Ask Evan: “What happens to the natural gas royalties on State Game Lands?”

This week's 'Ask Evan question comes from Tim G.  He asks, "Evan, I as well as many other sportsman would like to know what the PA State Game Comm. does with all the natural gas royalties from the wells that are sitting on state game lands?"

Here's what the Game Commission spokesman told me.  All natural-gas royalties received by the Pennsylvania Game Commission are deposited into the game fund, which is the agency`s general fund. That money then is used as revenue to fund the agency. The Game Commission also has purchased new lands through the one-time bonus payments energy companies pay per acre impacted when they sign agreements to develop oil, gas and minerals. These purchases are intended to offset the temporarily lost opportunities to hunt and trap on game lands where energy development is occupying grounds. Oil, gas and mineral royalties added nearly $29 million to the game fund in 2015-16.  It`s a critical source of funding, especially given that hunting and furtaker license fees haven`t once been adjusted for inflation in nearly two decades. The $29 million in royalties realized in 2015-16 is the product of 171 unconventional shale gas wells and 397 shallow gas wells, plus royalties from oil, coal and other mineral-development agreements. The bonus payments from Marcellus shale oil and gas development agreements have been used to purchase approximately 28,300 acres of additional game lands to offset temporary losses of use on others.

If you have questions you'd like to ask send me an email at askevan@fox43.com  Put "Ask Evan" in the subject line, or reach out to me on my Facebook page.. Evan Forrester FOX43-- and whatever the topic I'll do my best to track down answers you are looking for.