Ritter, Salazar tour Roan Plateau; renew calls for review | SummitDaily.com

Ritter, Salazar tour Roan Plateau; renew calls for review

RIFLE – Sen. Ken Salazar and Gov. Bill Ritter renewed their request for 120 days to review a management plan for drilling on the Roan Plateau, after flying over the area Tuesday.In June, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Interior Department rejected Ritter’s request for more time to review the plan, crafted before Ritter took office.Salazar, D-Colo., said he planned to ask Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne during an upcoming meeting to reconsider.Acting BLM director Jim Hughes has said Colorado had ample time to weigh in during the seven years BLM worked on the plan.Colorado Democrats have been trying to hinder a plan authorizing up to 1,570 new natural gas wells on the mineral-rich Roan, home to abundant wildlife and pristine backcountry.Last week, Salazar said he would block the confirmation of President Bush’s nominee to head the BLM until Ritter’s request was met.Salazar said he supports efforts to develop energy resources in Colorado but said the top of the Roan Plateau is a “special place” that should be protected.

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