The Sopris Sun

A sneaky move by the BLM

Dear Editor:

I read with great dismay in last Friday’s Post Independent that the BLM wants to abandon their offices in Garfield County and “move” to Grand Junction.

Although I can see there are monetary savings if the BLM offices are consolidated into one location, I believe that most of us who are paying attention to what is actually going on suspect there may be an additional reason for this move: to allow our Garfield County Commissioners to move forward with rubber-stamping any and all drilling and development permit requests they like.

I attended the URSA permit request meeting in Glenwood in November 2017 to drill a massive well site and huge “wastewater” injection well within a few hundred feet of an entire housing subdivision in Battlement Mesa. The minute that meeting was called into “recess” (so the commissioners could “consider” the permit without the public still in the room), they couldn’t get their approval notice out to the news media fast enough — it took them less than an hour. It was a real “belly punch” to every citizen who attended that meeting, who sent in opinions, and to the health concerns they skipped over.

Consolidating the Garfield County BLM Office into the offices in Mesa County will do a very good job of excluding the citizens of Garfield County from participating in these decisions, and using our right to attend those meetings. It is a 200 mile round trip for me to drive to the BLM office in Grand Junction.

Please don’t let the BLM, and our Garfield County Commissioners, take away our right to know about what they are doing, what they are voting on, and what they are trying to “slip under the door” as quietly and quickly as they can, usually before adequate discussion can be heard!  I need to attend these important meetings to express my desire to protect our health, our clean air, our water resources, the wildlife habitats, and all issues they will be able to “slip past us” if everything is being handled in Mesa County. There is a reason why there is a BLM office in almost every county in the state. Don’t let them take our rights away!

They need to remember that: I vote — in every election to come. This is a battle, and I don’t intend to lose! It’s a clear case of: “Our Risks, Their Profits”.  

This is a moral issue! Just because these oil/gas companies, logging companies, and any other “extraction” system they can set up, have purchased a lease to use these lands for their profit, it doesn’t mean they should be given a blank check (by our Garfield County Commissioners, and by the BLM), to poison our residents, poison our water, allow toxic chemicals and gases to “evaporate” into our air, and to rape our lands. Keep the BLM Office in Garfield County!

Mrs. J. Moore
Glenwood Springs