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BLM Expects to Hear Recommendation on Master Leasing Plan

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A group that advises the Bureau of Land Management may make a recommendation this week regarding a master leasing plan in Montezuma County.

On Monday, BLM Tres Rios Field Office Manager Connie Clementson told the county commissioners the Southwest Resource Advisory Council, or RAC, is meeting Friday in Gunnison, and she has asked them to come to a conclusion regarding the plan, which would provide stricter oversight of oil and gas development in much of the county. A RAC sub-group had held public meetings at which the overwhelming majority of comments favored creating a plan, but the commissioners oppose it. Keenan Ertel said he’d seen “a lot of uninformed opinions” being expressed. County public-lands coordinator James Dietrich said he believes the RAC will recommend not creating a plan. But no matter what the RAC recommends, the ultimate decision is up to BLM officials.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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