Colorado: More time to comment on White River National Forest draft oil and gas drilling plan

A map from the draft EIS shows areas with surface-use stipulations in one of the plan’s alternatives. Courtesy White River National Forest.

Agency will take input through Nov. 30

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Colorado citizens and other stakeholders will have an extra 30 days to comment on the new draft oil and gas leasing plan for the White River National Forest. Released in late August, the draft plan cuts some areas for energy development and sets protective stipulations in other areas.

The energy industry sees the plan as overly restrictive, while conservation advocates say it still leaves too many areas open for drilling. The extended comment period runs through Nov. 30.

“The comment period for environmental assessments normally goes for 45 days. We started out with 60 days because this is a complex and controversial project. I wanted to make sure that we are giving the public enough time for their input.” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams.

The new plan would update the existing 1993 oil and gas leasing plan and responds to changing conditions such as technological advances in oil and gas exploration and development.

Forest officials said that, while they set no-surface-occupancy stipulations in some areas with high resource values, horizontal drilling technologies would still enable energy companies to potentially develop resources.

Read more about the draft plan in this Summit Voice story, and check the White River National Forest website to see all the documents associated with the draft plan.

Please address your comments to Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor, White River National Forest, P.O. Box 1919, Sacramento, CA 95812; E-mail comments to:; Faxed comments to: 916-456-6742.  Comments should include: (1) name, address, telephone number, organization represented, if any; (2) title of the document on which the comment is being submitted (White River National Forest Draft Oil and Gas Leasing EIS); and (3) specific facts and supporting reasons for the Responsible Official to consider.




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