Publicly funded park proposal near Silt could include active gas drilling

Sorry, kids, that’s not a swing set.

Oil rigs may become part of a public park near the town of Silt on Colorado’s Western Slope if the town, Garfield County, the Aspen Valley Land Trust and Antero Resources – a natural gas production company – can work out a deal with landowner the Dixon Water Foundation, according to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

oil well

The 210-acre parcel of pastureland along the Colorado River is ripe for a 50-acre park with a trail system and river access, open space advocates told the paper, and the other 160 acres would be left alone as prime habitat for eagles, herons, deer and elk – and a couple of natural gas well pads.

Denver-based Antero – the same company making headlines for its controversial plans to drill up to 200 wells in the heart of the Battlement Mesa community — reportedly has yet to apply to drill on the property on the Dixon Water property, which is valued at just under $1.9 million. The town is also seeking funding from Great Outdoors Colorado, which uses state lottery money to procure open space.

Silt town administrator Betsy Suerth said the possibility of gas production on the property actually presents an opportunity.

“We have a very good relationship with Antero,” she said. “We’re actually pretty excited to try to be a model of collaboration on park development in concert with gas well development.”

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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