Plan would limit Western Slope gas drilling

Drilling rig at dawn
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ASPEN, Colo. (AP) Agriculture and conservation groups are proposing that land available for gas leasing in the region called the "bread basket" of the Roaring Fork Valley be reduced.

The North Fork Alternative Plan would apply to about 63,000 acres of land and 137,000 acres of underground minerals around Paonia, Hotchkiss, Delta and several smaller communities in the valley 60 miles south of Carbondale used for agriculture.

Activist Jim Ramey tells the Aspen Daily News more than 150,000 acres of land in the North Fork Valley already have been leased for oil and gas development, and the proposed would not affect those leases.

The West Slope Oil and Gas Association says many drilling-related impacts like traffic, light, noise, or interference with views could be mitigated through conditions placed on permits.

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