Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rock Run A beautiful wild and natural area, about to be destroyed by Gas Drilling

Rock Run is an exquisitely beautiful, exceptional value stream that runs through the heart of the Loyalsock state forest. It has been called the prettiest stream in Pennsylvania.

But all of that may change!

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation may soon be drilling for natural gas in this area!  

A patchwork of mixed mineral rights ownership lies under much of the Loyalsock. That's because while Pennsylvania Lumber Company sold the land to the state, it sold the mineral rights to others. The state ultimately acquired some rights, while rights to other tracts were bought by others and have been bought and sold over the years.

But  an unusual deed restriction gives the state DCNR an opportunity to restrict development on 18,870 acres of the Loyalsock where the state does not own mineral rights, including a portion of the Rock Run headwaters.

The mineral rights to that tract were once owned by  Clarence Moore. The wording in the deed contains an unusual restriction in which the right of the mineral rights owner to access oil and gas from the surface was terminated after 50 years — in 1983.

This 50-year limitation on surface access was challenged by Moore, but upheld by Commonwealth Court in 1989 which concluded that "access subsequent to March 28, 1983, is controlled by the Commonwealth." That conclusion was upheld again by the state Board of Claims in 1999.
The state has a unique opportunity to protect Rock Run and a sizable chunk of Loyalsock State Forest, although we are are worried the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, which manages the Loyalsock and other state forests, will not exercise its authority on the matter.

In a letter to the DCNR, The Sierra Club and other groups feel the DNCR needs to specifically grant a right-of-way to Anadarko to work on the surface, but it cannot do so under state law if the right-of-way would "so adversely affect the land as to interfere with its usual and orderly administration." The letter states drilling would likely adversely affect Rock Run, which is designated an exceptional value stream. DNCR officials confirm that they are still in negotiations with Anadarko over drilling in the area.

Recently the DNCR held a a closed-door meeting with with invited "stakeholders", which were certain elected officials, a representative of the Sierra Club and a select few other environmental groups to discuss drilling for natural gas on nearly 25,000 acres in the Rock Run area of McIntyre Township.

During that meeting we delivered a letter to former DCNR Secretary Rick Allen repeating our request for the agency to hold a public hearing on its gas drilling plans. 
The letter was signed by 28 conservation, recreation and environmental organizations. 

Secretary Allen made it clear that his agency is interested only in hearing from those it chooses to. Participants said Allen told them that the closed-door meeting was the public meeting. 

The spectacular and unique resources of the Loyalsock draw visitors from all over the state. It includes some of the best hiking trails in the state forest system and the watershed of the exquisite Rock Run. 

Taxpayers bought this land pay for its maintenance.

The public owns it. DCNR should be listening Its  owners (all citizens of Pennsylvania)  but as the Corbett administration keeps bowing  to the Gas Drillers  This precious resource that The DNCR is charged with protecting,  is in grave danger.

And what does DCNR imply?  Pennsylvania citizens, you're not welcome. Your input on the outcomes is less important than that of the ones who want destroy it. 

If you feel this area is too important to drill, then click here to sign the petition to tell the Corbett Administration: Listen to the People's Voice - No Drilling in the Loyalsock State Forest

UPDATED: June 26, 2013 - 12:23pm

Photos courtesy of friends of rock run


  1. Also watch this video Called Rock Run Remembrance

  2. Interesting how now they are going to hold a webinar and a public meeting!
    Is it a coincidence that we publish a blog this morning about them NOW holding public meeting on this and now this reversal?

  3. Interesting how now they are going to hold a webinar and a public meeting!
    Is it a coincidence that we publish a blog this morning about them NOW holding public meeting on this and now this reversal?

    DEP notice of Webinar for Loyalsock State Forest gas drilling

  4. it's again more tragedy for our Planet since some humans feel that exploitation of our natural resources is humane and acceptable. Heaven help us stop the destruction.

  5. Hi Dave,

    I visited McIntyre last week and was able to capture some very high quality images of both rock run and miners run. You are welcome to use them in whatever way possible in your fight against drilling in the area. Thanks so much for all your hard work.


    Ps - the images aren't posted yet on my website so just shoot me an email or give me a call. Thanks!

    1. Yes please we can always use more photos of this unique place

      (we will credit you with any photos used)
      Dave M