Bureau of Land Management

savethethompsondivide.org

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined Gov. John Hickenlooper at the state capitol Thursday to announce a decision that protects the Thompson Divide, but leaves other areas open to drilling.

savethethompsondivide.org

Pitkin County commissioners approved spending an additional $85,000 on preservation efforts in Thompson Divide on Tuesday.

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management released environmental information this week about potential oil and gas development in northwest Colorado.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

Representatives from the Western Energy Alliance, which represents over 300 oil and gas companies in the western United States, are praising election victories by Republican candidates Donald Trump and Scott Tipton. Environmental groups fear impacts from expanded development. Aspen Public Radio’s Elizabeth Stewart-Severy spoke with the Western Energy Alliance’s Kathleen Sgamma about potential effects of this election on the oil and gas industry.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will offer 31 oil and gas leases for sale this December, but these sales will happen online.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy/Aspen Public Radio News

For years, the nonprofit, EcoFlight, has been flying politicians, journalists and concerned citizens over a pristine corridor outside of Carbondale that’s being eyed by oil and gas companies for drilling. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released a plan for the area that has both industry and environmental groups wanting more. Aspen Public Radio’s Elizabeth Stewart-Severy recently flew over the Thompson Divide and has this report.  

Aspen Public Radio News

The Bureau of Land Management released a plan Friday to cancel 25 oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide area near Carbondale. Local groups, including Wilderness Workshop and the Thompson Divide Coalition, said in statements that canceling those leases helps to protect wildlife, land and public water supplies.

Marci Krivonen

  Oil and gas companies are deciding how to respond to the BLM’s expected decision about leases on the Thompson Divide. The West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association is working with about eight companies directly affected by a pending BLM decision.

Elise Thatcher

  The BLM is sorting through tens of thousands of comments on what to do about certain oil and gas leases. The 65 leases include 25 on the Thompson Divide.

Colorado Trout Unlimited

The Bureau of Land Management is deciding what to do with dozens of oil and gas leases, including some on the Thompson Divide. The agency finished a series of public meetings this week to find out what residents want.

Marci Krivonen

The Bureau of Land Management is open to canceling more than half of the undeveloped oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide. The leases in question are for Forest Service land but the BLM manages the mineral rights underneath. The BLM is reviewing the environmental impacts of what can be done with those leases, and has released the list of management options.

Marci Krivonen

The Forest Service was met by protesters Tuesday (9/2/15) in a remote area in the Thompson Divide, southwest of Carbondale. The agency is starting a review of a proposal to drill an exploratory well. But, the group gathered doesn’t want any natural gas drilling. They say the area’s natural environment is too valuable. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

It’s tough to imagine coming up here for anything other than peaceful moments in the great outdoors. But about 40 people Tuesday maneuvered mud-caked roads to protest drilling. Some even slept over.

EcoFlight

The Pitkin County Commissioners are unhappy with what they’ve seen so far in a BLM plan for existing oil and gas leases on the Thompson Divide. They’re crafting a letter to the agency. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Pitkin County gets an early look at the BLM’s preliminary draft Environmental Impact Statement because it’s a cooperating agency. A public version will be released in November. It’ll decide what to do with more than two dozen undeveloped oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide, southwest of Carbondale. Pitkin County wants the leases canceled.

County commissioner fights "land transfer movement"

Jul 28, 2015
Facebook/Rachel Richards

In June the Pitkin County Commissioners sent a resolution to Colorado’s congressional delegation, decrying a national effort to transfer federal lands to state ownership. Advocates say it would improve access, environmental health and productivity on land managed by the Forest Service and BLM. Commissioner Rachel Richards told Marci Krivonen the effort would spell trouble for Pitkin County.

Rachel Richards is a Pitkin County Commissioner. She spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen. In future weeks, we’ll air the other side of the argument.

Andrea J Holland

A wildfire caused by lightning near Glenwood Springs cost between $80,000 and $100,000 to fight. It’s now fully controlled.

The Red Canyon Fire started Friday afternoon in dry juniper, pinyon and sagebrush. It burned seven acres on BLM land about three miles southeast of Glenwood. David Boyd with the BLM says two helicopters and between 50 and 60 firefighters worked it.

"When you have a fire this close to the community, you want to keep it small. One reason it stayed small was because we had so many people who could respond to it."

blm.gov

Recreation and oil and gas development in our region are impacted by a new plan released Wednesday (7/8/15) by the Bureau of Land Management. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

The Resource Management Plan for the Colorado River Valley Field Office applies to BLM lands in six counties including Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin. It updates a 1984 plan and directs management for the next two decades.

Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County is fighting a national effort to transfer federal public lands to states. The county plans to send a resolution to congressional representatives in Washington DC. 

One group advocating for state control of federal public lands is the American Lands Council. It argues state control would improve access, environmental health and productivity on land managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Kathleen Tadvick/Colorado Parks and Wildlife

The BLM says a new federal plan for helping a bird in Garfield County is necessary because it aims to protect habitat. The agency, and the Forest Service, announced the new approach last week. The number of greater sage grouse is declining and the idea is to keep the bird off the endangered species list. Marci Krivonen spoke with David Boyd, a public affairs specialist for the BLM in northwest Colorado.

David Boyd works out of the BLM office in Silt. After a review and protest period, the plan will go into effect, probably sometime in July.

fs.usda.gov

The Garfield County Commissioners are questioning the science behind a handful of reports about the greater sage grouse. The Bureau of Land Management is using the data in a document that will guide management of the bird’s habitat in northwestern Colorado. 

Karen Schroyer is the ranger for the Aspen and Sopris district in the White River National Forest. Her agency, along with the Bureau of Land Management, the National Elk Foundation, the Basalt and El Jebel fire departments and the Upper Colorado River Fire Agency, burned between 1,100 and 1,300 acres on Basalt Mountain last weekend. She wants the public to know the facts behind Sunday’s prescribed burn on Basalt Mountain. She spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason.

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