Local Governments Weigh In On Plans For Roan Plateau

Denver (AP) Two communities near the Roan Plateau don't want natural gas drilling on top of the massive landmark in northwestern Colorado. The city councils in Rifle and Glenwood Springs have approved statements saying the top of the plateau should be left alone. Both councils say the Roan Plateau is vital to the area's hunting, recreation and tourism and should be protected.

They agree that if drilling is allowed on top, it should be
carried out so the land, wildlife and other resources are disturbed as little as possible. Rifle and Glenwood Springs say a proposal by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources should be adopted if development occurs on top of the Roan Plateau.

The D.N.R. has suggested clustering development so drilling takes place one area at a time to confine the disturbance. One company would do the actual drilling so fewer roads and pipelines would be needed.

The Bureau of Land Management is drafting a final plan for the federal land on and around the Roan Plateau. The plateau is rich in gas and oil and also a major draw for hunters across the country. Other cities and Rio Blanco and Garfield Counties are expected to submit formal comments to the B.L.M. this week.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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