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Judge Halts Oil and Gas Development in Proposed Colorado Wilderness

A Major Flip-Flop

When drilling for gas beneath the South Shale Ridge Wilderness Study Area in Colorado was proposed, the Bureau of Land Management suggested that it might be prudent to drill at a slant from places outside the immediate area. Shortly thereafter, the agency reversed itself and issued leases that would allow drilling from the study area.

Take It Easy

Environmental organizations objected that the drilling would ruin the wilderness character of South Shale Ridge, which is riddled with fabulous sandstone canyons, and damage rare and fragile plants. They filed suit.

One for the Good Guys

In August 2007, a federal judge suspended the permit and ordered the BLM to reconsider slant drilling and measures to protect the plants. The area is popular with hikers and hunters. Update: In late November 2007, the Bureau of Land Management said it won't appeal the August decision. which probably means the BLM will conduct further environmental studies.