Phila. Inquirer raises more questions about the firing of the highly regarded chief of PA. State Parks.
"But former Director Norbeck also told the newspaper he had opposed requests by Butler-based Amerikohl Mining Inc., to mine limestone beneath Laurel Ridge State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania's Somerset County and objected to discussion by DCNR's deputy secretary for parks and forestry, Ellen Ferretti, about allowing commercial timbering operations in state parks.
John Stilley, Amerikohl's chief executive officer, told the Post-Gazette that the company had approached DCNR about allowing mining of the Loyalhanna limestone seam. Amerikohl's operates Jim Mountain Quarry, an all-surface operation that is within 300 feet of the park boundary.
"The limestone belongs to the state park but we made an informal request to see if we can generate some income for the park," Stilley said. Stilley and his family have contributed more than $32,000 to Corbett's campaigns for governor and attorney general, but he told the Post-Gazette that he is not trying to exert political influence."
Corbett yesterday issued a statement that he is not currently proposing any new leases for fracking within State Parks. He didn't say he cared about the Parks, but instead didn't see a need because there is an excess of gas wells in the current market. He said if they did more leases on State land, the State "would be competing against ourselves" because they have already leased hundreds of thousands of acres for fracking. Of course, that policy could change in a second if natural gas prices rise again.
I don't see why anyone needs state parks anyway. Why don't they just go to their Country Club if they want to see some trees?
but, oh god, I could hear Corbett saying something like that.
I think that there is definitely an agenda in the Corbett administration to open state parks to businesses. There is no other reason to have fired Norbeck. He has been there a long time and has not changed his way of managing the parks, so there has to be something else going on.
Watch Amerikohl to see what happens there and you will know the reason.