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The Associated Press April 21, 2011, 2:10PM ET

Groups protest use of Ohio parks for drilling

An environmental coalition is protesting a proposal backed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich to open state lands to natural gas drilling.

The Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, Ohio Environmental Council and others held events Thursday at eight state parks they want declared "frack-free" zones. The parks would be off limits to the process called fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, which involves blasting chemical-laced water into the ground to get to gas deposits.

Kasich wore hiking shoes, a bomber jacket and jeans to an unrelated news conference Thursday. He said he was headed to visit a possible fracking site in northern Ohio.

Proposed legislation would open state forests, parks and wildlife areas to drilling, reaping an estimated $9 million in lease revenue for the state.

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