Colorado Parks and Wildlife is considering oil and gas exploration and/or production at St. Vrain State Park

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From the Loveland Reporter-Herald (Pamela Dickman):

Officials are looking at the best — and least harmful to the environment — way to tap mineral resources under the state park before a private company beats them to the well. “The resources are going to be drilled anyway,” said Theo Stein, spokesman for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission. “Resources can be reached from outside the state park.”[…]

St. Vrain State Park is located just off Interstate 25 at Colorado 119 on the site of former gravel mines. The 604 acres boast ponds, fishing, wildlife and camping. And underneath the land is oil. Unlike other state parks, the state actually owns 439 acres of mineral rights below the park, giving it the opportunity to tap that resource and make an estimated $400,000 per year. The money, according to project staff, would help an already strapped state parks and wildlife system. But, according to the wildlife commission at a meeting in Fort Collins this week, the proposal is about more than the money. It is also about drilling in the least harmful way to the environment because officials say if the state doesn’t drill, a private company will. The resources could be accessed from neighboring land, and if that happened, the state would have no say on when or how much or how to mitigate environmental issues.

The process itself, however, could cause some environmental concern. The horizontal drilling procedure the state is looking at entails fracking — a practice the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday may have caused groundwater pollution.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

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