State BLM officials call for new studies on Mesa County project
Conservation groups and community advocates in western Colorado have slowed the fracking juggernaut at least temporarily, as federal land managers last week decided to redo an environmental study for a controversial plan to drill 108 new wells on 52,000 acres near the Grand Mesa. Under the proposed master development plan, the wells could produce up to 8.7 million barrels of oil over the next 20 years.
The agency said it made the decision based on the fact that the environmental study for the fossil fuel development project didn’t include any analysis of hydraulic fracturing, likely because of some behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the developers and Bureau of Land Management officials. But when the Western Colorado Congress and the Western Environmental Law Center challenged the plan, state BLM officials reversed course. Continue reading “Activists slow fracking juggernaut in western Colorado”→
Terrain, access and concern about resources challenge firefighters
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Pine Ridge Fire, in Mesa County, Colorado, has grown to more than 13,000 acres but is also more than a third contained, with continued concerns about potential threats to the town of De Beque and the I-70 corridor.
Fire behavior contineus to be extreme in some sectors, with torching, backing and more fire in fuel islands remaining on the fire’s interior.
Fire officials said key factors, including winds and fuel moisture, combined, indicate there is a high potential for extreme fire behavior, intensity, and growth. With a shift in the wind, firefighters had to hold the line on the north, northeast and southeast flanks.
The Union Pacific Railroad is helping to deliver water to remote areas of the fire by rail and a team of resource advisors is working with fire managers because of concerns about oil and gas well locations, cultural resources, threatened and endangered species, and the wild horse range.