Gas gets go ahead

EDP supports energy development of BLM land

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The Craig/Moffat County Economic Development Partnership took a firm step Wednesday in vocalizing support of oil and gas development in the county.

The board voted to send a letter to the Bureau of Land Management advocating the multiple use of public lands.

The BLM is seeking comment through Jan. 31 about a resource management plan for the Little Snake Resource area.

Former Moffat County Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos -- now working in public relations for Julander Energy -- and Moffat County Natural Resources Director Jeff Comstock attended the meeting originally to seek EDP participation in the Northwest Colorado Stewardship.

"Resource management on public lands has a big economic impact," Raftopoulos said.

NWCOS is a public partnership aimed at working closely with the BLM during the resource management planning process for the Little Snake resource area.

The group has been meeting for two years to define how the partnership will operate and is ready to begin the two-year process of developing a plan.

"Right now is really where the rubber meets the road," Comstock said.

"Right now, we're setting our goals and priorities."

The group next meets at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Shadow Mountain Clubhouse.

"All of you people are so important to setting policy for the state and county," Raftopoulos told EDP board members. "Your input is really critical."

Several EDP board members are considering attending the NWCOS meeting, but none specifically promised to attend.

All advocated sending a letter, though.

"If we support economic development, we should support multiple use of those public lands," EDP board member Jerry Thompson said.

The EDP already has adopted a pro-energy stance and has sent letters to oil and gas development companies setting Moffat County as a "pro-energy" county.

But that's not the only reason EDP Director Tom Flavin endorsed the letter.

"This isn't just for oil and gas, but for recreational purposes because those have a big impact on economic opportunities." he said.

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