BLM PROPOSES LEASING PRIVATE & PUBLIC LANDS FOR GAS AND/OR OIL DEVELOPMENT.
Comments needed to ensure analysis of all impacts.
Comments due September 17
The BLM is moving forward with the leasing of lands in western La Plata
County and eastern Montezuma County, primarily south of Highway 160 in the
area from Hesperus to Mancos Hill. The proposed lease areas also include
parcels adjacent to Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, next to the
McKenna Peak Wilderness Study Area in Dolores and San Miguel counties and
near Chromo in Archuleta County.
We don't know the geologic formations that are of interest to the
companies that nominated the leases (they rarely publicly disclose such
information), but there is a high likelihood that shale oil or shale gas
are the primary targets.
The need for a thorough scientific analysis, along with a vigorous public
process, is not only legally required, but is extremely warranted.
Unfortunately, the Tres Rios Field Office of the BLM is doing neither.
If the leases go forward there could be significant increases in heavy
truck traffic on the Hesperus/Red Mesa Highway (Route 140), Hay Gulch, and
other roads in the area. There are many water quality and use issues, air
quality, wildlife and other issues of concern, and project development
could bring major changes to the character of the upper west side of La
There are 12,175 acres in the potential lease areas, of which 7,766
acres are private surface ownership, 3,369 acres are federal surface
ownership, and 1040 acres are State of Colorado surface ownership. All
parcels are entirely federally owned minerals. NOTE that almost 2/3 of
the proposed mineral leases would underlay PRIVATE LANDS.
In 2009, these same parcels were put on hold from leasing pending the
completion of an updated Resource Management Plan (RMP) and
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). Those documents
have not yet been completed, yet the BLM is now proceeding with
leasing based on the clearly outdated 1985 RMP and 1991 EIS.
Although this is a huge issue for the communities that would be
impacted by development, the BLM has made minimal efforts to get those
communities' input as well as to inform the public in general.
PLEASE CONTACT BLM IMMEDIATELY
BLM cannot proceed with the proposed development based upon
27-year-old analyses, especially when the updated planning documents
will be completed later in 2012.
There is inadequate air quality, wildlife, threatened and endangered
species, soil and water, cultural, transportation, socio-economic and
environmental justice, and recreation and visual resource impact
analysis. The reality that the BLM has proposed not leasing only 60
acres (.5 %!!!) of the industry-proposed 12,175 acres is sufficient
information to note that their analyses of the nominated lease parcels
in nothing less than inadequate.
The opportunity for public comment has been compromised by BLM's lack
of general noticing of the release of the EA, the proposed actions,
and an associated "public" meeting.
The BLM is accepting written comments through September 17, 2012 regarding
the Preliminary Environmental Assessment and Draft Finding of No
Significant Impact. Please submit comments by mail to: Tres Rios Field
Office, Attn: Lease Sale, 28211 Highway 184, Dolores, CO 81323, or by
email to: tres_rios_...@blm.gov
Sending a copy of your comments to the local offices of your Colorado
Senators can be done to:
The EA and associated maps are available here.
For additional information, please contact Josh Joswick at
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Fwd: Regarding Gas n Oil leases in Hesperus
From: "BuffaloCouncil" <buffalocoun...@gmail.com
Date: Mon, September 17, 2012 10:07 am
"BC Member Sherri Willetto" <sawi...@fortlewis.edu
"amoretta pringle" <grace...@gmail.com
"Carey Vicenti" <vice...@fortlewis.edu
"Tamara Laine" <lai...@gmail.com
"Mattisa Keams" <MKE...@fortlewis.edu
"James Riding In" <paw...@asu.edu
"Justin Boyd" <arrowl...@yahoo.com
"Mark Seis" <sei...@fortlewis.edu
Hi everyone please read this important email and please know Puplic
comments are due in tomorrow for the oil n gas leases
Need to call this man DaN
We can partner with SJCA an crest solidarity to help save the lands n water.
Sent from my iPhone
Begin forwarded message:
> From: Dan Randolph <d...@sanjuancitizens.org
> Date: September 17, 2012 10:36:01 AM MDT
> To: BuffaloCouncil <buffalocoun...@gmail.com
> Subject: Re: Regarding Gas n Oil leases in Hesperus
> Hi again,
> Here are our current draft of comments on the leasing. Comments are due
tomorrow, Tuesday. Feel free to plaigerize or cut and paste as you
> I would love to meet with you all to talk oil and gas, King coal, water,
> - Dan
> ===dedicated to social, economic and environmental justice in the San
> Dan Randolph
> San Juan Citizens Alliance
> 1022 1/2 Main Ave.
> Durango, CO 81301
> On Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM, BuffaloCouncil
> Hello Dan
> Thanks for the opinion post in the Gas n Oil bak scratcher the herald.
> We are a group of students alumni and Elders from Fort Lewis College and
> We have information that might be useful and wish to join the fight
against the gas push in Hesperus and all over
> We will be sending you Indians we hope to meet with you
> We have a great stake in this to protect the river hay gulch and the
> Trust lands as well as protecting all lands
> We will be in touch shortly
> Sent from my iPhone