AEP Sells Leasing Rights To Land Underneath “The Wilds”

"The Wilds" in eastern Ohio is North America's largest conservation facility.(Photo: J. Stephen Conn (Flickr))
"The Wilds" in eastern Ohio is North America's largest conservation facility.(Photo: J. Stephen Conn (Flickr))

The expected boom in natural gas drilling could extend to The Wilds, an eastern Ohio exotic animal preserve operated by the Columbus Zoo.

The nearly 10,000 acre park on reclaimed mine land has some traditional gas wells but none that use a process where chemical-laced water is blasted into shale to release natural gas.

The Columbus Dispatch reports American Electric Power leased mineral rights below the preserve to a Texas-based oil company last year.

The leasing was part of a bigger deal giving Texas-based Anadarko access to 150,000 acres of AEP-owned mineral rights in eastern Ohio.

The Columbus Zoo was reportedly not aware the lease had been signed, while AEP and Anadarko say precautions will be taken to protect animals and visitors.

The Wilds

Comments
  • Karla

    Generally, I have been impressed with AEP’s role in environmental and societal interests, but I can see NO good coming from this lease. The fact that they did this without the zoo’s knowledge speaks volumes. Unless there is a very strict contract with this company, how can AEP possibly control what is done on that land, and would AEP even try?