SE Ohio Alliance Encourages Land Conservation, Economic Growth

By
Morgan Lentes

Dateline
Updated Fri, Apr 6, 2012 8:03 am

The Appalachian region is known for its abundance of beautiful land.

And the Appalachia Ohio Alliance (AOA) is an organization aiming to conserve that land, while also promoting economic growth in the area.
 
Steve Fleegal is one of the leaders of the group.
 
He says one way to do this is through conservation agreements with private landowners.
 
"The private landowner would agree not to do certain things to the property such as develop the property or have limited development rights to the property," said Fleegal.
 
Fleegal says a goal of theirs is to create a greater eco-tourism industry in the area.  
 
Some argue fracking could be a threat to that industry though.
 
But Fleegal says the AOA is still looking into that issue.
 
"We are taking a relatively neutral stance in that we have people that have contracted us who are against fracking and do not want to frack and conserve their land," said Fleegal. "And we also have people who are interested and have told us they have fracking agreements and have leases on their property that would conserve the land."
 
Fleegal says his group's main goal is to preserve the scenic beauty in the area.
 
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