Tepee Park project near Rifle is moving forward
The White River National Forest said Monday it had cleared the way for new pipeline in the Rifle Ranger District. The upper Beaver Creek Trailhead southwest of Rifle will be improved in the process.
Forest officials ruled in favor of constructing approximately 1.55 miles of underground pipelines to transport natural gas, natural gas condensate, produced water and fresh water on the Tepee Park Ranch Project in western Garfield County.
The project will see construction of a new access road and continued commercial use of Forest Service Road 824 for CPX Piceance Holdings LLC, an oil and gas operator with permits for an existing above-ground natural gas pipeline. The project will include complete road improvements to Forest Service Road 824; and construction of approximately 1.55 miles of underground pipelines to transport natural gas, natural gas condensate and produced water.
“This draft decision will authorize the proposed action and improvements to the road, access for CPX to conduct their permitted activities, public safety as it relates to parking at the trailhead and the stream health of Beaver Creek,” District Ranger Sarah Hankens said in announcing the decision.
The Forest Service said it considered public comments and developed site-specific design features including expanding the upper Beaver Creek Trailhead for summer use and creating a northern parking area to minimize negative effects associated with the pipeline.
“Effects to water resources from the construction of the bypass and installation of pipelines within the proposed bypass corridor would be minimized through project design and best management practices, or avoided all together,” said Forest Service hydrologist Tom Probert.
The assessment also showed that realigning the road and adjusting the location of the pipeline could help protect the long-term health of Beaver Creek and the watershed’s cutthroat trout population, the agency said.