USFS Withdraws Gas Drilling Permit

Possible Precedent-setting Decision
Peter Shelton

NORTH FORK VALLEY – The U.S. Forest Service Paonia Ranger District announced on June 14 that it is withdrawing its decision to approve an oil and gas drilling permit in the Gunnison National Forest, according to a release by Citizens for a Healthy Community and the Western Environmental Law Center.

WELC had submitted an administrative appeal challenging the drilling approval because the USFS failed to complete the legally mandated site-specific environmental analysis of drilling impacts, and the federal agency agreed...

“Although this proposal didn’t involve a huge number of acres, it would have set a bad precedent for the manner in which federal agencies manage and approve oil and gas development on our public lands,” said WELC attorney, Kyle Tisdel. “Failing to provide any site-specific analysis of an oil and gas development is legally indefensible, and the Forest Service correctly recognized this failure in withdrawing its approval.”

(Learn more about WELC's work to protect the North Fork Valley.)