Target: Colorado Bureau of Land Management
Goal: Condemn oil and gas development plans near a Colorado national park
ThinkProgress recently reported that the Colorado Bureau of Land Management “will be auctioning off nearly 12,000 acres of public lands for oil and gas drilling in November.” The massive parcels of land are “located less than ten miles from Mesa Verde,” an “iconic” national park home to breathtaking mountain vistas and Native American historical sites. Condemn this decision to open such precious lands to dangerous, polluting oil and gas development.
The area was “originally put up for lease in February 2013,” but “significant public outcry” and sharp criticism from the National Park Service derailed initial plans for developing oil and gas resources. Less than six months later, the decision to reopen the Mesa Verde region for development has again alarmed environmental leaders and national park advocates. The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees noted that drilling “could further impair the already degraded air quality at Mesa Verde, harm important scenic values within the surrounding landscape and negatively affect the local economy, which depends greatly on the national park’s protected status.”
Mesa Verde’s perilous status represents a singular powerful case study of the dozens of similar development plans nationwide. As ThinkProgress notes, a recent analysis by the Wilderness Society shows “that between March 31 and June 30, 2013 (the second quarter of the year), the Obama administration has leased 201,479 acres of public lands to oil and gas companies, while protecting no acres as parks, monuments, or wilderness areas.” The rapid overdevelopment of environmentally destructive resources must be stopped.
Despite widespread public outcry, the Colorado Bureau of Land Management is poised to add to the troubling amount of public land auctioned to oil and gas developers. Condemn this decision and urge them to preserve the delicate lands surrounding Mesa Verde.
Dear Colorado Bureau of Land Management,
Your recent decision to auction off nearly 12,000 acres of public land near Mesa Verde National Park for oil and gas development recklessly endangers natural and historical national treasures. Mesa Verde’s perilous status also represents a case study of dozens of similar development plans nationwide. As a recent analysis by the Wilderness Society notes, “between March 31 and June 30, 2013 (the second quarter of the year), the Obama administration has leased 201,479 acres of public lands to oil and gas companies, while protecting no acres as parks, monuments, or wilderness areas.”
The decision to lease these lands is doubly problematic, as widespread public outcry derailed earlier efforts to lease them for such developments in February 2013. We condemn your move to lease these precious lands for polluting, dangerous oil and gas drilling and strongly urge you to listen to your neighbors and community members: protect this unique national treasure and do not approve development near Mesa Verde.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Tobi 87, via Wikimedia.