Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
Richard Allan at a public hearing in Williamsport.
(Harrisburg) -- Governor Tom Corbett says his secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has resigned at his request, but the reasons for the change were not immediately disclosed.
The 60-year-old Richard Allan has led the agency since shortly after the first-term Republican governor took office in early 2011.
DCNR has come under increasing public scrutiny over plans to expand natural gas drilling in the Loyalsock State Forest. Allan was confronted by more than 400 opponents of the proposal at a contentious public meeting in Williamsport last week.
The plans involve 26 well pads, and four compressor stations over a 25,000 acre swath of state forest, known as the Clarence Moore lands.
Although the Commonwealth controls the surface rights on about 18,000 acres, Anadarko Petroleum, along with Southwestern Energy Corporation, can exercise surface control on about 7,000 acres in the Loyalsock. Some of that land is considered the most sensitive.
Some opponents wanted DCNR to use their control over the 18,000 acres as leverage to keep Anadarko off the most sensitive parts of the forest.
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