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.
FOMP needs you for this work session!
Tuesday May 14 at 6:00 PM
FOMP is pleased to be holding a volunteer trail work and tree trimming/seedling release work session!
We will be working on the newly cut fireline area to release small pine seedlings. This involves cutting back scrub oak growth and removing any remaining root balls that are sticking up that could injure people, horses, or bikes.
We will also hold our monthly BOD meeting in the parking lot prior to the start of activities. We will cover new oil and gas drilling information, shooting on Mt. herman Rd., and budget.
FOMP and USFS provide all necessary tools. Volunteers should wear appropriate clothing for performing outdoor landscaping type of work. Volunteers should bring leather gloves, a personal water supply, eye protection, sunscreen, and bug repellent. We meet rain or shine unless there is lightning active in the area. In the event that you are joining us late we try to leave a note at the trail head parking lot or you can call Jon Nordby (719.640.1347) or Chris Tirpak (719.439.8865) to find out where in the Preserve we are working that evening.
We make every effort to accommodate volunteer preferences and abilities at each event. Generally we perform activities such as water bar building or renovation, trail renovation, maintenance, and trimming, etc. So, pretty much everything from trimming back scrub oak or digging lots of dirt to moving boulders. We assign duties based on interest and capabilities. Kids are welcome to join their parents; however, we do ask that you evaluate whether this is an appropriate activity for your child or not.
FRERC.ORG has just setn the following news release to all of its memebers, FOMP would also like you to be aware. More info at www.frerc.org
“U.S. FOREST SERVICE COLLECTING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Dyad Petroleum Decision Delayed
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 25, 2008.Pike National Forest, Pikes Peak Ranger Brent Botts said more information has been requested from Dyad Petroleum before a thorough Environmental Assessment (EA) can be completed for the El Paso County project. No decision on the exploratory drilling proposal is expected prior to the Spring of 2009.According to Botts, “We asked Dyad Petroleum representatives for additional information about the site, roads, air and water quality and they responded favorably. It will likely take at least another six months to evaluate the information and prepare the environmental analyses.”The Forest Service will prepare a formal scoping statement and solicit public comment following receipt and evaluation of the additional information requested of Dyad.”
Spring is here and Friends of Monument Preserve is about to get into full swing for the upcoming season. There are quite a few things planned and we will discuss those at the board meeting tomorrow night. The calendar is linked on the right and has all the details.
Here are few important notes:
Board Meeting – tomorrow 4/8 at 7:00PM
- Among other agenda items will be the USFS law enforcement officer Tom Healy will drop in to talk about recent vandalism in the Preserve
- FRERC – gas drilling discussion. If Chris Amenson is able to make the meeting we’ll ask him to update FOMP on the progress and activities to date. Chris and FRERC are doing a great job coordinating various parties interested in the upcoming oil and gas
Upcoming Events – Lots of volunteer opportunities! Dates and contact info is in the calendar section at the end.
- Tree Planting Project – this coming weekend!! Volunteers needed, see the calendar for more information.
- Trail Work begins April 19 – see the calendar for more information.
- Hot Shot dinner. Volunteers needed, see the calendar for more information.
- Memorial Grove Ceremony. Volunteers needed, see the calendar for more information.
Hope to see you there!
There is a new group forming to deal with issues pertaining to the proposed oil and gas drilling in the Pike National Forest. It is called Front Range Environmental Resource Coalition and its web site is www.frerc.org – they are having a first meeting on Tuesday April 1. Details can be found on their web site.
Today the Gazette published an article regarding oil and gas drilling in the Monument area. FOMP has been aware of this effort for nearly 5 years and has been opposed to Oil and Gas drilling on Mt. Herman since we first heard about it. Frankly, I was surprised to find that there were only 17 comments (for or against) filed during the initial comment period 4 years ago; however, I expect that to change now that we are actually about to have live drilling rigs in Monument full time. People from Manitou to Cheyenne (yes, Boulder too) are going to realize that oil and gas companies are serious about drilling all up and down the Front Range. If Dyad discovers natural gas in Monument, the battle of the Roan plateau will look like a friendly intellectual dinner table discussion.
Gazette Article – Pike forest could be ground zero for new drilling
As a partner organization with the USFS FOMP will be reviewing the EA when it becomes available in the near future and submitting comments as an organization. We encourage you to get involved and review the EA as well and make comments as individuals.
Note: I have already received several questions regarding why FOMP is opposed to this effort and I will articulate those reasons here shortly. — Thanks — Chris / FOMP Board