The Bureau of Land Management in Colorado plans to auction oil and gas development rights on 55,186 acres in the Roan Plateau
Planning Area August 14. It is the latest development in an on-going struggle between energy needs (evidenced by higher prices and an explosion of gas wells in the surrounding mesas) and a wide-spread local effort to preserve the relatively pristine and wildlife-rich plateau which rises north of Rifle.
As a compromise, the BLM requires stipulations to protect the area’s streams, wildlife habitat and landscape views. Leases on top of the plateau will requird phased, ridge-by-ridge development, in which only one operator conducts operations on behalf of all leassees, which in theory, allows the BLM to exert tight control over oil and gas development, while consolidating infrastructure like roads, power lines and pipelines.