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Gas drilling to begin at Hereford Manor Lakes

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License buttons

Buttons are making a comeback of sorts.

Prior to 1948, Pennsylvania fishing licenses were issued in the form of buttons that anglers could pin to a hat or vest. In the decades since, they've been printed on paper.

Starting early in 2014, though, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is going to offer license buttons again.

Anglers would first have to buy a paper license, and carry it around in a wallet or pocket in case a waterways conservation officer wanted to see it. But they'll also have the option to buy a license button, complete with their individual CID number, that they could wear.

Anglers will order the buttons when they purchase their license. A vendor will ship it directly to them within a week or two, said Bernie Matscavage, director of the commission's bureau of administration.

No price for the buttons has been set yet, as bids are still being sought, but the commission is not “looking to make a slew of money on this,” he said. A public vote of fishermen will determine what color the first button should be.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, 8:33 p.m.
 

ERIE — Hereford Manor Lakes is misnamed and likely will remain that way for a while.

The property in Franklin Township, Beaver County, doesn't have any lakes on it.

There were two as recently as 2011, and they were among the most popular places in the state for anglers on the opening day of trout season. But the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission drained the lakes when they were deemed to be high-hazard, unsafe dams. They remain empty.

That likely will remain the case into the near future even though the commission is about to make some money from the site.

Commission deputy director Brian Barner told board members Monday the agency is set to enter into an agreement that will allow Alberta Oil and Gas Co. to drill under the property.

The lease — the commission's fifth of its kind — is a nonsurface use deal, meaning Alberta can't drill or build well pads on the property, commission executive director John Arway said. Alberta will drill from adjacent lands and run lateral lines underground, he said.

The commission will get a one-time upfront payment of $1.346 million as well as a $224,250 “conservation donation.” It also will earn 18 percent royalties on the oil and gas mined.

How much those royalties might bring depends on how much gas is found and what price it goes for, Barner said.

All of the money — plus the $5.2 million the commission has earned from its other deals — will be put into a fund earmarked for repairing high-hazard dams.

Money generated at one lake does not necessarily have to be spent there, Barner said. The commission has nine lakes that either have been drained, lowered or are one bad inspection away from either.

The idea has been to repair them based on a variety of factors from cost to priority, Barner said.

The cost of building one lake at Hereford Manor has been estimated at $12 to $15 million, Barner said. That makes it the most expensive project of its kind statewide and likely ensures its “lakes” will sit empty for a while.

“The amount of money this would generate would not be enough to fix that facility anyway,” Barner said.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bfrye@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

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