Western Colorado’s Roan Plateau is one of the region’s great landscapes and a haven for fish, wildlife and sportsmen. It is also an important part of the area’s economy thanks largely to the hunting, fishing and recreation the Roan Plateau sustains. The Bureau of Land Management’s 2007 plan to open public lands on the Roan Plateau to drilling galvanized hunters and anglers to demand a more balanced approach to managing an area prized for its abundant mule deer, elk and genetically pure cutthroat trout.
- New roads, well pads and pipelines should not be constructed on top of the Roan in cutthroat trout drainages,
- Undisturbed big game winter range at the base of the plateau should not be developed.
- Big-game migration corridors need to remain intact and undisturbed by drilling.
- Where drilling is allowed, it should be done using state of the art practices (such as directional drilling and water and waste management technologies) that will protect sensitive trout and wildlife habitat at the base and top of the plateau, as well as other resources.
- To protect significant wildlife, fisheries, habitat and other resources, the BLM should retain the option of lease cancellation in order to plan from a clean slate.
Trout Unlimited along with Sportsmen for the Roan will advocate for the protection of cutthroat trout streams on the top of the Roan Plateau and the protection of big game habitat and migration corridors on the sides and base of the plateau. Possibly the greatest immediate threat to the Rocky Mountain West’s cutthroat trout fisheries is poorly conceived and planned oil and gas drilling projects, and the Roan is not immune to the energy rush. TU has established itself as a leading voice for responsible energy development that balances energy production with protection of high-quality fish and game habitat.
In early 2012, the Roan Plateau got a reprieve when a federal judge ordered the Bureau of Land Management to do a better job considering more protective management alternatives. The decision means we have another chance to put in place a plan that balances responsible energy development with safeguards for the wildlife, trout and the hunting and fishing opportunities that make the Roan a sportsmen’s paradise. TU submitted scoping comments to the BLM in early 2013 for consideration in the development of a Resource Management Plan Amendment/Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.