BLM shifts green on 2 million Western Slope acres, setting up Colorado clash of environment vs. oil (Colorado Sun)

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    BLM shifts green on 2 million Western Slope acres, setting up Colorado clash of environment vs. oil – By Michael Booth and Tracy Ross (Colorado Sun) / Aug 24, 2023

    Far bigger chunks of pristine public lands would be walled off from extraction, as federal land managers are ordered to consider climate impacts of activities on land spanning Eagle, Mesa and Pitkin counties

    Two million acres of Colorado’s most scenic Western Slope lands would see stronger protections and less oil and gas leasing under a draft Bureau of Land Management proposal, in what would amount to a large-scale greening of the powerful federal agency.

    The wildlands-friendly BLM draft, forced by environmental lawsuits and now lauded by the same groups, immediately drew the ire of extraction advocates.

    The BLM’s preferred alternative in a draft supplemental environmental impact statement now up for public comment makes it easier to carve out wilderness and harder to drill on public lands in two districts stretching through Eagle, Pitkin and Mesa counties, and along much of the Colorado River. The impact statement is required for a BLM resource management plan that serves as the operating manual for years of federal actions. Once locked in place, advocacy groups can sue if the plan’s tenets are not fulfilled.

    CONTINUE > https://coloradosun.com/2023/08/24/blm-oil-and-gas-public-land-protection-plan/

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