Parks & Forests

MAP - Early Leasing Targets

Click here for an interactive map showing state parks, state forests, and state wildlife areas ODNR has targeted for early oil & gas leasing:

This list was developed by ODNR's Oil and Gas Team and is current as of October 12, 2011.  The list was uncovered as part of a lawsuit initiated by the Sierra Club due to ODNR's months-long refusal to hand over public documents relating to its leasing program.

Ohio State Parks and Forests - What Are They?

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is the parent agency for both Ohio State Parks and Ohio State Forests.  State parks and state forests are managed by two separate divisions of ODNR, the Ohio Division of Parks and the Ohio Division of Forestry.  Parks and Forestry have historically had different missions and goals.  The primary mission of Parks has been to provide outdoor recreational opportunities.  Forestry is governed by multiple-use principles, which require forest management for wildlife and wildlife habitat, silviculture (logging), and recreation.

Ohio State Parks

The Ohio Division of Parks was created as a division of ODNR in 1949.  Today, there are 75 state parks in 60 counties with over 174,000 acres of land and water.  Ohio’s state parks are geared toward providing visitors with outdoor recreational opportunities.  According to the division, “facilities include eight resort lodges, two dining lodges, six golf courses, more than 9,000 campsites in 56 family campgrounds, 518 cottages, 36 visitor/nature centers, 80 swimming beaches and 18 swimming pools, 188 boat ramps and 7,583 boat docks, 463 picnic areas, and 1,167 miles of trails.”  Until June 30, 2011, state parks were off limits to oil and gas drilling and commercial logging.

Ohio State Forests

The Ohio Division of Forestry (DOF) manages Ohio’s state forests.  Ohio’s first public forest was purchased by the state in 1916.  Since that time, the state forest system has grown to include 21 state forests, totaling more than 185,000 acres and spanning 21 counties.  While DOF is required to manage state forests with the welfare of wildlife in mind, the Division has allowed conventional drilling and logging on its lands since its inception.  In fact, DOF management is heavily geared towards commercial logging, including clear-cutting – a preferred practice of the Division.  DOF recently began assisting Parks in the creation of commercial logging plans for park lands.  These plans include clear-cuts.  High volume horizontal fracking has not yet occurred in Ohio’s state forests.