Oil, gas forum set for Saturday

Workshops to be held throughout the day on variety of topics

Energy development is a priority in Northwest Colorado but many residents and private landowners are not informed about what rights they have to participate in crucial decisions made on public and private land, said organizers of a conference coming to the Center of Craig Saturday.

The workshop, titled "Our Land, Our Rights: A Community Forum on the Future of Oil and Gas in Northwest Colorado," is sponsored by several environmental organizations and will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jennifer Seidenberg, of the Colorado Environmental Coalition who helped organize the event, said its purpose is to bring together people with many different perspectives on the development of natural resources in Northwest Colorado.

"Our goal is to get people involved in these decisions that are going to change the face of the community for generations," she said. "We hope this forum will be a kick-off for the future in which people become more involved."

Moffat County Commissioner T. Wright Dickinson is scheduled to talk about the authority the state and county has in decisions on the development of oil and gas.

Routt County commissioners will be present, as well as representatives from the Bureau of Land Management and the Colorado Petroleum Association.

Anyone from the community is encouraged to attend, Seidenberg said.

"We're excited," she said. "We've gotten a lot of calls from people who own land and are interested in learning more about what their rights are."

More diverse viewpoints

will make for a better meeting, she said.

"The more different types of representatives we get the better the conversations will be," she said.

Items that are on the agenda to be discussed workshops include:

  • How oil and gas development positively and negatively impacts communities.
  • How alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power

can function in Northwest Colorado.

  • How coal bed methane development impacts the ecosystem.
  • How the public can be actively involved in decisions made on public lands.

Christi Ruppe of the Western Colorado Congress, who also helped organize the event, said it is

more than important that people with a vested interest in oil and gas development attend it's essential.

"Truthfully, the discussions will be the most important part of this forum," she said. "This is being held so people can exchange ideas and information."

Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or jnichols@craigdailypress.com.

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