Roan battle rages on
Yesterday, the BLM issued leases for natural gas drilling on the Roan Plateau. The leases were auctioned off about six weeks ago for a record-breaking $114 million. Environmental groups, hunters, anglers and Colorado politicians, including Governor Bill Ritter, opposed the BLM's management plans, advocating for stronger protections on the unique and beautiful sanctuary in western Colorado. Opponents of the BLM's plan filed more than 15,000 protests, but they were dismissed by the Department of Interior.
A coalition of 10 environmental groups filed a lawsuit, hoping to overturn the BLM's management plan. In the meantime, they are seeking a temporary federal injunction to block the leases until there is some resolution to the legal challenge.
The battle over the Roan -- which is a symbol of the West's struggles with energy development -- rages on.