Court hears fight over Colo. roadless drilling

DENVER — A coalition that’s trying to keep new coal-bed methane wells off roadless areas in southwest Colorado is making its case in court.

The coalition of groups representing landowners, hunters, farmers and others is appealing a ruling in May by U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch. He who upheld federal approvals for about 130 natural gas wells in the HD Mountains.

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments from both sides today.

The coalition still questions whether the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management took a “hard look” at effects on air quality before approving proposed wells. It also contends the agencies violated forest management plan standards for protecting old-growth forests, wildlife habitat and water.


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