The Bureau of Land Management has extended the deadline for public comment on the draft Roan Plateau Resource Management Plan to April 11. The previous deadline had been March 4.
The Roan Plateau is in Garfield and Rio Blanco counties. The 73,602-acre area formerly known as the Naval Oil Shale Reserve is a popular destination for local recreation and contains some of Colorado's richest natural gas resources. About half of the Roan Plateau consists of highlands located above dramatic cliffs that provide a scenic backdrop to Interstate 70. The remainder of the area consists of lower elevations where natural gas leasing and production already is under way.
"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 BLM Glenwood Springs Field Manager Jamie Connell.
The Moffat County Commissioners and Craig City Council plan to decide whether they will comment on the management plan at a joint meeting Tuesday.
Debate about the plateau's management has centered on whether gas drilling should be permitted on the top of the plateau or restricted until 80 percent of the anticipated wells below the cliffs have been developed.