Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Also addressed: Director, Colorado Division of Wildlife
I request that DOW halt permission to gas companies to drill in the Garfield Creek State Wildlife Area located south of New Castle. Orion Energy has drilled a test well in this park recently. Now, more companies want to come into this area to drill. I thought it was the duty of DOW to manage wildlife in Colorado in a safe and productive manner. Allowing gas companies to drill in a designated wildlife habitat area seems to defeat the purpose of your agency. This is a wildlife park. It should not matter whether the drilling takes place next to it or on it. This should not be allowed.
Now, we have no surface protection on recent leases by BLM. These leases and permits should be halted until all these transactions have been researched for surface protection as well as other errors, such as no environmental impact statements. How many gas wells will it take to poison the water sources or the feeding sources of elk, deer, and other wildlife in this area? The answer is one. So this is one too many wells.
Please stop any further approvals to drill in this park or any other wildlife habitat. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission needs to amend the current proposed rules to deny drilling in wildlife habitats or wildlife parks permanently. I, along with many other citizens, will protest this type of activity and behavior on the part of DOW and the BLM. This is the time and the place to say no to the gas companies.
Randy Fricke, chairman
The Committee To Save Colorado
Editors’ Note: The Colorado Division of Wildlife cannot prevent natural gas development in the habitat because it does not own the mineral rights in the area. State law allows mineral owners to have a reasonable use of the surface to drill for natural gas even if the owner of the land objects. However, development can be kept out of the habitat if companies develop federal mineral leases that have a no-surface-occupancy stipulation attached to them. That language requires companies to drill from other areas to reduce surface disturbances. Most of the leased federal acreage underneath the wildlife area has that stipulation.
Sen. Ken Salazar is quoted in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent on Nov. 19 as saying, “Congress should help the unemployed, improve roads and bridges … “
Let’s drop the comma between “unemployed” and “improve roads and bridges.” Now it makes more sense. Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted the Works Progress Administration to improve roads, the parks and to build trails, etc. Let’s go back and put the unemployed to work as they were put to work then.
Yes, I agree there is a problem now. The unemployed don’t have to work with the hand-out programs that sustain a lifestyle they are willing to accept. However, make benefits subject to contribution to the infrastructure. Even most of those with disabilities can be the service group to those doing the work.
In Lucas County, Iowa, where coal mining was the major employer, the miners were put to work on roads and trails. My uncle was a blaster in the mines, and was put to work blasting stumps and rocks to build roads. Rock movers from the mines worked moving surface rock and dirt.
Get with it Sen. Ken, and put those unemployed to work contributing to society.
Jack E. Blankenship
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