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On July 2, 2018, the BLM released a proposal to sell nearly a quarter-million acres of new oil and gas leases in a December 2018 Lease Sale. The parcels span the entire state including treasured public lands in the North Fork and Colorado River Valleys. The leases threaten vital resources like important wildlife habitat, rare and endangered plants, and lands with wilderness character.
Feel free to add to the form letter with some of these key points:- The December lease sale overlaps with thousands of acres of important wildlife habitat, including essential breeding, nesting, and denning grounds for threatened species like lynx and greater sage-grouse; aquatic habitat for cutthroat trout; dwindling winter range and migration corridors utilized by elk and mule deer; and winter range and winter forage habitat relied upon by iconic raptors, like bald eagles.
– The proposed lease sale risks harming rare and endangered plant species including the Piceance bladderpod; juniper tumble mustard; Debeque phacelia; Rocky Mountain thistle; Colorado hookless cactus; and Parachute beardtongue. Currently, oil and gas development is the greatest threat to these plants.
– The proposed oil and gas lease sale will overlap with lands with wilderness character and potential conservation areas identified by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program. These lands retain opportunities for solitude and irreplaceable ecological resources that will be impacted by oil and gas development.
– The parcels overlap with the historic Old Spanish National Trail. This centuries-old trade route between the United States and Mexico in entrenched in history and cultural value. It is unacceptable for the BLM to permit oil and gas drilling on these historic public lands.
– Development of these new oil and gas parcels will contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that have never been adequately considered by the BLM, and which will have lasting effects on all of us.