There is a critical misstatement in your recent article on drilling in the Loyalsock State Forest (“Rock Run drilling still a big question,” March 24).

The article suggested that the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) “cannot prohibit” Anadarko Petroleum from using the state-owned surface of the “Clarence Moore” lands in the Loyalsock State Forest. This is not true. Even though Anadarko owns the oil and gas under these tracts, an unusual deed provision gives the DCNR the power to deny Anadarko access to almost 19,000 acres of these lands. The Clarence Moore lands include natural and recreational resources of statewide importance, including the Old Loggers Path and the Devils Elbow Natural Area. The DCNR has a legal duty to conserve and enhance these irreplaceable public lands for the benefit of all Pennsylvanians and the DCNR’s deed gives the DCNR an extraordinary opportunity to do so.

Since last September, PennFuture, along with the Williamsport-based RDA and several other groups, have sought a public dialogue with the DCNR about possible gas development in the Clarence Moore lands. We look forward to a wider dialogue including all members of the public.

Mark Szybist

Staff Attorney, PennFuture


Submitted by E-Mail