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ATEX Pipeline at Blackhand Gorge

posted Feb 20, 2013, 9:06 PM by Lucas Hardbarger
Today the Friends of Blackhand Gorge (Founding Member Bill Weaver and Board of Directors President Trevor Binckley) in cooperation with Licking County Commissioner Daune Flowers and Licking County Planning Commission Director Gerald Newton attempted to seek out answers to questions regarding the recent pipeline activity in the vicinity of Blackhand Gorge. 

The most recent plat map dated January 2013 was reviewed and seems to show that the area in question to be on private property. A plat map dated November 2012 was also reviewed and seems to show the portion of the bike path in question is owned by the State of Ohio. Obviously the first question that needs to be answered is who owns the property in question where the trees have been cleared and goes across the bike path and what transpired between November 2012 and January 2013 resulting in the change of ownership. We had a telephone conference with ODNR Deputy Director Glenn Cobb, Deputy Chief Bob Combow and four other members of ODNR divisions. Mr. Cobb informed us that ODNR did not authorize any clearing of trees on Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve and that they were made aware of activities in the vicinity of Blackhand Gorge and immediately had personnel on site Tuesday, February 19th investigating. 

At this time ODNR is investigating the clearing of the trees and the ownership of the property in question, and is therefore is unable to elaborate until all facts are gathered. Mr. Cobb affirms ODNRs partnership with The Friends of Blackhand Gorge. Mr. Cobb will be in contact with the group when more information is available and has asked that all questions regarding the pipeline activity on Blackhand Gorge be directed to ODNR.

Additionally today, immediately following our telephone conference with ODNR, we met with ATEX pipeline representatives to discuss our concerns. It is the pipelines belief that the area in question is privately owned and that they have received appropriate easement from the property owner but will be in contact with ODNR to work with them in an effort to resolve any property ownership issues. The pipeline representatives expressed their interest in connecting with the Friends of Blackhand Gorge and will be in conversation with the group to minimize the impact of the pipeline on the Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve.

Trevor Binckley
President, Friends of Blackhand Gorge