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It's one of the most ecologically diverse areas in Colorado, but there are already some natural gas drilling rigs on private land on top of the plateau. Extending the drilling to the Roan's vast, untamed public lands could prove a billion-dollar windfall in lease payments to the state within a year, the pro-drillers claim, but environmentalists and local officials say that's bunk. Governor Bill Ritter wants to protect the place, kind of, and drill at the same time, but it's the feds who will make the critical decisions.
Confused? The debate over the Roan is all over the news, but making sense of what's at stake can be a daunting task. Unless, of course, you've dipped into "Raiding the Roan," a detailed look at one of the state's last wide places. Check it out.