BLM SEEKS COMMENT ON PICEANCE BASIN OIL AND GAS PLAN
The Bureau of Land Management yesterday released the draft White River Resource Management Plan Oil and Gas Amendment, which will help guide oil and gas development in the Piceance Basin over the next 20 years. The BLM is seeking public comment on the amendment, which analyzes four alternatives on potential oil and gas development and proposes appropriate mitigation measures on the 1.7 million acres of federal leasable minerals administered by the White River Field Office, which includes Rio Blanco County, southern Moffat County, and a small part of northern Garfield County. In 2012, oil and gas development in Colorado supported thousands of jobs and boosted the American economy by approximately $9.5 billion. Over the next 20 years, oil and gas activities in this area of the Piceance Basin could produce 878 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually and create as many as 8,000 new jobs in northwestern Colorado. The BLM will host four public open houses to answer questions and provide an opportunity to submit written comments on this Draft RMP Amendment. A list of the public meetings and their locations can be found below. A final decision is expected in April 2014.
* Sept. 24, Meeker, Colorado: Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds, 779 Sulphur Creek Road
* Sept 25, Rangely, Colorado: Colorado Northwestern Community College, Rangely Campus, Weiss Building, 500 Kennedy Drive
* Sept. 26, Silt, Colorado: BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office, 2300 River Frontage Road
* Sept. 27, Grand Junction, Colorado: Clarion Inn, 755 Horizon Drive
BLM LEASES 400 ACRE COAL TRACT TO SAGE CREEK HOLDINGS
Yesterday the Bureau of Land Management leased a 400-acre tract for $800,000 to Sage Creek Holdings to develop about 3.2 million tons of recoverable coal adjacent to the Twentymile Coal Mine. Sage Creek Holdings filed an application in 2009 to lease an additional 400 acres of coal adjacent to the Twentymile Coal Mine. In April 2012, the BLM finalized an environmental assessment to determine the scope of their application and potential impacts to wildlife, cultural resources and air quality. The lease would most likely be developed using underground mining methods. The mine currently employs 461 people. Roughly, 90 percent of coal deposits in Colorado occur on public lands. Currently, there are nine producing coal mines (seven underground and two surface operations) encompassing 75,000 acres in the state. In Fiscal Year 2011, coal energy production on BLM Colorado’s public lands directly contributed $884 million to the economy.
YVMC TO TAKE PART IN HEALTH CARE INITIATIVE
Yampa Valley Medical Associates is one of 73 primary care practices in the state that have been selected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in a comprehensive initiative to help keep health care costs down. The Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative is a partnership between CMS and other payers including state Medicaid agencies, commercial health plans, self-insured businesses, and primary care practices. Under the Initiative, CMS will pay primary care practices a care management fee, initially set at an average of $20 per beneficiary per month, to support enhanced, coordinated services on behalf of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries. For patients, this means these physicians may offer longer and more flexible hours, use electronic health records; coordinate care with patients’ other health care providers; better engage patients and caregivers in managing their own care, and provide individualized, enhanced care for patients living with multiple chronic diseases and higher needs. The CPC initiative is a four-year initiative administered by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
CLARK MAN RECOVERING FROM EXPLODING SHOTGUN SHELL
A 21-year-old Clark man is recovering from injuries after a shotgun shell he was drilling exploded. Keith West told deputies he was trying to take the shell apart with a power tool on Tuesday and he didn’t realize the shell was still loaded. Reports say West lost parts of his thumb, index and middle fingers in the accident.
CONNECTIONS 4 KIDS ANNOUNCES NEW CALENDAR
Connections 4 Kids, the early childhood council serving Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, has announced the release of their second annual calendar. The calendar showcases artwork by 20 finalists featured during the organization’s Cherish the Little Things children’s art show in February. The top vote-getting artwork, a watercolor by Caitlin Running, is featured on the cover. The other 12 winners are featured on their own month. The seven runners-up are tiled on the final month. The calendar, which runs from August 2012 through August 2013, is free and is targeted to young families in Moffat County. Included are Moffat County School District dates, community events and fun family activities. A total of 1,000 calendars will be distributed throughout Moffat County and can be found at various locations throughout Moffat County. For more information, call 824-8282, ext. 47.
MEETING IN CRAIG WILL FOCUS ON STATE ECONOMY
Those wanting to get a look at the state’s economic status are encouraged to attend a meeting next month in Craig. The Yampa Valley Economic Development Council has invited the Center for Colorado’s Economic Future to their September meeting to discuss their annual report. The report is expected to provide a view of the State Budget. Discussion on the local budget development for citizen services, government, education and health care will take place. The meeting is September 19th at 5:30 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavillion. Dinner will be served. If you’d like to RSVP, call 871-8215.