Kent Walter: BLM to host public meetings about Piceance Basin management

To the editor:

On behalf of the Bureau of Land Management, I’d like to invite you to one of several public meetings about managing oil and natural gas development over the next 20 years on a large part of the Piceance Basin, a place rich in both energy and wildlife resources.

The BLM’s White River Field Office in Meeker recently released a draft plan outlining multiple alternatives for managing the expected increase in oil and natural gas development on 1.7 million acres of federal mineral resources in Rio Blanco County, southern Moffat County, and a small part of northern Garfield County.

The White River Resource Management Plan Oil and Gas Development Amendment looks at the potential impacts of this anticipated development and proposes various options for mitigating those impacts. With most of the area already leased, BLM’s task is to find innovative ways for managing this increasing development while minimizing impacts to wildlife and other sensitive resources.

The plan and supporting documents are available on-line at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/wrfo.html. You can learn more and have your questions answered at one of the open house meetings we are holding throughout the region.

Stop by anytime between 4 and 7 p.m. Sept. 24 in Meeker at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds, Sept 25 in Rangely at the Colorado Northwestern Community College Weiss Building, Sept. 26 in Silt at the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office, or Sept 27 in Grand Junction at the Clarion Inn.

We’ll have brief presentations at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. each night, and a wide variety of specialists available to tell you more about the draft plan. We’ll take written comment at the meetings, or you can take the information with you and provide comments later.

The public comment period closes Dec. 14.

Kent Walter

Field manager, BLM White River Field Office

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