Date: July 8, 2011
TO: BLM RGFO,
Attn: Bald Hill Federal Unit,
3028 E. Main St.,
Canon City, CO 81212
faxed to 719-269-8599
FROM: Doris and Larry LeDue, Members of The South Park Coalition, Inc.
PO Box 221, Como, CO 80432. Tel 719-836-4804
REFERENCE: Draft Environmental Assessment for Park County November 2011 Mineral Lease Sale
Please find several comments regarding the EA. We believe that the aggregation of these issues are more than sufficient to warrant a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement. The Environmental Assessment on each individual parcel is not adequate.
The current EIS for this area is extremely outdated. I believe it is a Resource Management Plan / EIS from 1994.
Air Quality. What are the controls in place to prohibit venting and flaring of methane into the environment? This practice contributes highly to green house gases. Also burning it is wasting it and the royalties that it could pay!
What are the controls in place to prohibit open pits?
How many acres are underlain by the Niobrara? Could it be as many as 300,000? The potential for industrial scale development and its impacts are unknown and need to be evaluated. The Federal Bald Hill Unit, being the first unitized area, serves as a vehicle for initials studies before damage occurs. I believe it is the BLM’s responsibility to look at the big picture.
Isn’t this area highly faulted naturally? Further research into the Elk Horn Fault and the structure of the Niobrara are needed.
What about the potential for seismic activity?
The cumulative negative impacts to wildlife, wildlife habitat and the unique qualities of the JMJSWA need to be addressed a part of the Environmental Impact Statement. The Division of Wildlife has gained experience from other impacted areas of the state.
Sale of these lease and full scale development will impact Denver and Aurora water supply. They are also located near the South Platte River seven miles upstream of Aurora’s Spinney Mountain Reservoir. Denver’s Eleven Mile Canyon, Chessman, Waterton Canyon/Strontia Springs, and Chatfield Reservoirs are also downstream, as are South Metro’s South Platte and Reuter-Hess Reservoirs
The way of life in South Park is heavily steeped in Ranching, Tourism, Historical Preservation, Pre-historic Archeological finds, Vistas, Hunting, Fishing, Camping, 2nd Homes not to mention residents and ranchers whose way of life is dependent on clean water and air.
Please use the rules and regulations of your agency for the protection of the South Park Heritage Area. It is truly a place that is worth protecting for everyone’s enjoyment. Colorado law may favor the development of oil and gas, but his does not mean that the BLM can turn a blind eye to insuring responsible safeguards.
At the BLM National Public Hearing in Golden on April 25th, one of your officials from DC stated that it is the policy of the BLM to be “Smart before we Start”. Please see that South Park, Colorado becomes your model for this slogan!
Doris and Larry LeDue
PO Box 221
Como, CO 80432
Members South Park Coalition