The North Fork Valley of the Gunnison River is home to the largest concentration of organic farms in the entire state of Colorado.


This unique valley is being threatened by the prospect of natural gas extraction, commonly known as “fracking”, in the watersheds that irrigate our fields, orchards, vineyards and farms. If fracking occurs upstream from our fertile valley, then any spill that occurs will likely contaminate our irrigation water and these organic farms would be forever damaged.

What We Are Up Against

  • The Bureau of Land Management has just released their draft resource management plan for the Uncompaghre region, and their preferred alternative, which would open 95% of lands to oil and gas leasing, is a roadmap to industrializing the North Fork Valley with oil and gas development.
  • The USGS has just revealed that Mancos Shale, which lies below the North Fork Valley, is the 2nd largest natural gas reserve in the United States.
  • Currently, 11% (2,140 of 19,515 total) of all U.S. organic farms share a watershed with active O&G drilling. Additionally, this percentage could rise up to 31% if the fracking industry continues to grow.
  • In a land where droughts are all too common, fracking in Colorado has used 26 billion gallons of water since 2005.
  • Colorado fracking operations have created 2.2 billion gallons of produced water in 2012 alone, which can contain mineral salts, chemical additives, dissolved hydrocarbons, toxic metal ions, and radioactive materials. This waste product must either be processed and dumped into surface water bodies, stored in vast open pits and reused, or injected into the earth.
  • Over 700 spills were reported at oil and gas operations in Colorado in 2014. The spills released more than a million gallons of oil and other chemicals. 11% of them contaminated water sources.


Ask County Commissioners To Support A No-Leasing Alternative To Prevent Backdoor Industrial Oil and Gas Leasing Through Federal Resource Management Planning