The final draft of the plan for resource exploration on Garfield County's Roan Plateau won't be released until late summer, but federal land managers now plan to open the top of the plateau to development sooner rather than later.
An earlier preferred management plan delayed drilling on top of the plateau until 80 per cent of the natural gas reserves at the base were developed. But last August the Colorado Department of Natural Resources proposed that land on the plateau's top be leased in 25–hundred acre blocks, and that no more than 200 acres be drilled at any one time.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife also pushed for that plan,
saying it better met the needs of wildlife by protecting land at the base of the mountain valuable wintering grounds for deer and elk would be saved.
The state proposal would require that one company do the drilling, which would reduce the number of roads and pipelines on the summit.
Despite calls for public hearings by colorado Senator Ken Salazar,
David Boyd with the Bureau of Land Management says there will be no more public comment on the Roan Plateau plan until it's released.
There will be a thirty–day comment period on the plan when it is released in August.