Thompson Reintroduces Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act

May 9, 2017 Issues: Allegheny National Forest

Reinforces Federal Rulings Ensuring Access and Production in the Allegheny National Forest  

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson recently reintroduced a bill that will ensure the rights of private mineral owners in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF). 

The Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act of 2017 seeks to reinforce in federal law the consistent rulings of federal courts related to privately held mineral rights in the ANF. Since 2009, federal courts have determined that the U.S. Forest Service lacks the legal authority to further regulate access to private mineral rights in the ANF and therefore is prohibited from creating new rules.   This bill will reflect those findings in federal law. 

In 2016, the legislation was passed by the House Natural Resources Committee with no objection and by the full House with strong bipartisan support. Upon passage by the House, the legislation stalled in the U.S. Senate before the conclusion of the 114th Congress.

“This legislation reaffirms nearly a century of cooperation between the owners of private mineral rights in northwestern Pennsylvania and the federal government,” said Thompson, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee. “Despite repeated attempts by extreme environmental groups to shut down energy production in the Allegheny National Forest, the legislation will provide certainty and protect the jobs and communities that rely on the Forest’s resources.”

The Allegheny National Forest covers more than 500,000 acres in northwestern Pennsylvania and is located in Elk, Forest, McKean and Warren counties.