Site Visit Reveals Proposed Well Pad Locations

October 30, 2014 –

In late September, just as the aspen trees were starting to reach peak color, Citizens for a Healthy Community’s Executive Director Jim Ramey and CHC member Doug Gill took a trip up to the Pilot Knob roadless area, located just 7 miles as the crow flies northwest of the Paonia Reservoir and about 12 miles northeast of Paonia.  As we hiked along the Buck Mesa trail, we saw some of the most bone-headed places that anyone could ever think to put a new gas field.  

Click here to view a photo slideshow from the visit, which shows the approximate locations of four proposed well pads, and other spectacular scenery from our hike.

Drilling company Petrox has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Forest Service for 50 new gas wells on 25 well pads in the Gunnison National Forest.  According to GIS data provided by the USFS, some of the proposed well pad locations are smack-dab in the middle of healthy, old-growth aspen stands. 

The area is important for North Fork communities’ clean water that is used for agriculture downstream. Furthermore, the area provides a valuable backcountry hunting experience on public lands before elk move onto private lands at lower elevations in winter.  It is also key habitat for mule deer, black bear, mountain lions, and is calving and winter range for elk. 

We’ve put together a short photo slideshow from the visit, which you can view online by clicking here.  You’ll see the approximate locations for four proposed well pads, right in the heart of the National Forest.

To read more about the proposed 50-well Master Development plan, you can click here for a summary of documents that CHC obtained from the Forest Service and the BLM this past spring, exposing this destructive proposal.

Stay tuned – the Forest Service will begin review of this proposal with a scoping public comment period, which could begin at any time. 

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