The letter from the Sierra Club to the National Park Service asking the federal government to use a provision of the Land and Water Conservation Act to stop drilling on public lands that received federal dollars for conservation is the leading edge of a hurricane if drilling takes place in state parks where it has never been done.
Legal or not, drilling in state parks is a bad idea. Parks are special places and every Pennsylvanian feels protective of them. Anybody who threatens to harm a state park will be about as popular as Typhoid Mary.
Gas drilling in state parks is also unnecessary, because millions of acres of private lands have been leased, with owners eager for drilling to take place. Moreover, one-third of the state forests, or about 700,000 acres have been leased for drilling, with a moratorium on further leasing by executive order still in place.
Drilling in the state forests has been taking place for decades and the lease required by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is strong and protective. But drilling in parks has never been done.
The gas industry should avoid state parks and focus on private lands where their investment is wanted.