You all know that I treasure the Denver Post for being western interior media and that I think it’s very necessary for the interior west to have a major media presence to provide some balance to the Coasts. Still I gotta say MOST ANNOYING ADS EVER.
Nevertheless, here is a story of a project I worked on before I retired (or maybe I worked with the NEPA for the exploration and this is the actual project, still I remember a few things about it.). I thought the Jeremy Nichols quote at the end was interesting.
The Forest Service’s recent “no surface occupancy” stipulation for developing oil and gas leases on more than 190,000 acres in the Pawnee National Grassland is receiving a lukewarm reception from energy industry officials and environmental groups.
This requirement will work for the majority of leases in the grasslands because most of the Pawnee Grassland is accessible by horizontal drilling from adjacent private lands, said Kathleen Sgamma, a vice president for the Western Energy Alliance, an industry trade group.
But the stipulation should not be considered a precedent for proposed oil and gas leases on other federal lands, she said.
“Pawnee is a unique patchwork of federal, state and private lands,” Sgamma said.
In October, the Forest Service announced it would impose the stipulation on proposed oil and gas leases following an 18-month study.
The “no surface occupancy” stipulation protects the Pawnee’s unique shortgrass prairie ecosystem and recreation opportunities, while still supporting the economic recovery of oil and gas, Glenn Casamassa, the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests and Pawnee National Grassland supervisor, said in a statement.
The Forest Service should have extended its oversight to drilling sites on private land adjacent to the grasslands, said Jeremy Nichols of the environmental group WildEarth Guardians.
I’m not aware that the FS currently has regulatory oversight over what happens on private land, adjacent or not. Maybe there’s some new case law since I retired?