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At Annual Gala, Olmsted Honors Pro-Fracking Lawyer

Former Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy board chair David J. Colligan is being honored at the 10th annual Frederick Law Olmsted (FLO) Gala on Friday, July 13. In a press release, Thomas Herrera-Mishler, president and CEO for the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, is quoted: “We are deeply appreciative of David’s dedication to the parks and to this community. The impact of both his knowledge and his hard work will be evident in the parks and beyond for many, many years.”

Colligan also served as a co-chair of Re-Tree WNY, and is currently a board member of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, and chairman of ECHDC’s Outer Harbor Development Committee.

Those are Colligan’s civic pursuits. Now let’s look at his day job. As a partner at Watson Bennett Colligan & Schecter LLP, he handles business related to oil and gas leasing, and has hosted a pro-fracking blog ( for the past several months.

In May, Colligan spoke optimistically on the future of fracking in New York State in a Business First article: “I think there’s a very good chance that we could be drilling the Marcellus here in New York by year-end.” (On May 31, we sent Colligan an email asking why he thinks “there’s a very good chance that we could be drilling the Marcellus here in New York by year-end.” He did not respond.) He’ll be speaking at the Cornell University Cooperative Extension’s Landowner Liability Workshop on Saturday, September 29.

With his experience in timber law, Colligan is also well suited to advise clients looking to sell their trees to clear space for the many work roads, pipelines, and well pads that will need to be constructed if New York lifts its current moratorium on high-volume horizontal fracking.

This year’s swank FLO Gala is dubbed “One Golden Evening.” Guests will enjoy a memorable evening with cocktails, a gourmet dinner prepared by Magnolia Events, classic car rides, live musical entertainment by the Buffalo Swing and an exciting auction. The evening will be capped by a beautiful fireworks display, according to the press release. Watson Bennett Attorneys are listed as a sponsor of the event. Tickets are $175 per person.

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