Bill Dvorak of the National Wildlife Federation talks during a meeting in Fairplay. Photo by Judith Kohler
FAIRPLAY, Colo. -- Public meetings on a blueprint for oil and gas development in Colorado's South Park could start as early as October.
The Bureau of Land Management expects to issue an official notice sometime in late September that it will write a new resource management plan for the district that includes South Park, about 75 miles southwest of the Denver area. The BLM will simultaneously prepare a master leasing plan for South Park to protect the area's important fish, wildlife and water resources. Keith Berger, field manager for the BLM's Royal Gorge office, said Monday that the agency plans six public meetings to get input into what the plan should include.
Berger was one of the speakers at a meeting hosted by Park County to let people know about the planning process. New leases will be put on hold while the plan is being written, he added.
"South Park is in a good place because we're starting from scratch" on the master leasing plan, Berger said.
Last year, the BLM announced that it would prepare a master leasing plan, or MLP, for South Park. The decision followed formal requests from the Park County commissioners, the town councils, area residents, sportsmen's and conservation organizations.