Salazar, Udall to Push to Stall Leasing on Roan Plateau

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Denver (AP) Two Colorado congressmen will try this week to temporarily yank federal funds for new energy leases on the Roan Plateau.

Democrats John Salazar and Mark Udall are sponsoring an amendment that says no money in the Interior Department's Appropriations Bill could be used for new oil and gas leases on the Roan Plateau in Western Colorado.

They think the public and state officials should have another year to review a plan for more natural gas wells.

Governor Ritter, who took office in January, had requested more time to study the plan. But last week the Bureau of Land Management finalized a plan seven years in the making.

Ritter, conservation and hunting and angling groups support the effort to delay leasing on the Roan Plateau.

The plateau about 180 miles west of Denver is prized for its large reserves of gas and oil shale and wildland qualities. The area is home to elk and deer herds, mountain lions, bears and Colorado River Cutthroat Trout.