A set of meetings on how to manage dozens of oil and gas leases in Western Colorado wrapped up last week, and opinions vary wildly. The Bureau of Land Management held the meetings in April and May to solicit public feedback. Sixty-five leases are at issue, and a chunk of them are in the Thompson Divide, where entities like the Pitkin County Commissioners have made it clear they don’t want any drilling. Dennis Webb, a writer for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel attended the BLM’s fourth and final public meeting on Thursday, where the pro-energy side turned out. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with him.
The 65 leases are located on the White River National Forest, in parts of Pitkin, Garfield and Mesa counties. Eight of the leases hold active infrastructure, like gas wells. The BLM will determine whether the leases should be voided, reaffirmed or modified. Public comments can be emailed, faxed or mailed to the BLM's Silt office. The comment period ends on May 16th.