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Saving Colorado’s HD Mountains from Damaging Drilling

Mesa Verde National Park.

The proposed gas drilling project would worsen smog in southwest Colorado near Mesa Verde National Park.

Photo courtesy of Doug Anderson

What's at Stake

The project will bulldoze roadless forest, destroy old-growth forest and worsen smog in southwest Colorado near Mesa Verde National Park.

Case Overview

A proposed natural gas drilling project near Durango, Colorado, will bulldoze roadless forest, destroy old-growth forest and worsen smog in southwest Colorado near Mesa Verde National Park. The project proposes almost 200 new coalbed methane wells, including approximately 30 wells and 8 to 9 miles of new roads inside the currently undeveloped HD Mountains roadless area.

The Forest Service and BLM adopted the drilling plan despite acknowledging that it was inconsistent with requirements in the current San Juan Forest Plan to protect old-growth forest, wildlife habitat, water quality and riparian areas.

Earthjustice challenged the project in the district court and federal court of appeals on behalf of conservation groups As a result of the lawsuit, the Forest Service is conducting additional environmental review and no drilling has occurred in the roadless area.

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