Thompson Divide and Roan Plateau meetings

thompson divide aerial

Thompson Divide public meeting

Come to the Pitkin County Commissioners public meeting about the Thompson Divide!
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
6:00 p.m.
Carbondale Town Hall
511 Colorado Avenue

We need a full house to tell the Commissioners:  No drilling in the Thompson Divide – we want the leases to expire!

Drilling on the Roan Plateau

Drilling on the Roan Plateau

Roan Plateau

From Wilderness Workshop Staff Attorney Peter Hart

Well, when it rains it pours: in the midst of efforts to protect the Thompson Divide from gas development, we have a chance to get ahead of the game by influencing a leasing plan proposed for another of Colorado’s spectacular landscapes, the Roan Plateau.

Last summer, in response to a lawsuit brought by WW and nine other conservation groups, a federal judge ordered the BLM to undertake a new oil and gas leasing plan for the Roan Plateau. Now BLM is doing just that, and is looking for public comment at two meetings next week.

If it were up to the oil and gas industry, the Roan would be home to more than 3,000 oil and gas wells. The BLM has acknowledged that drilling the plateau would cause permanent and irreversible losses to native trout populations and rare plant species, and also that wilderness-quality lands and opportunities for backcountry recreation would be permanently destroyed.

Will you attend one of next week’s hearings to speak out for the Roan? If so, it would be helpful if you could RSVP to our partners at EarthJustice at: action@earthjustice.org

The more people who show up, the clearer it will be to officials that they need to protect this one-of-a-kind area. Every voice is important!

Here are the details for the two events:

SILT: Wednesday, February 27
4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Colorado River Valley Field Office
2300 River Frontage Road
Silt, CO 81652

GRAND JUNCTION: Thursday, February 28
4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Clarion Inn
755 Horizon Drive
Grand Junction, CO 81506

If you are able to attend, below are some suggested points to make at the meetings.

  • The Roan is a jewel of Colorado’s public lands. The Bureau of Land Management and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program have ranked the Roan as one of the four most biologically rich places in the state — and the other three are already part of the National Park System. The Roan deserves similar protection.
  • The Bush administration plan would have turned the Roan into an industrial zone. The original environmental review admitted that it would cause permanent and irreparable harm there. The BLM should scrap the Bush administration approach and develop a plan that truly protects the Roan.
  • We don’t need to sacrifice the Roan to have a robust energy development program on federal lands. Even without the Roan, there are 4.2 million acres of federal lands leased for oil and gas development in Colorado, and fully 65 percent of those leases have not been put into production by the companies that hold them.
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