The BLM's Tres Rios office is looking at a Master Leasing Plan for western La Plata County and eastern Montezuma County. An MLP is a planning tool that lets both citizens and energy companies work to identify where and how responsible oil and gas development can take place, and where conflicts might exist - before leasing occurs. The BLM's current management plan leaves more than 66,422 acres of its field office open to leasing, including lands within sight of Mesa Verde National Park.
The public input process has begun, and some lands have been identified as important areas that would conflict with oil and gas including Phil's World mountain bike park, the Mesa Verde escarpment, land south of Dolores and lands outside of Weber and Menefee Wilderness Study Areas. As seen from the air, there are many public lands in the region that are worthy of protection from energy development. An MLP could identify and protect the critical wildlife and recreation values and cultural resources that make these areas so special.
For more info about the MLP process and how to collaborate with others to help shape balanced solutions for Southwest Colorado, contact our partners at San Juan Citizens Alliance.