Groups appeal decision on drilling in SW Colorado |

Groups appeal decision on drilling in SW Colorado

DENVER – Landowners, hunters and conservation groups are appealing a federal court decision upholding plans to drill dozens of natural gas wells in parts of the southwest Colorado mountains.

Five conservation groups filed an appeal Tuesday of a ruling in May allowing the development in the San Juan National Forest.

The groups contend the project conflicts with the forest management plan and will harm wildlife and sensitive areas. Of special interest are the HD Mountains, which include roadless areas and make up roughly 45,000 acres of the 125,000-acre project area.

Farmer Jim Fitzgerald, among those challenging the drilling, says the HD Mountains are the last “tiny, little corner” in the San Juan Basin not yet drilled. He says the whole area depends on the mountain watersheds.

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