Court Blocks Oil and Gas Drilling in Colorado Wilderness
August 6, 2007
Colorado’s South Shale Ridge is a unique region that is home to the bald eagle, extremely rare plants, and features miles of multi-colored badlands and twisting canyons. In 2001 the Bureau of Land Management released official findings which recommended that this region be considered for protection as a Wilderness Study Area. However, in 2005, after making a public commitment to account for and properly manage this region’s wilderness features, the BLM turned around and opened almost the entire area up to oil and gas drilling. In response to this potentially devastating move, the Sierra Club took legal action to ensure that this region’s natural splendor would be preserved for future generations.
In a major victory, on August 6, 2007 a federal judge blocked the BLM from issuing oil and gas drilling permits for South Shale Ridge. U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Kreiger found that BLM violated both the National Environmental Policy Act for failing to consider alternatives to highly disruptive surface drilling and the Endangered Species Act by failing to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Surface on the potential to harm habitat for the Unita Basin hookless cactus. Keith Baurerle of Earthjustice, who represented the Sierra Club, stated that "Today's decision forces the BLM to consider how gas development can proceed without destroying the environment."
Details and Documents:
Judge's Ruling Puts Hold On Drilling Near DeBeque
August 7, 2007, by Associate Press, CBS Denver
See other "Promoting Resilient Habitats" cases.