USFS Green-Lights Review of Roadless Area Drilling

November 13, 2013 –

The U.S. Forest Service has decided to proceed with normal review of two drilling proposals in the North Fork watershed. Even worse, both proposals are for inventoried roadless areas, including pristine aspen groves and incredible trails.

The Forest Service has decided to proceed with a standard review for the drilling proposals, despite their being in supposedly protected roadless areas.

One of the proposed drilling areas is located just west of the Paonia Reservoir in the Pilot Knob-Springhouse Park area. This portion of your national forest offers sweeping views of the Ragged and West Elk Mountains, excellent hiking and ATVing, great hunters camps, and some of the most pristine Aspen groves you’ve ever seen.

Gas company Petrox has proposed 50 gas wells on 25 well pads for the Somerset Unit, which would destroy the heart of the Pilot Knob roadless area.

Similarly, in the Thompson Divide, the Forest Service is moving forward with review of a drilling proposal from SG Interests to drill in the Huntsman Unit located just west of McClure Pass.  This unit includes the far upstream reaches of the North Fork drainage and is located near the excellent hiking along Huntsman Ridge.

Citizens for a Healthy Community is working with our conservation partners across the region and our attorneys at the Western Environmental Law Center to continue to monitor the proposed drilling in these locations. We will keep you posted as these proposals proceed through environmental review.


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