In the November edition of Rock the Earth Notes, we highlighted the fact that the parties who entered into a historic settlement in 2014 to protect the vast majority of Colorado’s Roan Plateau were awaiting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to issue a highly-anticipated draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). The draft SEIS would lay out options for the agency going forward in light of the settlement and the 2012 Federal Court decision overturning BLM’s initial plan for the Roan.
As we reported last month, in an effort to move the process along, Rock the Earth submitted over 1,700 public comments urging the BLM to adopt the Settlement Alternative, limiting drilling activities to only a couple discrete, non-environmentally sensitive parcels on the edge of the plateau, keeping intact the vast majority of the 55,000-acre wilderness-quality lands.
We are happy to report that BLM heard the public’s call for action and last month finally issued the draft SEIS, in which the agency’s “Preferred Alternative” is the “Settlement Alternative” for which both the conservation community and the drilling company have been advocating.
The public comment period is open until February 18, 2016, during which time we, along with our counsel and other group members of the coalition, will be carefully reviewing the draft SEIS and its various alternatives. We anticipate that we will be filing our comments to the draft SEIS in January, at which time we will look to you, the public, to help support our position.
In the meantime, there are three public meetings scheduled in which the BLM will be taking public comment. We encourage Rock the Earth supporters to attend if they are able.
January 12 BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office, 2300 River Frontage Road, Silt
January 13 Grand Valley Recreation Center, 398 Arroyo Drive, Battlement Mesa
January 14 Rifle Branch Library, 207 East Avenue, Rifle
All three meetings run from 4-7 pm. More information is at: http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/land_use_planning/rmp/roan_plateau.html
Rock the Earth is committed to making certain the implementation of a final SEIS will result in a plan that provides lasting protection to the amazing natural resources that comprise the Roan’s ecosystem and landscape.
For the latest on this project or for additional background, visit the Rock the Earth Roan Plateau Project Page.