A coalition of local and national conservation groups filed a legal challenge Monday to a resource management plan for the Colorado River Valley.
The groups, including Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop and Western Colorado Congress, the latter of which has been heavily involved in oil and gas proposals in Battlement Mesa, filed a civil complaint in U.S. District Court Monday against top ranking U.S. Interior Department and Bureau of Land Management officials.
They argue that BLM failed to acknowledge the impact of its decision regarding resource management on public lands in the Colorado River Valley planning area, which includes 567,000 acres in Eagle, Garfield, Pitkin, Routt, Mesa and Rio Blanco counties.
The resource management plan, solidified in a record of decision last summer, closes 98,100 acres of minerals to future oil and gas leasing, and leaves 603,100 acres of federal mineral estate open to oil and gas leasing and development.