The Board of Pitkin County Commissioners (BOCC) expressed their gratitude to the Bureau of Land Management staff, the BLM’s Colorado River Valley Field Office and to the Department of Interior for producing the Final Record of Decision for the Previously Issued Oil and Gas Leases in the White River National Forest. The decision cancels 25 leases in Pitkin and Garfield Counties that could have seriously imperiled the health of the natural environment of the Thompson Divide region and threatened the region’s ability to support agriculture, hunting, and recreational economies.
“This is great news for Pitkin County, our residents, visitors, recreationalist and the agricultural community,” said BOCC Chair, Rachel Richards. "We’ve worked very hard to support the cancellation of these leases and appreciate the responsiveness of the BLM to our communities’ concerns. The BOCC is pleased with the cancellation because it reflects the desires of local communities and recognizes input provided to the BLM during public comment periods,” Richards said.
The Record of Decision cancels 25 undeveloped leases in Thompson Divide and applies new stipulations to the remaining leases that are not currently producing oil or gas. It makes no or only minor adjustments to leases that are producing. Commissioners agree that the Record of Decision recognizes that some areas are appropriate for gas development as a consequence of existing infrastructure and presence of producing wells. It also recognizes other areas that are roadless and undeveloped, that possess significant wildlife habitat, or have uses that are not compatible with oil and gas activity ought to be preserved.
Contact: Pat Bingham 920-5204