Email letters, Dec. 10, 2012

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Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

One does not need to assume anything about the breakdown of the 3,000 scoping comment received by the BLM on the leasing of parcels in the North Fork.  BLM has those comments available for review.  The BLM ought to promptly make the comments on the EA itself available as well, and we can settle that matter too.  In the case of scoping comments, a majority of the ones provided by BLM were from the North Fork, Delta and Gunnison Counties.  I prepared a breakdown of them myself, and I still have both the comments and the crunched numbers. 

The idea behind the White House petition is specifically to allow other folks to weigh in on the management of their public lands.  Ironically, when its mostly local oil and gas boosters call us NIMBYs.  When folks weigh in from elsewhere, they call them ‘outsiders.’ 

Well, on that note: What was striking was that the majority of scoping comments that the BLM received in favor of drilling the North Fork were from outside the two counties.  Primarily from Mesa County, a few from Lakewood and Montrose. 

I just attended a meeting packed with locals at the school, over 200 people which is a good turn out for holiday time in a small community.  Over 170 of those joined a local protest of these leases to the BLM. 

The fact is while these are federal public lands that belong to American citizens as a whole, the sentiment in the North Fork itself is certainly very strong, as this protest period is and will continue to demonstrate.

Comment Breakdown-Scoping Comments (prior to first EA)

•48 comments were received from businesses, farms, and agricultural associations asking that the parcels be withdrawn or otherwise expressing non-support for the proposed action. 

•36 comments were received from water companies or water districts, ditch or irrigation companies, or reservoir companies—all raising concerns and asking that parcels be withdrawn.

•22 comments were received from governments, agencies, and bodies—all raise concerns, most ask that parcels be deferred (if management cannot be updated), some raise significant issues involving endangered species and other legal obligations that BLM may be violating. 

•99% of the comment received from organizations, governments, agencies, associations and businesses did not support the proposed action. 

•98% of the comment received from individuals in Delta and Gunnison County did not support the proposed action. 
•97% of the comment received from individuals around Colorado did not support the proposed action.

•96% of the comment received from individuals on the Western Slope did not support the proposed action. 

•70% of the comment received from individuals on the Western Slope EXCLUDING Delta and Gunnison Counties did not support the proposed action.

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