Mesa Verde National Park.
On Monday, September 26, the Colorado Bureau of Land Management state office announced that it will be pursuing a master leasing plan in Southwest Colorado. The statement comes after the agency engaged in an unprecedented public outreach campaign that consisted of a series of public meetings and the formation of a public working group that resulted in the submission of hundreds of comments to the local Tres Rios field office.
“We strongly support BLM’s decision to move forward with the Tres Rios Master Leasing Plan and are excited to see the agency acknowledge the will of the local community and the need for smart and sound energy management in southwestern Colorado,” said Warren King Energy Specialist for The Wilderness Society.
Since it’s finalization in 2015, the Tres Rios Resource Management Plan has been criticized for insufficiently addressing oil and gas management in the planning area. The plan leaves 92 percent of the area open to leasing while failing to protect critical landscapes including the renowned mountain bike area Phil’s World and the lands adjacent to Mesa Verde National Park.
King continued, “the people spoke loud and clear. Community members ranging from county commissioners to local farmers voiced the need for the BLM to take a hard look at how oil and gas development will proceed in this region into the future and we are glad to see the BLM listening.”
The master leasing plan will provide a road map for the BLM to make decisions about conservation and development for years to come and should be approached collaboratively with local communities and stakeholders.
Anastasia Greene, Communications Specialist, 202-429-2624, email@example.com
Warren King, Energy Specialist, 303-803-1762, firstname.lastname@example.org