11-7-8-arts

Solomon's words for the wise: ACREAGE TO BE ADDED TO STATE …

Game lands in Cumberland, Lehigh, Northampton and Washington counties to grow.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved two land acquisitions that will add more than 40 acres to state game lands in Cumberland and Lehigh counties.

The board also accepted the donation of an 11-acre tract in Northampton County, and approved another deal that will add nearly 24 acres to game lands in Washington County.

The acquisition in Silver Spring Township, Cumberland County, totals about 18.6 acres to be added to State Game Lands 170. Central Pennsylvania Conservancy offered the land at an option price of $400 per acre, to be paid with money from the Game Fund.

The property is forested with red maple, tulip poplar, and red and white oaks, with sassafras and witch-hazel in the understory.

Public access is from the existing game lands.

Additionally, the board approved the purchase of about 22 acres adjoining State Game Lands 217 in Washington Township, Lehigh County. Wildlands Conservancy Inc.

offered the land at an option price is $400 per acre, to be paid with money from the Game Fund.

The property is forested with mixed oaks, beech, hickory and maple.

Public access is from existing game lands.

Wildlands Conservancy Inc. also donated the 11 acres to be added to State Game Lands 168, in Moore Township, Northampton County.

The tract adjoins a detached tract of State Game Lands 168, and connects that tract to a larger parcel of the game lands. The property is forested with mixed hardwoods and has a small rock outcrop.

Public access is from Smith Gap Road, which bisects the property.

Finally, the board approved a deal that will add about 23.7 acres within the interior of State Game Lands 232.

The land in Donegal Township, Washington County, currently is owned by Mule Tracts LLC, and was offered by MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources LLC.

The land is in exchange for habitat and surface damages associated with nine previously executed right-of-way licenses, and a pending license, for natural gas pipelines on State Game Lands 117, 232 and 245.

As part of the deal, MarkWest will continue to pay the Game Commission s standard, annual license fees for all licenses, so long as those licenses remain active.

The property being offered primarily is mixed hardwood forest, with some interspersed shrubland in the lower elevations.

Dog Run and two unnamed tributaries all designated High-Quality Warm Water Fisheries flow through the property.

Acquisition of this property will secure a critical interior, eliminate safety-zone concerns associated with future development and reduce future boundary-line maintenance.

Public access is from Dog Run Road, which lines a portion of the western boundary.

ENERGY LEASES ADD MORE THAN $1.6 MILLION TO GAME FUND

Leases approved in Greene and Fayette counties.

The Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today approved three energy leases that immediately will add more than $1.6 million to the Game Fund.

Two of the leases are in Greene County.

Vantage Energy Appalachia II LLC, of Englewood, Colo., requested the Game Commission offer its oil and gas rights under a portion of State Game Lands 223 for non-surface use development.

The proposed tract contains about 114 acres and is located in Perry Township, Greene County.

Vantage has a strong, privately owned oil/gas lease position surrounding State Game Lands 223, and has initiated unconventional well drilling and development activity in the vicinity of the proposed tract.

Vantage also has the ability to unitize and develop the commission s oil and gas reserves under the proposed tract by horizontal drilling with no surface use or disturbance to the game lands.

Game Commission staff negotiated the proposed terms of the agreement with Vantage in an effort to prudently develop the commission s oil/gas reserve, as well as simultaneously protect the wildlife resources and recreational use of State Game Lands 223.

The terms of the agreement are a three-year paid up non-surface use oil and gas agreement, a $3,000 per net oil/gas acre bonus payment and 18 percent royalty for all oil, gas and other liquids or condensates produced and sold from the proposed tract.

The bonus payment of approximately $342,300 may be deposited either into the Game Fund or into an interest-bearing escrow account to be used for the future purchase of wildlife habitats, lands or other uses incidental to hunting, furtaking and wildlife-resource management. Future rentals and royalties owed the Game Commission shall be directly deposited into the Game Fund.

Oil and gas development will be regulated by the Commonwealth s Oil and Gas Regulations and the Commission s Standard Non-Surface Use Oil and Gas Cooperative Agreement.

The second lease approved in Greene County is in Greene Township, and also is associated with State Game Lands 223.

Chevron Appalachia LLC, of Coraopolis, Pa, requested the Game Commission offer its oil/gas rights under a portion of the game lands for non-surface use development.

The proposed tract contains nearly 214 acres.

Chevron has a strong, privately owned oil/gas lease position surrounding State Game Lands 223, and has initiated unconventional well drilling and development in the vicinity of the proposed tract.

Chevron also has the ability to unitize and develop the commission s oil/gas reserve under the proposed tract by horizontal drilling with no surface use or disturbance to the game lands.

Game Commission staff has negotiated the proposed terms of the agreement with Chevron in an effort to prudently develop the Commission s oil/gas reserve, as well as simultaneously protect the wildlife resources and recreational use of State Game Lands 223.

The terms of the agreement are a four-year paid up Non-Surface Use Oil and Gas Agreement, a $3,000 per net oil and gas acre bonus payment and 18 percent royalty for all oil, gas and other liquids or condensates produced and sold from the proposed tract. The bonus payment of approximately $641,100 may be deposited either into the Game Fund or into an interest-bearing escrow account to be used for the future purchase of wildlife habitats, lands or other uses incidental to hunting, furtaking and wildlife resource management.

Future rentals and royalties owed the Game Commission shall be directly deposited into the Game Fund.

Oil and gas development will be regulated by the Commonwealth s Oil and Gas Regulations and the Commission s Standard Non-Surface Use Oil and Gas Cooperative Agreement.

Chevron Appalachia LLC also was approved to lease the oil and gas rights under about 215 acres of State Game Lands 238 in German Township, Fayette County.

Chevron has acquired private leases on the remaining 562 acres of State Game Lands 238 and has the right to use the Game Commission s surface lands to access and develop the privately held oil and gas rights.

Additionally, Chevron maintains a strong lease position on private lands immediately adjacent to State Game Lands 238, and has already drilled several horizontal wells in the immediate vicinity of the game lands.

The terms of the agreement are a five-year paid, Restricted Surface-Use Oil and Gas Agreement, a $3,000 per net oil and gas acre bonus payment and 18 percent royalty for all oil, gas and other liquids or condensates produced and sold from the proposed tract.

The bonus payment of approximately $645,000 shall be deposited into the Game Fund or into an interest-bearing escrow account for the future purchase of wildlife habitats, lands or other uses incidental to hunting, furtaking and wildlife-resource management.

Future rentals and royalties owed to the Game Commission also shall be deposited into the Game Fund.

Oil and gas development will be regulated by the Commonwealth s Oil and Gas Regulations and the Game Commission s Standard Restricted Surface Use Oil and Gas Cooperative Agreement.