In the news
“Ignoring Public Outcry, Federal Government To Offer Oil And Gas Leases Near Mesa Verde National Park,” Think Progress
July 3, 2013
News outlets reported late last week that the Colorado Bureau of Land Management will be auctioning off nearly 12,000 acres of public lands for oil and gas drilling in November. But here’s the catch: the majority of those acres are located less than ten miles from Mesa Verde, one of our iconic national parks.
Drilling so close to the park could have major impacts on its natural resources and the experiences that visitors have when they come to enjoy it.
“BLM to put deferred parcels near Colo. national park back on the block,” E&E News
June 23, 2013
The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to offer eight parcels near southwest Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park in a November oil and natural gas lease sale, a move that has sparked concerns from local government leaders who fear drilling could degrade air quality and other natural resources in the region.
The eight parcels just east of the national park were among 12 covering about 12,000 acres that BLM’s Tres Rios Field Office deferred from a February lease sale. The agency pulled the parcels after the National Park Service, park advocates and conservation groups objected on the grounds that oil and gas drilling could negatively affect air quality and natural resources at the park.
“Feds to re-offer oil and gas leases near Mesa Verde National Park,” Denver Business Journal
June 28, 2013
The federal Bureau of Land Management is moving forward with a controversial plan to offer about 12,000 acres of mineral rights in southwest Colorado for oil and gas drilling at its November auction — including parcels near the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park.
The park, known for its many ancient cliff dwellings, drew 572,329 visitors in 2012 and is the only place in Colorado on the United Nation’s World Heritage list.
“Groups call for expanded NPS role on frack projects near parks,” E&E News
June 19, 2013
National parks advocates held a briefing on Capitol Hill this morning to highlight their concerns with oil and gas development on the lands immediately surrounding America’s treasured spaces.
As the Bureau of Land Management continues to contemplate a rule governing hydraulic fracturing on public lands, the National Parks Conservation Association and the founder of the group Park Rangers for Our Lands briefed congressional staffers today on how the decision could affect national parks.
“Former Park Rangers Want to ‘Clear the Haze’ in CO Energy Development,” Public News Service
May 24, 2013
On Thursday, just in time for the Memorial Day weekend, the new visitor center was dedicated at Mesa Verde National Park – and some folks in attendance noticed a distinct haze on the skyline.
That’s one side effect of oil and gas drilling in the area, and a group of former park rangers says it’s unacceptable.
“Retired rangers eye drilling near national parks,” Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
May 9, 2013
The Bureau of Land Management has tools to avoid conflicts between the energy industry and national parks, a small organization of retired National Park Service rangers says.
The organization, Park Rangers for Our Lands, came together around concerns about leasing near Dinosaur National Monument in northwest Colorado and Mesa Verde National Park in the southwest corner of the state.
“Group of Park Rangers Fight to Protect Lands,” KREX-TV
May 8, 2013
In response to the BLMS’s decision to drill near national parks, a group of former park rangers say they’re coming together to fight for our lands.
Members of “Park Rangers for Our Lands” are advocating for a balance between energy development and conservation in western national parks.
“Defending America’s Greatest Treasures,” Huffington Post Green
May 8, 2013
Oil and gas is booming across the country, from the shale oil fields of North Dakota to natural gas deposits in the Rockies to expansive shale gas fields of the northeastern Marcellus.
But the success of oil and gas development is not without risk. Today, fracking and drilling operations are encroaching on national parks throughout the West, endangering both the parks and the economic and cultural role they play. This is why my fellow former park rangers and I decided to create Park Rangers For Our Lands. Our goal is to raise awareness to the growing crisis that oil and gas fracking and drilling brings to the footsteps of America’s national parks.
“Group doesn’t want national parks impacted by drilling,” KJCT-TV
A group of former national park rangers is uniting to prevent the Bureau of Land Management from leasing certain Western Slope lands for oil and gas drilling; or at the least, have the bureau plan more carefully before making final decisions.
‘Park Rangers for Our Lands’ is a newly formed organization raising awareness about the dangers of oil and gas drilling around national parks.
New Organization Rises Up To Warn About Energy Exploration Impacts On National Park, National Parks Traveler
May 6, 2013
As the country endeavors to become more and more energy independent, new techniques for extracting oil and gas from beneath the landscape are greatly expanding the footprint of energy exploration in the country.
While these efforts have greatly increased the production of oil and natural gas in the United States, they also are creating problems when the drilling operations turn up on the doorsteps of national parks.
“Roosevelt pitches for park with family name,” Bismark Tribune
April 2, 2013
…Winthrop Roosevelt was a kid far away from home and he grew up some that hot dusty summer. “Going on horseback rides and jumping in the Little Missouri River can make a man out of anyone,” he said.
The family maintains a close connection to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Roosevelt said he jumped at the invitation to narrate a short video called “A Boom with No Boundaries” that was released this week by the Center for American Progress, a non-profit policy think-tank based in Washington, D.C.
“Oil and gas trade group guarded on upcoming fracking rules,” The Hill
May 2, 2013
…But some say the states already enforce the master leasing plans unevenly, and that stronger federal oversight is necessary.
Ellis Richard, a retired park ranger who recently launched a conservation group called Park Rangers for Our Lands, said Colorado has been more lax in its enforcement master leasing plans than other states.
“Rangers seek buffer between drilling and national parks,” EnergyWire
May 1, 2013
Add one more hash mark to the tally of organizations that want to get between drillers and energy reserves on public lands.
Former park rangers launched a new organization this week to warn against oil and gas development around national parks in the West. Park Rangers for Our Lands plans to promote balance between energy development and conservation, emphasizing the need for a “more comprehensive look” at the landscapes on the perimeter of parks.
“EX-PARK RANGERS OPPOSE OIL, GAS LEASES,” Politico Morning Energy
April 30, 2013
A coalition of former National Park Service rangers has formed Park Rangers for Our Lands, a group dedicated to questioning the Bureau of Land Management when the agency offers oil and gas leases the rangers feel will threaten national parks. The Colorado BLM office took heat earlier this year when it planned to sell leases near Dinosaur National Monument, a plan that was withdrawn after complaints from critics. PROL’s website: http://bit.ly/ZMPJcz
“Winthrop Roosevelt on the Oil Boom that Threatens His Great-Great-Grandfather’s Legacy,” The Daily Beast
April 2, 2013
My great-great-grandfather Theodore Roosevelt has the accurate reputation of being one of our country’s greatest conservationists. Images of TR embracing the great American outdoors by roping cattle on his ranch, hunting buffalo on the plains, and standing next to the Grand Canyon are just as ubiquitous in American history as the images of him working behind his desk in the Oval Office. His love for the natural world became one of his crowning policy achievements as president. To put it in context, the U.S. Forest Service once calculated that he preserved 230 million acres of land, or 84,000 acres for each day he was president.
TR seems to have been drawn to the natural world almost from birth, but it took the Badlands of North Dakota where he lived from 1884 to 1886 to finalize his transformation from a sickly child born into urban wealth into a hardy individual with a lifelong passion for conservation. As he put it: “I have always said I would not have been president had it not been for my experience in North Dakota.”
“Energy Development Knocking On Door Of Elkhorn Ranch At Theodore Roosevelt National Park,” National Parks Traveler
March 22, 2013
North Dakota’s energy boom continues to close in on Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where officials are concerned about a proposal to drill for oil on the doorstep of Theodore Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch.
While officials for XTO Energy have said they are discussing alternative drill sites with federal land managers, the current proposal is set to go before state permitting officials on March 28.
“Agency working out kinks in lease sales,” Durango Herald
March 13, 2013
The Bureau of Land Management’s local field office has learned some lessons from the most recent natural-gas and oil leasing process, which ended in a flood of protests and the deferral of more than 12,000 acres from the February lease sale…
Clementson made clear that the decision to defer the leases in Southwest Colorado does not take that land off the table for future development. After the BLM answers all the protests received about the lease sale, the land could be renominated for leasing as soon as August or November, Clementson said.
“Oil Drilling Near Parks,” KFYR-TV
March 11, 2013
Oil drilling is happening virtually everywhere in western North Dakota. But residents have brought up concerns over drilling right near state and national parks in the west. That`s why legislators looked at a resolution to study best practices on how to make the oil activity coexist with the tourism and outdoor places.
Some suggestions proponents had were putting oil wells farther out of sight from park entrances, or reducing the flaring of those wells.
“Huffman: Irresponsible drilling proposals for national parks,” Denver Post
January 29, 2013
President Barack Obama can establish a conservation legacy by taking a balanced approach to energy development on our public lands. That legacy must ensure that America’s greatest treasures — our national parks — don’t get run over in the rush to develop the next oil and gas well.
Unfortunately, things are out of balance in Colorado. Bureau of Land Management state director Helen Hankins has proposed oil and gas leasing next to both Dinosaur National Monument and Mesa Verde National Park.