Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feds pare Colo. gas-lease sale

The Denver Post reports:

The U.S. Forest Service — facing opposition from state and local governments as well as environmental groups — withdrew 67,000 acres from a Colorado oil- and gas-lease sale set for Thursday. The state Division of Wildlife and San Miguel and La Plata counties all filed formal protest letters over the potential sale. Criticism focused on the fact the parcels were chosen based on a 1993 plan with dated science on how drilling might affect land and wildlife. The land is in the Grand Mesa, Uncompaghre and Gunnison national forests and is home to Canada lynx, the Gunnison sage grouse and Colorado cutthroat trout. Some parcels also were in the watershed-protection area that supplies drinking water for the town of Norwood, southwest of Montrose. Norwood officials and the San Miguel commissioners also protested those parcels. "I was particularly concerned two counties and the state Division of Wildlife raised these issues," said Rick Cables, the regional forester for the Rocky Mountain region...

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