BLM approves master plan for drilling in North Fork Valley northeast of Paonia
GRAND JUNCTION (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management has approved a plan for oil and gas development in the works for nearly a decade in Colorado’s North Fork Valley.
The Daily Sentinel reported Thursday that the master plan calls for eventually building 146 wells about 30 miles northeast of Paonia to the south of McClure Pass.
However, the BLM has only granted permission for one well to be built so far in the nearly 20,000-acre Bull Mountain project. It says the other wells would get additional reviews.
Paonia is home to many organic farms and wineries. Opponents have said the BLM has failed to take into account the cumulative impact of several existing and other proposed drilling development on water consumption and the valley’s agriculture and recreation industries, among other things.
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A new 6-mile jug handle trail has been added to the Emma side of land known as the Crown. The Vasten Trail provides options for mountain bikers in the popular area.