Environmental Groups Concerned About Land Swap

oil-and-gas-industry-300Local groups are questioning proposals from oil and natural gas exploration companies that want to swap operations from the Thompson Divide area to parts of west Colorado, including land in Rio Blanco County. The Grand Junction Audubon Society and North Fork Valley’s Citizens for a Heathy Community group are concerned the swaps shift environmental issues rather than solving them. The groups are worried about impacts to aspen forests and a type of swallow that inhabits them called the western purple martin. Advocates are working to protect the mostly-leased Thompson Divide from drilling. SG Interests wants to swap its leases for land in Delta, Mesa and Gunnison counties. Ursa Resources is proposing a Thompson Divide swap for land in Rio Blanco County. The exchanges require congressional approval.

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