Defense of Colorado’s Roan Plateau continues to be one of Rock the Earth’s flagship issues. Despite winning our federal court lawsuit in 2012 opposing a massive drilling plan for Colorado’s Roan Plateau, the battle is far from over. As a result of that winning lawsuit, a historic settlement between all of the parties was worked out in 2014 with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) allowing for limited drilling on adjacent and near-by lands, yet will protect the wilderness-quality lands that comprise 55,000 leased acres.
Since then, our attorneys from Earthjustice have been hard at work filing comments to the BLM while we await a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) that will outline the standards and conditions of these limited drilling activities. We expect the release of the DSEIS to occur any day, the implementation of which will result in a plan that provides lasting certainty to the amazing natural resources that comprise the Roan’s ecosystem and landscape.
Rather than continuing to wait for BLM to finally take action, this past month Rock the Earth did what we do best – brought to bear the weight of public opinion. Over the course of the summer, our regional and nationally touring education & outreach teams have been collecting postcards to Sally Jewel, Secretary to the Interior, demanding that the settlement alternative agreed to by the drilling companies, the conservation community, and governmental officials in 2014 be implemented. In October we submitted them – over 1,700 comments to the agency demanding expeditious action. It is our hope that this amount of public outcry persuades the Secretary to move the process along so that the final plan for the Roan can be solidified and put into action in 2016.
For the latest on this project or for additional background, visit the Rock the Earth Roan Plateau Project Page.