The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service has announced a new plan to protect the greater sage grouse from extinction, while hoping to prevent the bird from being added to the endangered species list.
The sage grouse population has dropped from 16 million birds to less than half a million, mainly due to lost sagebrush habitat. The bird's range spans 11 western states including Colorado.
"As land managers of two-thirds of greater sage grouse habitat, we have a responsibility to take action that ensures a bright future for wildlife and a thriving western economy," said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell at the announcement in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 7:31 am
Browns Canyon in Chaffee County will be designated a National Monument by President Obama on Thursday.
Conservationists, community leaders and businesses are praising the move, which comes after years of work to secure the designation. It covers a 22,000-acre stretch of public land along the Arkansas River between Buena Vista and Salida known for recreational opportunities.
The public comment period for the Bull Mountain Unit, a proposed development of 146 gas wells in Gunnison County just north of the Paonia Reservoir, has been extended. The initial 45 day period has been doubled to 90, meaning the BLM is open to comment on their Environmental Impact Statement now until April 16th. A public meeting about the EIS is scheduled for Feb. 10 at the Paonia High School.
Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 3:25 pm
The Bureau of Land Management, environmentalists, and the energy industry have reached an agreement on a proposal to drill for oil and gas on the Roan Plateau. The new plan cancels 17 out of 19 oil and gas leases that were issued in 2008. Two previous leases at the top of the plateau, and a dozen at the base will remain in place.
"These measures allow us to protect the plateau but harness some of the energy resources," said Governor John Hickenlooper.
Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 12:00 pm
Natural Gas drilling in an area near Carbondale known as the Thompson Divide is still a possibility, despite protest from many local residents. The group trying to stop it is hopeful a Forest Service plan, due out later this summer, will prevent future drilling.
The Bureau of Land Management has wrapped up its comment period about the leases under question in the White River National Forest.
The BLM is currently running an Environmental Impact Study on some existing oil and gas leases, leases they’ve already given out.
"The BLM is looking at 65 existing leases on the White River National Forest," said David Boyd, a BLM spokesman. "BLM either needs to adopt the Forest Service analysis, or do our own. Back in '93, we did not do either of those, so we're we're doing this Environmental Impact Study now to address that."
Just weeks after the Bureau of Land Management announced it would consider some community-developed ideas for managing public lands in the agency's Uncompaghre region, concerned citizens and stakeholders from the North Fork Valley met with Delta County Commissioners in Delta.