Natural Gas Development and State Forests

DCNR is charged with managing the state forest system for many uses and values—including natural gas development—all while protecting its ecological integrity and wild character. Since 1947, DCNR has overseen controlled natural gas extraction on state forest lands. Recently, the discovery of Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania has generated significant interest in the state forest system for developing natural gas resources. Approximately 1.5 million acres of the 2.2 million-acre state forest system are underlain by Marcellus and other shale gas formations, making it a key venue for developing this important energy source in Pennsylvania. DCNR is committed to managing natural gas development in way that ensures long-term forest health and its third-party “well-managed” certification.


Policy and Guidelines

Learn more about DCNR's balanced approach to natural gas development, best management practices and guidance documents. 

Gas Mapping


Managing Impacts

DCNR manages state forests for many different uses, including natural gas extraction. The department works to manage the effects to the environment before, during and after drilling occurs.



Shale Gas Infrastructure Map

View oil/gas ownership, pipelines, pads, impoundments and more on State Forest land using this interactive map.


Shale Gas Monitoring

DCNR has established a shale-gas monitoring program to evaluate and report on impacts of shale-gas development to the state forest system.



Natural Gas Development, Public Access and Recreation

Download this fact sheet about natural gas development and its effects on recreation and public access.

Canoes on the bank of Susquehanna River

Shale Gas and Publicly Owned Waterways

In Pennsylvania, the beds and subsurface rights of waterways such as rivers, creeks and lakes that are considered to be navigable are publicly owned.



Natural Gas Advisory Committee

The NGAC advises DCNR regarding natural gas management consistent with the agency's mission.

Lease Map


Shale Gas Leasing Statistics

Download a fact sheet about state forest shale gas leasing statistics. View a map of state forest areas leased for natural gas development. 



Loyalsock State Forest and the Clarence Moore Lands

Find information about the Clarence Moore Lands in the Loyalsock State Forest. Get the fact sheet here, view the latest presentation here and review a public comment summary.


Information about Act 13

Act 13 of 2012 provides for a drilling impact fee administered by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.