Concern grows about drilling near Colorado’s Chimney Rock national monument

At the request of Colorado and local officials, federal agencies are considering offering more time for public comment on a proposed leasing of federal land for drilling near the historic Chimney Rock National Monument.
The monument is located between Pagosa Springs and Durango in the southern part of the state.
Nearly 9,000 acres of public land is being considered to be leased for oil and gas drilling in the region of which about 2,600 acres lie in the San Juan National Forest near Chimney Rock.
The monument is the site of more than 150 archaeological resources in one of the largest Pueblo communities which were inhabited from 900 to 1150.
The Denver Post reported that the executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources wrote the state BLM office, claiming the public, tribal and state and local government didn’t have enough time to review the proposal. The state is asking for a 30-day extension for public comment.
An Archuleta County Commissioner admitted to the Post that he was unaware of the proposed leases for drilling and planned to immediately contact the Bureau of Land Management. 
The Colorado BLM said it has yet to decide on the requests to extend the comment period.
The proposed lease sale is scheduled for March 2021.

Source: Denver Post


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