Raiding the Roan

Rich in wildlife and natural resources, the Roan Plateau survived the last energy boom. Will this one destroy it?

Goddard believes that sacrificing the Roan Plateau to the dubious economics of the gas business makes no sense at all. "What are we going to leave for future generations?" he asks. "I'd like to see my grandkids enjoy half of what I've been able to enjoy. What kind of price can you put on that?"

The outfitter has made his living off the wild things in the canyons for years now, but he knows there are some things -- sights, smells, encounters, moments -- that are beyond price.

"Maybe we can take $20 billion worth of gas off that mountain," he says. "But so much of what's up there you won't be able to replace. Ever. When it's gone, it's gone."

Former Rifle councilman Joe Clugston a regular visitor 
to the Roan Plateau, says that widespread gas drilling 
will bring roads, people and pollution -- and drive 
wildlife from the area.
Mark Manger
Former Rifle councilman Joe Clugston a regular visitor to the Roan Plateau, says that widespread gas drilling will bring roads, people and pollution -- and drive wildlife from the area.

Read related stories in our Places Worth Saving archive

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