Fracking on Public Lands | Food & Water Watch
Victory! Farm Bureau case challenging EPA’s right to share factory farm data dismissed. more wins »

Stay Informed

Sign up for email to learn how you can protect food and water in your community.

   Please leave this field empty

Food & Water Watch provided skilled activists to help us organize and amplify our voices against fracking in Monterey County, California. Their presence brought added credibility and effectiveness in educating and activating local residents to preserve our precious agriculture and water resources. Food & Water Watch understands that on-the-ground grassroots organizing is essential to success.  
Luana Conley

Fracking on Public Lands

Our U.S. national forests and public lands are among our most treasured places – and they are getting fracked.
Public lands are for people, not for corporate profit


Despite widespread public opposition, the Obama administration allows fracking on many of our federal public lands, including national forests and lands around national parks. But fracking isn’t safe: it puts our parks and nearby communities at serious risk of drinking water contamination, as well as worsening climate change. Fracking shouldn’t be allowed anywhere, never mind on our fragile public lands.

Find out which lands and parks are most at risk from fracking, then tell your members of Congress to put a stop to fracking on public lands.

How Fracking Hurts Our Parks

Fracking is already damaging our public lands. Many of us cherish these places for spending time outdoors and creating family memories. But oil and gas companies see them as resources to exploit. When fracking arrives on our public lands,

  • It worsens climate change. President Obama claims he wants to protect future generations from climate change, but he still supports fracking.
  • It contaminates the water, including drinking water and nearby rivers, which can spread pollution to national parks and nearby communities.
  • It pollutes the air, causing health risks for visitors and residents as well as decreased visibility in the parks.
  • It hurts tourism in nearby towns whose economies depend on it.

To make matters worse, reports have shown that existing fracking wells on public lands aren’t being adequately inspected, creating even more potential for disastrous accidents. Learn more about the effects of fracking on specific parks.

The Fight to Ban Fracking on Public Lands

Map of public lands at risk from fracking

Which public lands are at risk from fracking? Check the interactive map to find out.

In March 2015, despite receiving 650,000 public comments from people in favor of a ban on fracking on public lands, President Obama’s Bureau of Land Management – an agency whose mission is “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations” – finalized weak new rules for drilling and fracking on federal lands that will not protect these lands from damage.

These rules have prompted great outcry from the public demanding protection for our public lands – many of which are near and dear to people’s hearts. Food & Water Watch and our partners are calling on Congress for an immediate ban on fracking on public lands, which is the only way to truly protect these treasured places, many of which are already being fracked. Join us in telling Congress to pass a ban on fracking on public lands. Join us in telling Congress to pass a ban on fracking on public lands.