Public comment sought for Tepee Park Ranch project
The White River National Forest is looking for the public to weigh in on its Tepee Park Ranch Project as it has a potential impact on the environment . A draft decision is expected sometime in late spring and Garfield County residents are encouraged to submit their thoughts on the project via email or by phone.
“We are looking forward to receiving public input on this final opportunity to comment,” Sarah Hankens, Rifle District Ranger states in the press release.
The project would see construction of a new access road and continue commercial use of Forest Service Road 824 by CPX Piceance Holdings LLC, a oil and gas operator with permits for an existing above-ground natural gas pipeline, to meet the maintenance, administration, and transportation needs of their existing developments. The project will also include complete road improvements to FS 824; and construction of approximately 1.55 miles of underground pipelines to transport natural gas, natural gas condensate and produced water. Following an environmental assessment, the White River National Forest believes this project would improve the long-term health of Beaver Creek and the cutthroat trout population by realigning the road and adjusting the location of the pipeline, according to the press release.
“This proposal to decommission and obliterate the road segment and relocate the pipeline, is good for the long term management of the instream- and riparian habitat and the valuable population of cutthroat that inhabits it,” stated Clay Ramey, Fisheries Biologist. “The stream would benefit from road decommissioning, which would reduce instream sedimentation and improve habitat.”
CPX Piceance Holdings oil and gas operations are located on private property separated by the White River National Forest lands, as such there is a need for CPX to use Forest Service Road 824 to install pipelines to get across these lands. If this project were to go through, the existing pipeline and road are inadequate to support development of Tepee Park Ranch. To further develop Teepee Park Ranch, CPX is also seeking continued use of portions of Forest Service Road 824, states the press release.
CPX Piceance Holdings LLC proposes the following: reclaim approximately 0.5 miles of Forest Service Road 824, construct an approximately 0.75-mile-long access road (Beaver Creek bypass); continued commercial use of an approximately 0.80-mile-long portion of FS 824 between CPX’s privately-owned parcels of land; and construct approximately 1.55 miles of underground pipeline within the Forest Service 824 road corridor.
The draft of the Forest Service environmental assessment is available online and mailed comments should be addressed to: Scott Fitzwilliams, c/o Jason Gross, Physical Scientist, Rifle Ranger District,0094 County Road 244 Rifle, CO 81650. Business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), or MS Word (.docx). Comments may also be submitted electronically at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=49924.
Persons commenting should include: 1) name, address, telephone number and organization represented, if any; 2) title of the project of concern (i.e., Tepee Park Ranch Project and 3) specific facts, concerns or issues, and supporting reasons why they should be considered.
This public comment period will be the last opportunity for individuals interested in or affected by this proposal to identify any potential extraordinary conditions or significant issues before the Responsible Official makes a decision. Those wishing to gain objection standing must submit and official comment within the comment period.
Thank you for your interest this project. To request further information on these proposed actions, please contact Jason Gross, Rifle Ranger District telephone at 970-876-9046 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.