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Release Date: 11/20/12
Contacts: David Boyd, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 876-9008    

BLM extends comment deadline on White River Oil and Gas Amendment (11-20-12)

MEEKER, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management has extended the public comment deadline for its Draft White River Field Office Oil and Gas Resource Management Plan Amendment an additional 45 days, to Jan. 28, 2013. 

In August, the BLM released for public review and comment a draft plan outlining multiple alternatives for
managing the expected increase in oil and natural gas development on the 1.7 million acres of federal mineral resources it manages on the Piceance Basin in Rio Blanco County, southern Moffat County, and a very small part of northern Garfield County.

“Public involvement is a key part of this process, and we have received a number of requests for additional time to review this draft,” said Kent Walter, field manager for the BLM’s White River Field Office. “This additional 45 days will extend the amount of time the draft will be available for public review and comment to 160 days.”

The BLM is also hosting an open house meeting Dec. 3 to specifically discuss and answer questions about the innovative wildlife protections proposed in this draft. Anyone interested is encouraged to stop by anytime Monday, Dec. 3, from 5-7 p.m. at the White River Field Office in Meeker, 220 E. Market St.

“We have proposed a number of incentive-based protections to minimize impacts from oil and gas development to wildlife,” Walter said. “We know there is a lot of interest in these proposals, and we want to give people a chance to learn more about what is specifically being considered as they develop their written comments.”

The open house meeting will provide the opportunity to discuss the potential wildlife protections in detail with BLM specialists. Written comments will be accepted at the open house as well.

BLM released the draft plan for public review Aug. 22. Four public open house meetings about the draft plan were held in September in Meeker, Rangely, Silt and Grand Junction.
The majority of acreage within the White River Field Office is already leased for oil and gas development. This plan proposes a number of possible mitigation measures, including an incentive-based approach that recognizes the valid existing rights of leaseholders while minimizing impacts to wildlife and other sensitive resources.
The Draft Plan projects as much as 878 million cubic feet of natural gas could be produced annually, resulting in as many as 8,000 new jobs being created in the region.
Copies of the draft and information about how to comment are available at:  
Before including address, phone number, e-mail address, or any other personal identifying information in your comments, be advised that your entire comment, including personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While individuals may request BLM to withhold personal identifying information from public view, the BLM cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  220 E Market Street      Meeker, CO 81641  

Last updated: 11-20-2012