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How it all started...

A while back, a land man came into my home and stuck three pieces of paper in my hand. He said “sign these, you will make money”. I started to read the papers. I guess he did not want me to do that because he kept telling me that it was not necessary because hundreds of people had signed the same thing. I make it a point and so should you to NEVER SIGN ANYTHING without reading it and understanding what I am reading. So I said “There are two leases here, which one do I sign”. He said with a hand on my shoulder looking into my eyes “sign them both so we will take a bit from that one and add it to this one and that will be the lease which will make you rich. I will take care of everything”. I said, “Get your hand off my shoulder and get out of my house. The only thing that will be real is my name on that piece of paper giving your company everything. You will probably be in Florida while I suffocate having a gas well 50 feet from my house”. So I did the only thing I could, I threw him out of my house, He left and then proceeded to call me eight times to see whether or not I changed my mind.
I got the feeling and still have the feeling that he thought that I was a hillbilly who never even learned how to read. Boy did I get angry. Anger is the first step to wanting to do something either positive or negative. I chose the positive. I spoke to several neighbors and we decided to have a meeting at my house and discuss the issues. None of us knew anything about Natural gas so we remembered a lawyer who spoke about these things years ago. As luck would have it, he was speaking in Binghamton that very night.. His name, Christopher Denton The meeting was a revelation so as quickly as I could I asked him if he could represent our small group, he said yes and so it begun.
We are a wonderful and tight community here with more good qualities then I have ever encountered anywhere else, I am proud to be apart of it and so being a product of the 1960’s, the old fight came back. Something in me felt that I had to make sure that other people who did not know how to protect themselves could have a choice and be given all the information so that they could make a choice that was good for them. Not for the gas companies. We started with 1200 acres in total and because one member told the other who told the other, we are now 50,000 acres strong and still growing. We are a force to be reckoned with, we will negotiate with the giants as a giant. I am no longer alone nor should you be. We can get what we need to have a good life here and not give away probably one of the greatest fuel finds in history.
It is our last chance to make our community strong and wonderful again. There is no other chance left. This, we owe to ourselves, our children, and our children’s children……
Richard Lasky,Founding President, CNY Land Coalition. 

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There are 194,500 acres represented in the Coalition as of 8/18/2010. The latest gas offers in New York State are $3000/acre with 20% royalties.

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