White River Basin - Worth Protecting

After months of waiting and anticipation, we finally get to see what the BLM thinks oil and gas development should look like in the White River basin. The White River basin sits in the little-known north-western corner of Colorado and spans over 2 million acres. Last week, the White River Field Office released the draft Resource Management Plan Amendment (RMPA), which will govern how oil and gas development will proceed in the basin for the next 20 years. Of course, many sportsmen and women perked up when they heard the news – the basin is home to outstanding fisheries, some of the largest elk and deer herds in North America and home to a myriad of other critters we all care about. These values sometimes contrast with the extensive energy development occurring in the basin.

Here at TU, we are striving to ensure that an appropriate balance is struck. We drafted the Sportsmen’s Conservation Vision for the basin that outlines many of the ways we think energy development should proceed while retaining robust fish and wildlife populations and the basin’s other ways of life such as farming, ranching and outdoor recreational pursuits. We also work with the BLM, industry and other sportsmen towards meaningful solutions that benefit all parties. Of course, this is very difficult at times and we need other voices to echo our call to keep the area healthy and vibrant for generations to come.

That’s where you come in. We need our members to share their thoughts with the BLM about what they value and to offer ideas and insight regarding what they view as the smart way to develop.

In the coming weeks, we will post more information about where we feel the plan needs improvement and how to encourage the BLM to make those changes. In the meantime we encourage you to visit the planning website to see the plan for yourself or attend one of the four open houses hosted by the BLM, scheduled for late September. Your review and comments are an important part of ensuring the continuance of strong sporting and angling heritage in the White River basin.

You can find the draft plan in its entirety, along with the open house schedule by clicking this link.

Please check back in the near future for further information and contact Aaron Kindle if you have other questions (akindle@tu.org  303 868 2859).