21 Jul Action Alert – 25 New Gas Wells Proposed for Upper North Fork
July 21, 2015 –
The BLM and Forest Service are accepting public comments on an Environmental Assessment (EA) for up to 25 new natural gas wells in northern Gunnison County. The wells were proposed by Gunnison Energy and SG Interests and would be located within and adjacent to beautiful and wildlife-rich public lands, and would require fracking, miles of new pipeline and road construction, and significant water use.
Citizens for a Healthy Community (CHC) urges you to help us protect this sensitive landscape by submitting comments and concerns to the BLM.
The EA for this proposal has several major faults and shortcomings which pose a serious threat to your public lands, water resources, wildlife, and the environment. This is your final opportunity to comment on this proposal, and you must submit comments now to preserve your ability to file an appeal with the Forest Service. To make sure that important resources are properly protected in the upper North Fork Valley, the BLM and Forest Service need to hear from you!
Written and emailed comments must be received no later than Tuesday, August 4, 2015. Please note that August 4 is the new deadline, as the BLM granted our request for a comment period extension. Please personalize your comments, and consider raising the following issues:
- The BLM and Forest Service should not move forward with approval of applications until the 1989 Resource Management Plan (RMP) is completed. The 26-year old(!) RMP did not analyze today’s modern extraction techniques, including fracking, and failed to anticipate the pace of development now facing the Upper North Fork Valley.
- The EA does not consider reasonable alternatives that would better safeguard the environment, instead only analyzing the proposed action and a no-action alternative. For example, the EA does not consider fewer well pads than those proposed by industry, and does not include an alternative to minimize the wasteful release of methane.
- The EA underestimates the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts that would occur to wildlife and wildlife habitat. For example, four of the five well pad locations and much of the associated infrastructure lie within mapped elk winter range, and the EA is silent concerning impacts to the nearby Pilot Knob Roadless Area.
- The EA fails to adequately address cumulative impacts from this proposal in conjunction with the assault of drilling, fracking and energy development across the Upper North Fork Valley. The proposed action is in close proximity to the Bull Mountain Unit, a 146 natural gas well proposal currently being analyzed in a separate process.
Your input is critical to protect the Upper North Fork Valley from an increasingly interconnected patchwork of gas drilling, pipelines, roads and infrastructure. Submit your comments today!
E-mail comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bureau of Land Management, Uncompahgre Field Office
Attn: Thane Stranathan
2465 South Townsend Ave.
Montrose, CO 81401
Click here for an interested parties letter and map, and click here to read the draft EA. Remember that your comments must be received no later than Tuesday, August 4. Thank you for all you do for our community and the environment!