Couple fighting oil, gas development in game area

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A southwestern Michigan couple is suing the federal government over a planned lease of oil and gas development rights in the Allegan State Game Area.

John Davis Jr. and Marybeth Pritschet-Davis filed their lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.

They say the Bureau of Land Management plans to auction 27,302 acres of subsurface mineral rights in the Allegan game area Sept. 12. The area hosts a number of endangered and threatened species and also features trout streams, lakes and wetlands.

The Davises say they fear the agency will allow companies to conduct hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a controversial method of developing natural gas in deep-rock deposits.

An advocacy group called the Center for Biological Diversity is supporting the suit.

Messages seeking comment were left with BLM officials.

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