Gas study comments extended
A public comment period for an environmental study on future oil and gas leasing in the White River National Forest has been extended by 30 days.
Comments now must be received by Nov. 30.
The draft environmental impact statement analyzes four alternatives, including a proposed action that would reduce the available land for leasing to 260,308 acres. That’s about 11 percent of the total forest acreage, and compares to about 417,264 acres currently available. Forest officials say the decrease is largely due to lack of industry interest in less geologically promising areas.
The proposal also would bar surface disturbance of about 205,000 acres of the land available for leasing, meaning any development on that land would have to occur through directional drilling.
The Forest Service initially had offered a 60-day public comment period, longer than the normal 45-day period for such plans because of the complex and controversial nature of the proposal, forest supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said.
Comments should include a name, address, telephone number, and organization represented, if any; the title of the document being commented on (White River National Forest Draft Oil and Gas Leasing EIS); and specific facts and supporting reasons to be considered.