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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

BLM considers new well pads near Rifle

Elise Thatcher

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking public comment on a proposal for four new well pads near Rifle. It's the second phase of an ongoing project.


The company Terra Energy Partners Rocky Mountain received approval to develop 66 natural gas wells on BLM land last September. Now they want to drill an additional 63 in a second phase.

The development in Balzac Gulch sits near the base of the Roan Plateau, a biologically diverse stretch of public land among dense oil and gas activity. In 2014, the BLM canceled leases on the plateau as part of a settlement with environmental groups. That settlement maintained 12 leases below the rim; this proposal further develops one of those.

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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