Encino Energy fracking trucks already in place at Salt Ford State Park
Encino approved route sign

A meeting for the Ohio Oil and Gas Land Management Commission (OGLMC) to decide whether to approve or deny fracking for four Ohio state parks and wildlife areas will be held Wednesday, November 15, at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) office, 2045 Morse Road in Columbus.

Save Ohio Parks will host a press conference outside the ODNR building on a grassy area at 9:30 am, just before the 10:30 am meeting. The public is invited.

“The OGLMC has had almost a year to educate itself on the human health effects, environmental impacts and climate concerns that would likely affect citizens, Ohio state parks and the world should these fracking leases be granted,” said Randi Pokladnik, steering committee member of Save Ohio Parks.

“We and other environmental groups and citizens have inundated the commission with thousands of emails, citing research, peer-reviewed health studies and climate data associated with fracking. Now it’s up to them to do the right thing for Ohioans by denying leases to frack under our state parks and public lands,” Pokladnik said.

The OGLMC, made up of five people appointed by Gov. Mike DeWine is tasked with this decision. Members are mostly attorneys, not climate scientists, geologists, hazardous materials experts or physicians.

The commission consists of: Ryan Richardson of Columbus, ODNR attorney and OGLMC chair; Stephen Buehrer of Columbus, attorney and partner with Carpenter, Lipps & Leland; Jim McGregor of Gahanna, owner of BlueGill Property Management; Matthew Warnock of Cleveland, attorney with One Energy; and Michael Wise of Cleveland, attorney and co-chair of energy practice at McDonald Hopkins.

“No one on the commission lives in the Appalachian region of Ohio, a region that sits on top of Utica and Marcellus shale gas deposits,” said Pokladnik. “They do not witness the destruction of the landscape on a daily basis like I do. The beautiful, rural areas near my home are turned into industrial zones by fracking and fracking infrastructure. Their children and grandchildren’s health are not put at risk by exposure to water and air pollutants released into the environment.”

Parks and wildlife areas nominated for fracking include all 20,000 acres of Salt Fork State Park in Guernsey County (the state’s largest park); all 1000 acres of Wolf Run State park in Noble County, plus 1000 acres of the surrounding area including an Ohio State University agricultural research station; all 302 acres of Valley Run Wildlife Area, adjacent to a large campground in Carroll County; and 65 acres of Zepernick Wildlife Area, a popular fishing destination in Columbiana County.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that Earth is on track to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) warming within four years. Last summer was ranked the hottest summer on record globally, with droughts, hurricanes and severe flooding across the world; Canadian wildfires that consumed an area the size of North Dakota and are still burning; and a wildfire that destroyed the city of Lahaina, Hawaii.

The Paris Climate Agreement, signed by all nations of the world including the United States, says nations must hold warming to no more than 1.5C to avoid the most catastrophic effects of the climate crisis.

Climate scientists and environmentalists agree that all new fossil fuel projects must be stopped, and green energies like solar, wind and hydropower implemented at a much more rapid pace.

Climate Trace, a global consortium of 80,000 climate scientists who track and inventory greenhouse gas emissions in real time via satellite, rates the Utica and Marcellus shale gas, including Ohio’s contribution, to be the second-largest emitter in the US – and the fourth-largest emitter worldwide.

Fracking operations drain tens of millions of gallons of water from lakes, rivers and streams, mixing it with unregulated toxic chemicals and sand to free methane gas trapped deep below the ground. Fracking also entails clearcutting forests, destroying plant, animal and insect habitats, and requires thousands of truck trips to bring in chemicals and transport wastewater from well pads.

Fracking wastewater must be injected into Class II injection wells and stored, as it is unfit for human contact. Air pollution, noise, and light pollution from fracking is also incompatible with family and tourist park activities. Several injection wells in Athens County were suspended for leaking fracking wastewater into local water supplies.

Save Ohio Parks asks the public to contact DeWine’s office and tell him to deny fracking leases under our Ohio state parks and public lands. His office phone number is (614) 644-4357 or 614-466-3555. His email address is:

For more information about fracking under Ohio state parks and public lands, visit