—Action Alert—


Action Alert: Opportunity to Respond to recent Public Notice on Oil and Gas Leasing of State-Owned Lands in Allegan County

A notice appeared in the Allegan County News recently. It is the first time we have seen any such notice seeking comment from the general public concerning proposed oil and gas auctions. Therefore, we urge you to write a comment expressing disapproval of the new oil and gas lease sales in the Allegan State Game Area scheduled for October of this year.

Comments must be received no later than Tuesday, Sept 8, 2015, mailed to the MDNR, Office of Minerals Management, P. O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909-7952.

Map from USGS

MNDR – Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ASGA – Allegan State Game Area

Following are some points, some or all of which you may want to include in your comment, as to why further lease sales are inappropriate in the Allegan State Game Area:

– The Allegan State Game Area is already heavily leased both by federal and state authorities.
– More than 800 private human drinking water wells are located in and around the ASGA.
– It provides important habitat for federally-listed endangered species and for at least 46 additional plant, bird, reptile and insect species under stress because of insufficient habitat, and are included on state and federal lists as threatened or species of concern.
– The State of Michigan designated the lower Kalamazoo River that runs through the ASGA and one of its tributaries, Swan Creek, as “Natural Rivers”, and, historically, the MDNR requires wholly inadequate setbacks or other protections for waterways in development areas.
– The abundance of flora and fauna in the ASGA is due to its currently undisturbed nature and to the diversity and abundance of surface water features which include nine lakes, trout streams, creeks, significant and profuse open vegetated wetlands, numerous springs, vernal pools and wet woods.
– The ASGA contains three wildlife sanctuaries where human access is prohibited.
– Oil and gas development will adversely impact wildlife and other natural resource values.
– Oil and gas development that utilizes hydraulic fracturing requires the use of many hazardous substances which may reach water by various pathways, including surface spills, casing failure and blow-outs, among others.
– Significant air pollution is necessarily associated with oil and gas development.
– Fragmentation of the forest will result from the network of roads, pipelines, gathering lines and other infrastructure needed to service drill pads which will degrade the natural values currently existing intact in the ASGA.
– Unacceptable levels of noise and vibration along with banks of high intensity lighting will disrupt bird nesting and other wildlife needs and values.

Photo of ASGA from MLive.com

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