Thursday, March 13, 2008


Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement today in response to Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary C. Stephen Allred's letter concerning the Roan Plateau:
"I appreciate that the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management devoted careful time and attention to this important matter over the past few months. They said they would review our proposal in good faith, and I believe they have. I look forward to continuing our relationship with the Department and the Bureau on this and other issues in the years ahead.
"However, I strongly disagree with and am disappointed in the Department's decision not to pursue phased leasing and not to expand areas that would be off-limits to energy development on the Roan Plateau.
"We proposed a uniquely Colorado solution that struck a good balance and would benefit our economy, communities and energy industry while minimizing the impact to our environment. It allowed for phased leasing, staged development, extensive environmental protections, local economic prosperity and maximum financial benefits to the state.
"Our plan to pursue phased leasing received strong support from a broad spectrum of stakeholders. We are committed to pursuing the right outcome for Colorado and we are disappointed that a procedural hurdle will preclude the thoughtful development and maximum economic benefit to the citizens of the state.
"Today's decision by the Department of the Interior is not an end by any measure. We will now quickly begin discussions with Sen. Ken Salazar, Sen. Wayne Allard, Rep. Mark Udall, Rep. John Salazar and the rest of our Congressional delegation about possible legislative alternatives.
"The Roan Plateau is one of the West's special and unique places and it deserves a special effort to craft a sound long-term management plan. We have just one chance to get this right."