US finishes plan to protect Roan Plateau in western Colorado

The Associated Press

Federal land managers have taken another step toward protecting most of western Colorado's wild Roan Plateau from natural gas drilling, releasing a revised plan that puts many areas off-limits.

 

DENVER (AP) — Federal land managers have taken another step toward protecting most of western Colorado's wild Roan Plateau from natural gas drilling, releasing a revised plan that puts many areas off-limits.

The Bureau of Land Management said Tuesday the plan puts in place the provisions of a 2014 compromise among conservation groups and natural gas producer Bill Barrett Corp.

The public has until Aug. 1 to comment.

Barrett gave up its right to drill on about 56 square miles it had leased from the federal government atop the plateau and will be refunded $47.6 million it paid for the leases. Another seven square miles that Barrett leased will be freed up from a 6-year-old lawsuit.

Conservation groups say about 90 percent of the land atop the plateau will be off-limits to drilling.

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