Roan Plateau: Using It vs. Losing It

August 16, 2007 By: Marshall Cutchin

To many of us, it seems unconscionable that 25 years of natural gas resources might provoke a state to give up 75,000 acres of wilderness, but the debate over whether drilling should occur on Colorado’s Roan Plateau focuses on that very proposition. What’s very clear is that, without historical use of the Plateau by hunters and fishers and hikers, the argument wouldn’t even be taking place, given the money being lobbed at the issue by drilling advocates. Associated Press writer Judith Kohler offers a good summary of the situation. “Industry officials say that makes the plateau important to cutting the country’s reliance on foreign fuel. A Colorado-based industry nonprofit called Americans for American Energy is launching a campaign to lump the Roan with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as symbols of thwarted attempts at energy independence.”