Forest Draft Plan Released But Not Official

Wait three days and the saga of the Grand Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest management draft plan will change. Although it is not an official release until it is reviewed under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the GMUG Forest Service has posted the proposed draft plan on its website.Stating that this version of the proposed plan is being posted for informational purposes, the announcement also includes “There may be substantial modifications to this document prior to the official version being issued for formal comment this fall. Therefore, we recommend that the public wait to send in your comments until that time.”

It continues to describe that the draft plan “does not change any part of the 1993 Oil and Gas leasing decision, nor will it affect any rights conveyed through existing oil and gas leases, future leases issued under that decision, nor any stipulations attached to those leases.”

In addition, the report further states, “This Forest Plan document lays the framework for potential changes to availability or accessibility (i.e., surface use stipulations) that may be carried forward …. Potential changes could be based upon existing interest in leasing lands not previously analyzed for leasing.”

Essentially, energy development will continue in the national forests.