JULY 6, 2015 – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials have confirmed that another parcel of privately owned real estate in McKean County has been acquired by the agency and added to the state game lands system. The 290 acres now come off the tax rolls of Smethport Area School District, Hamlin Township and McKean County. This on top of the 184 adjacent acres acquired by the PGC in the same area two years ago.
Here’s how the deal unfolded:
With the state legislature perennially refusing to allow the PGC to increase hunting license fees, the agency has continued to lease out its property for shale gas development to generate operating revenue. Last month, PGC gave Seneca Resources rights to drill and harvest gas on 2,107 acres of State Game Lands 25 in Jones Township in Elk County. The agency will get a $2.8 million bonus payment as well as 15-percent royalties on gas produced.
Seneca also agreed to transfer to the Game Commission a 290-acre tract of land in Hamlin Township, McKean County, and surrender the remaining eight years of a 10-year timber reservation on a 184-acre tract previously conveyed to the PGC in Hamlin Township.