Roan Plateau: Governor Ritter Issues Press Release

Evan Dreyer, 720.350.8370, Ensuring protection for critical fish and wildlife habitat, such as by expanding the size of


protect the environment and properly pace future development;

Exploring the concept of phased or incremental leasing to increase state revenues, better

Achieving sustainable economic prosperity for local communities and industry;

receives bonus payments from future leasing on the Roan; and

Exploring a possible amendment to the 1997 federal Transfer Act to ensure that the state

œDuring this period of discussions with the Interior Department, we will continue to actively

engage all those with a stake in the future of the Roan Plateau, Gov. Ritter said. œThis will

include local officials and community leaders, energy industry representatives, conservationists,

sportsmen, state lawmakers and members of Colorado’s congressional delegation.

Incorporating state-of-the-art technology to minimize environmental disturbance.



136 State Capitol Building

Denver, Colorado 80203

(303) 866 – 2471

(303) 866 – 2003 fax

Bill Ritter, Jr.



Facts about the Roan Plateau

What is the Roan Plateau?


of Denver with significant recoverable natural gas resources.

A federally and privately owned plateau in northwest Colorado about 180 miles west

acres, including surface acres and subsurface mineral rights.

The federally owned portion of the Roan Plateau Planning Area (RPPA) is 73,602

sides and the base.

The federal acreage includes 34,758 acres on top of the Roan and 38,844 acres on the

energy companies and ranchers, own the remaining 42 percent.

The BLM owns 58 percent of the surface of the RPPA and private entities, including

Colorado River at its base.

The Roan Plateau rises to more than 9,200 feet and is 4,000 feet higher than the

of roads and thousands of acres without roads. This includes 157 miles of unpaved

roads on the federal land on top of the Roan.

The Roan includes scenic areas, varied and rich wildlife habitat, more than 200 miles

TCF on the top and 4.7 TCF on the cliffs and below the rim. That is enough natural gas

for Colorado’s 1.5 million residential customers for 34 years.

The recoverable resources are estimated at 8.9 trillion cubic feet (TCF), including 4.2
What’s happening today on the Roan Plateau?


private land on the top.

There are more than 1,300 producing natural gas wells in the RPPA, including 10 on


There are 876 permits to drill new wells, including 161 on the top and 715 on the

federal land.

On the bottom of the Roan, there are 980 wells on private land and 333 wells on
What is the federal government’s current plan for leasing on the Roan?


be developed over the next 20 years, including 210 wells and 13 drilling pads on the top

of the Roan.

BLM has estimated that under the current plan up to 1,560 wells on 193 well pads would

The BLM would lease the available acres all at once.

bottom) and allow for recovery of 90 percent of the natural gas resources.

The BLM said the management plan will protect 51 percent of the Roan (top, sides and


than 350 acres at a time and wells must be clustered on multi-well pads at least a half

mile apart.

Surface disturbances, including well pads and equipment, would be limited to no more

to 1 percent at any time.

All drilling would be done in phases with well pads clustered to limit surface disturbance

used. Directional drilling is currently used on over 98% of new wells in the Piceance


To access the natural gas resources with a minimum of wells, directional drilling will be

Drilling would not be allowed on slopes with greater than a 20 percent angle.
Geography of the Roan Plateau


pure strains of the Colorado River cutthroat trout, bald and golden eagles, deer, elk,

puma, black bear, peregrine falcon and sage grouse

Four œAreas of Critical Environmental Concern are home to wildlife such as genetically

The four areas total 21,032 acres:

Anvil Points — 4,955 acres

East Fork of Parachute Creek — 6,571 acres

Magpie — 4,696 acres

# # #

Trapper/Northwater — 4,810 acres

Deb Frazier, 303.866.5887,




Gov. Bill Ritter announced today that his administration and the U.S. Department of the Interior

are engaged in productive discussions about the future of the Roan Plateau and will continue the

dialogue over the coming weeks.

œWe are making steady progress on what I believe is a uniquely Colorado solution – a solution

that strikes an important balance and will benefit our environment, economy, communities and

energy industry, Gov. Ritter said. œI’m pleased that Interior is working with us in reviewing the

environmental, economic and technical issues pertaining to the Roan. I look forward to

continuing these discussions to reach a mutually agreeable means of developing the energy

resources on the Roan while also serving as responsible stewards of Colorado’s future.

œThe Roan Plateau is a very special place, and we have only one chance to get it right, Gov.

Ritter said. œThe state and federal governments owe it to present and future generations to do

everything we can to accomplish our goals. Gov. Ritter said he hopes to achieve several

objectives during the ongoing conversations, including:

THURSDAY, DEC. 20, 2007


the four wildlife-protection zones, known as œAreas of Critical Environmental Concern;