Thank You for a Successful 2014!

Updated Jan. 2, 2015 –

CHC is thankful for our wonderful volunteers and members for a successful 2014!  It was a great year.  In summary, here’s just a few of CHC’s successes:

  • By working together, we have achieved much:  winning two deferrals of the BLM’s proposed 30,000 acre lease sale and organizing community support for proactive efforts to protect the North Fork’s public lands.  CHC has spearheaded these proactive efforts over the past year, which we’re calling the campaign to “Protect the North Fork.”  This campaign has two complimentary goals: 1) implementation of the North Fork Alternative Plan in the BLM’s revised RMP, and 2) an Act of Congress to permanently protect the North Fork Valley’s public lands from the risk of future leasing.
  • In winter of 2014, we held eight house parties across the valley to get folks involved.  In May, we had a great community party at Delicious Orchards and also sent, for a fourth time, a group of local residents to Washington, DC to meet with decision-makers (click here for the Local Motion interview that aired on KVNF).  In June, we sent a group of community representatives to meet with Ruth Welch, the new BLM State Director for Colorado, about the North Fork Alternative Plan.  She particularly enjoyed the fresh strawberries that Mark Waltermire brought along from Thistle Whistle Farm.
  • CHC completed sample collection as part of a year-long baseline air sampling project.  The study looked for chemicals in the air sourced from and related to oil and gas development.  Between November 2013 and July 2014, CHC collected air samples at 24 locations throughout the Delta County region.  We are currently analyzing the results and will soon share the data publicly.
  • This past spring, CHC rallied grassroots support to stop a bad pipelines bill from passing the Colorado legislature.  The bill, Senate Bill 93, would have allowed oil pipeline companies the right to seize an easement on your property through eminent domain so that Big Oil could put new pipelines wherever they want.
  • We kept constant watch over federal and state agencies and opposed new drilling projects on public lands.  In January, we filed suit in District Court to prevent the Forest Service from allowing the piecemeal industrialization of the National Forest without conducting the legally required impacts analysis.
  • In July, we filed a State Director Review request of the BLM’s decision to approve 108 new oil wells in the Whitewater area without following the law and their own regulations.  The company proposing this action, Fram from Norway, previously wanted to drill 492 gas wells in the Whitewater Unit, and the BLM hasn’t fully considered the potential impacts of condemning this area to a new oil and gas field.
  • Working with our wonderful member David Jacobson, local videographer and owner of Words&Pictures, we published a number of short video testimonials that we called North Fork Vignettes, where local residents explained the need to protect the North Fork Valley from becoming a new oil and gas drilling field.
  • CHC led a carpool to the Governor’s Oil & Gas Task Force meeting in Rifle in December. Nine folks made the trip over and nearly everyone got to speak during the public comment period, asking for increased setbacks between drilling and homes, better protection for water supplies, and the need to reign in the industry

Again, we are so lucky to have a wonderful community of members and volunteers to make these accomplishments possible.  Thank you to everyone for a great 2014!

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