There’s a small army of citizen scientists in the North Fork Valley. Residents in the Paonia area are donning special backpacks for twenty-four hours at a time, to collect real time data for scientific study of air pollution. The aim is to measure what might be getting into the air from nearby oil and gas wells.
In the North Fork Valley, Wednesday morning began with the surprising news that the BLM removed all of the North Fork land parcels from the February 14 oil and gas lease sale. KVNF's Marty Durlin hit the streets of Paonia to record public reaction to this decision.
“We’ve listened to concerns raised in numerous comments and public meetings and we are responding by deferring the North Fork Valley parcels at this time,” said Colorado State Director Helen Hankins. “We are addressing the deferred parcels through continued dialogue with the local community and with ongoing planning efforts in the Uncompahgre Field Office.
KVNF’s Marty Durlin interviewed BLM spokesperson Steven Hall, a Hotchkiss native, about the decision. He was speaking on his cell phone from an airport, and began by stressing that the parcels were not deferred because the the agency’s 20-year-old Resource Management Plan is inadequate. Hear that interview below: