Slow Go on the Plateau
In the end, the plan for gas drilling on the Roan Plateau, one of the most ecologically diverse areas on the Western Slope, displeased just about everyone. Environmentalists, Senator Ken Salazar and an unusual coalition of local recreation and business interests wanted to leave the top of the plateau unscathed. Energy companies wanted the kind of ready access they've enjoyed across the rest of Garfield County, which now bristles with wells like quills on a porcupine's back.
The final plan unveiled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management yesterday does open up thousands of acres to drilling on top of the Roan, which contains up to a third of all the natural gas reserves in the state. But it allows only one percent of the plateau to be drilled at a time, with extensive restoration required before the next wellpad sprouts. That will drag out the process over decades, energy groups grumble — and give the plateau's rich wildlife and rare plant species a chance to recover from the trauma.
You can read the BLM's plan here.
For more about what's at stake, check out "Raiding the Roan" (originally published January 1, 2004), a detailed look at one of the state's last wild places. —Alan Prendergast
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Marijuana Strain Review: Tangerine Haze at Herban Medicinals
Sat., Oct. 10, 7:00pm
Sat., Oct. 10, 7:05pm
Sun., Oct. 11, 12:00pm
University of Denver Pioneers Volleyball vs. University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks Women's VolleyballSun., Oct. 11, 2:00pm
- Reader: Go Ahead and Arrest Kids for Dancing, You Fascist A$$holes!
- Ten Great Colorado Ways for Families to Celebrate October and Halloween