Rock the Earth Urges Secretary of the Interior to Protect Roan Plateau

Jewel of Colorado Public Lands Threatened by Plans to Drill

Marketwired

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - Aug 16, 2013) - Rock the Earth, a national nonprofit environmental organization that partners with the music industry, today announced that it is in the process of delivering more than 2,000 online signatures by mail to Washington, D.C. from a petition campaign and 450 postcards to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, urging the agency to protect Colorado's Roan Plateau from oil and gas drilling.

The petition urges the Department of the Interior to protect the Roan Plateau by adopting a management plan that keeps energy development off of the top of the plateau and out of important wildlife at the base of the plateau. Sign the petition here.

Public interest law firm Earthjustice filed suit in 2008 to challenge the Bush-era BLM leasing plan on behalf of Rock The Earth, Colorado Environmental Coalition, Colorado Mountain Club, Colorado Trout Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Wild, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and Wilderness Workshop. In June 2012, Federal Court District Judge Marcia Krieger ruled in favor of the environmental organizations challenging the plan and remanded the plan back to BLM for further study and review of, among other things, a community alternative supported by Rock the Earth that would keep the bulk of the Roan undisturbed and intact while allowing for limited gas well development, as well as a review of cumulative air emissions impacts from the drilling of thousands of new natural gas wells in the region.

Roan Plateau Threatened
The BLM has acknowledged that drilling the Roan in Western Colorado, would cause permanent and irreversible losses of native trout populations and rare plant species, and also that wilderness-quality lands and opportunities for backcountry recreation would be permanently destroyed.

The Roan Plateau includes some of the last remaining, intact, unprotected, wilderness-quality lands in Colorado. Rising 3,500 feet above the Colorado River Valley, the Roan Plateau is currently threatened by calls for the drilling of thousands of new natural gas wells. Colorado's Roan Plateau is one of the most important areas of public land left in the State of Colorado. The Roan provides a home to a variety of rare plants and threatened species, as well as large tracts of pristine wilderness-quality land for 33 species of mammals, 125 species of birds and 12 species of reptiles and amphibians.

Widely known as a "biological hotspot," the area is home to black bear, cougar and some of the state's prized deer and elk herds. Sensitive species include plants that grow nowhere else on Earth, and one of the more pure strains of native trout in the world. This is all threatened by possible oil and gas development.

Helpful Links/Resources

Online Petition
Roan Plateau Timeline
Roan Plateau Facts & Figures
Judge Krieger's full opinion

About Rock the Earth

Rock the Earth is a national nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to protecting and defending our natural resources through partnerships with the music industry and the worldwide environmental community to ensure a sustainable and healthy planet for all. Thanks to generosity and support of a network of music industry partners and the world wide environmental community, we are able to carry out grassroots organizing, education, and legal action to mobilize public support and empower social change. Please visit www.RockTheEarth.org for more information.

Contact:

Marc Ross
Rock the Earth
(303) 454-3304
marcr@rocktheearth.org

Joanna Kulesa
PR for Rock the Earth
(408) 806-9201
joannak@rocktheearth.org

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