02 Aug SG Interests Seeks Application for Permit to Drill in the Gunnison National Forest
August 2, 2012 – The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has proposed to authorize S.G. Interests to exercise lease rights and conduct surface operations associated with drilling a multi-well drill pad in the Gunnison National Forest. Click here for the USFS scoping letter and click here for the Surface Use Plan of Operations.
To see the comments submitted by Citizens for a Healthy Community on August 9, click here.
The proposed location is located just outside of the Bull Mountain Unit, where SG Interests has proposed drilling 150 new wells and 4 waste water disposal wells. In addition, the proposed well pad is located in elk winter concentration area. This parcel of land was leased in 1954, well before many of the current stipulations and conditions protecting wildlife and the environment were even considered.
Most troubling is that the cumulative impacts of these developments have never been analyzed. The out-of-date 1989 BLM Resource Management Plan (RMP) governs the minerals and the 1983 Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, Gunnison National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP), as amended by the 1993 Oil and Gas amendment, governs the surface use. Unfortunately, none of these documents have analyzed the full impacts of the scale of development taking place in the area.
Tell the USFS NOT to move forward with this proposal.
1. Ask the USFS to disapprove the application because:
- there has never been appropriate NEPA analysis of oil and gas development in this area, since this proposal is based on the faulty 1989 BLM RMP and the 1983 USFS LRMP, and
- the location of the well pad is in an elk winter concentration area.
2. Also tell the USFS that if they refuse to disapprove the plan, they should delay their decision on the plan pending the BLM’s completion of the EIS on Bull Mountain.
3. Ask the USFS to conduct an Environmental Assessment of the proposed well pad and wells, including an analysis of alternative locations and a comprehensive wildlife mitigation plan for development in the area.
Send comments to Ryan Taylor, Attn: SG APD via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, comments can be hand-delivered to the Paonia Ranger District Office at 403 Rio Grande Avenue in Paonia. Please send a courtesy copy of your comments to the Gunnison County Board of County Commissioners at email@example.com.
Comments are due by Thursday, August 9th.