County quantifies effects of Vermillion Basin plan
CRAIG — Moffat County commissioners say millions of dollars in potential tax revenue will be lost if Vermillion Basin is off-limits to energy development.
They say in a public letter that county taxing districts could lose out on up to $25.6 million under a Bureau of Land Management proposal to keep oil and gas wells off the basin, and up to $87 million in federal royalties could be lost.
The BLM’s proposal is part of a larger one to keep oil and gas leases off 242,000 acres on 1.9 million acres of federal minerals managed by its Little Snake Field Office in northwest Colorado.
Conservationists say the proposal would protect 77,000 acres of the Vermillion Basin valued for its wildlife habitat, sandstone cliffs and petroglyphs.