USFS Withdraws Drilling Approval at CHC’s Urging

June 13, 2013 –

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Paonia Ranger District has announced that it was withdrawing its decision to approve a drilling permit in the Gunnison National Forest.

Working with our partners at the Western Environmental Law Center, Citizens for a Healthy Community challenged the drilling approval because the USFS has not completed the legally-required site-specific analysis.

The agency sought to approve the drilling request though a categorical exclusion by claiming that site specific analysis had already been completed  in another categorical exclusion for a different project. Like we pointed out in our appeal, the use of one categorical exclusion to approve another project through a categorical exclusion, without conducting site-specific analysis, is something the USFS is not allowed to do.

The proposed well pad location is in the Gunnison National Forest near County Road 265 (Collbran Rd.) and is located in an elk winter concentration area.

The USFS has not announced its plans to proceed with this drilling request. Citizens for a Healthy Community will continue to monitor this proposal and will keep you informed about any new developments.

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