North Fork residents Jim Ramey, Alexis Halbert and Ty Gilespie discuss their recent trip to Washington DC. They were part of the delegation that met with officials about the North Fork Alternative plan, a community-based plan which aims to protect North Fork’s public lands from oil and gas development.
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.
The fight to keep negative impacts of gas drilling out of the North Fork Valley got a boost as community members got a glimpse of the area from a higher plane. On Monday The Western Slope Conservation Center and Eco-Flight offered two tours of the North Fork Valley to graphically show the importance of the North Fork Valley Alternative Plan – a proposal created to provide a rallying point for residents concerned about oil and gas extraction on public lands. The Conservation Center’s director Sarah Sauter explains the purpose of the flights.
For the past 20 years, Brent Helleckson and his family have been building a wine business on Garvin Mesa. They’ve constructed a home, a wine cellar a tasting room, and added to the vineyard. In those two decades, they also became a part of the North Fork community. When the Bureau of Land Management proposed 30,000 acres of leases for gas development in the North Fork Valley, Helleckson felt the threat to his winery as well as all agriculture and tourism-based industries.