The Bureau of Land Management released a plan Friday to cancel 25 oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide area near Carbondale. Local groups, including Wilderness Workshop and the Thompson Divide Coalition, said in statements that canceling those leases helps to protect wildlife, land and public water supplies.
The complete Final Environmental Impact Statement addresses 65 oil and gas leases in the White River National Forest. These leases are owned by multiple oil and gas companies, including Ursa and SG Interests.
Wilderness Workshop and other environmental groups said the revised plan does not do enough to protect areas outside of Thompson Divide, including Battlement Mesa, Mamm Peak, and East Willow areas.
A draft plan issued last November included additional stipulations and restrictions on the remaining 40 leases. The final plan, however, includes only minor or no modifications to more than half of those leases in areas that environmental groups say are ecologically important.
Oil and gas industry representatives say they plan to fight the cancelations.
A final decision on the BLM plan is expected early this fall.