Judge blocks drilling on Colorado refuge

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
A federal judge has indefinitely blocked oil and gas drilling on a wildlife refuge that sits next to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in south-central Colorado.

A natural gas drilling site sits against the mountains near the small northwest Colorado community of Meeker in this photograph taken on Friday, Oct. 26, 2007. A new report predicts that northwest Colorado's population could double to about 417,000 over the next 30 years because of the energy boom and the number of gas wells could soar to more than 50,000. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Denver (AP) — A federal judge has indefinitely blocked oil and gas drilling on a wildlife refuge that sits next to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in south-central Colorado.

U.S. District Court Judge Walker Miller on Thursday granted a preliminary injunction, ruling that environmental groups presented adequate evidence that drilling would cause irreparable injury to Colorado's Baca National Wildlife Refuge.

Miller's decision blocks drilling while an environmental lawsuit moves through court.

Toronto-based Lexam Energy Exploration had acquired the mineral rights in 1997 before the former Baca Ranch was bought by the federal government for a wildlife refuge.

The refuge, about 200 miles southwest of Denver, is home to several colonies of Gunnison's prairie dogs, a candidate species for the endangered list. It's also used by migratory birds, burrowing owls, songbirds and elk.
(COPYRIGHT 2009 BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)


KKCO firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKCO 11News.

powered by Disqus
KKCO NBC 11 News 2531 Blichmann Avenue Grand Junction, CO 81505 Station Phone: 970.243.1111 Business Fax: 970.243.1770 Newsroom Fax: 970.245.3793 News Tip & Contest Line: 970.255.8477
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 57188087 - nbc11news.com/a?a=57188087