Take Action by Today, Sunday June 30, 2013!
FOMP would like to make you aware that the USFS is conducting an environmental impact study to develop new policies on oil and gas leases in the Pike NF, including in the Rampart Range. At the moment, the area immediately behind Palmer Lake and Woodmoor Mountain is shown as the highest likelihood for future leasing, though this seems to be based on the land being leased right now (Map – Figure 7 of this USFS/BLM document on page 100 shows the existing leases in PSICC study area, of which the leases here in Palmer Lake are among the largest).
Almost all the current leases in the area, except the one on Sundance Mountain, expire next year unless productive drilling occurs before that. Any new leases would be subject to new policies, which are still under development. Dyad Petroleum, holder of many of the leases, has continued to express interest in developing the area for natural gas extraction should natural gas prices rise.
The current proposed alternative by the USFS contains language in it that is an improvement over current policy — it would have no surface occupancy for leases in “upper tier” roadless areas, which includes the area from Storm Peak north to Perry Park, and would restrict new “road” building in the rest of the roadless area. “No surface occupancy” means that the resources would need to be extracted using directional drilling from pads located in less sensitive areas. FOMP’s Board of directors believes it would be better to have no surface occupancy or oil and gas drilling here in the Rampart Range as well as the upper tier areas. This area is already a large urban forest interface zone and needs to be protected.
The full forest service proposal can be viewed at http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/psicc/landmanagement/projects/?cid=stelprdb5418254.
Regardless of whether you agree with the FOMP Board, you should comment back to the USFS by June 30, 2013. Please comment back to the USFS via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via their web site form. Using your own words in comments is more effective than copying the talking points, but anything is more effective than doing nothing! Please keep in mind, the outcome of this EIS will effect the Rampart Range and your local recreation for generations going forward, so now is the time to act.
If you would like to see a sample of comments and thoughts opposing further oil and gas drilling in the area you may visit Wild Connections web site. (FOMP is not affiliated with Wild Connections). We have not found an example set of comments in support of expanding oil and gas development in the area.