BLM extends Roan Plateau public comment to April 11
Public input into the controversial future of the Roan Plateau will continue until April 11 rather than the original cutoff date of March 4, the Bureau of Land Management announced Friday.The agency is accepting public comment on its draft Roan Plateau Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement.”Together with our cooperators, we have decided to extend the public comment period to ensure that the public has ample opportunity to provide input on the Roan Plateau,” said Jamie Connell, field manager with the Glenwood Springs office of the BLM. The cooperating entities include Rio Blanco and Garfield counties, along with the towns of Parachute and Rifle, and the state of Colorado.The 73,602-acre plateau, formerly known as the Naval Oil Shale Reserve, is a popular destination for area recreation and contains some of Colorado’s richest natural-gas resources. About half of the plateau consists of highlands located above dramatic cliffs that provide the scenic backdrop to Interstate 70 west of Glenwood Springs. The remainder of the area consists of lower elevations, where natural-gas leasing and production are already under way. The area contains 257 miles of motorized routes, according to the BLM.Under Alternative 3, the preferred option, the BLM would defer gas leasing on top of the plateau until 80 percent of the anticipated wells below the cliffs have been completed. Under this alternative, the Roan Plateau could produce enough gas to heat 761,000 homes for 20 years while protecting its natural resources, according to the BLM.Public comments should provide specific information about the management plan to help the BLM in its decision-making process, the agency advised. Copies of the draft plan and information on providing public comment are available online at roanplateau.cne.com and in the BLM’s Glenwood Springs field office at 50629 Highway 6 and 24.
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