Objection to Forest Service draft allows groups a place at table for negotiations

Pitkin County and local nonprofit environmental group Wilderness Workshop have filed objections to a U.S. Forest Service draft record of decision (ROD) that effectively ends future leasing for oil and gas extraction activities in much of the White River National Forest, including a large swath of the controversial Thompson Divide area.

In total, seven objections were made by the following entities: Pitkin and Mesa counties; Encana; SG Interests; the Mountain States Legal Foundation (on behalf of WillSource Enterprise LLC) and Western Energy Alliance; Public Lands Advocacy Group, and the West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association.

Fitzwilliams said that each objection will now go to the regional Forest Service office for review. He said a response will likely come in May or June, but noted that the decision could be wide-ranging.

“It can be from soup to nuts,” Fitzwilliams said Friday.

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