Aug. 4, 2007
Brian O’Donnell, Public Lands Initiative director, (970) 903-0276
Chris Hunt, Public Lands Initiative communications director, (208) 406-9106
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Roan Plateau protected under House Energy Bill
Treasured fish and game habitat set aside by Colorado legislators
DENVER, Colo.— Western Colorado sportsmen thanked U.S. Reps. John Salazar and Mark Udall for including protective language for the top of the Roan Plateau in the House’s Energy Independence Act of 2007. The House passed the bill Saturday.
“It’s particularly satisfying to have the Roan protected in this bill, because it shows that our lawmakers are listening to their constituents,” said Brian O’Donnell, director of Trout Unlimited’s Public Lands Initiative. “The Roan is so important for its above-ground hunting and angling resources. Keeping it intact is the best option for sportsmen who appreciate the unique fishing and the trophy hunting opportunities available atop the Roan.”
The protective language in the bill would prohibit surface occupancy for drilling or exploration atop the plateau. The land could still be leased for development, but any attempt to go after the subsurface natural gas would have to be done using directional drilling from off the top of the plateau or from private lands adjacent to the protected public land on the plateau.
“A lot of people have worked very hard over the years to protect the Roan and keep its fish and wildlife habitat intact,” O’Donnell said. “We owe a great debt to Reps. Salazar and Udall. They understand the importance of hunting and fishing in Colorado, and they understand that energy development in our state doesn’t have to compromise our traditional values. Thanks to their efforts, future generations of Coloradans will be able to enjoy the Roan Plateau just as we do today.”
Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization. TU has over 150,000 members from coast to coast.