the organizations anticipate that Corbett may allow more drilling to raise revenue. "Gov. Corbett is looking for a quick, easy way to fill the gaps in the state budget," said Ken Undercoffer, president of the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited.
In a letter, the organizations appealed to the governor's pro-business sympathies. "According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, more than $4.3 billion in revenue is generated in Pennsylvania each year from fishing, hunting and wildlife-related recreation, and state forests serve as the cornerstone for these activities."