Group: Records show Garfield ties to industry on sage-grouse
By Dennis Webb
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
A watchdog group says records show a cozy relationship among Garfield County, the oil and gas industry and its consultants on the issue of greater sage-grouse.
The Western Values Project says it obtained emails and other records through a state public-records request and learned that a consultant being used by the county also was involved with Chevron on the same issue. It said the records also showed the county and its consultants met with energy company Encana at least twice over the past two years, including once to brief the company on the alternative sage-grouse management plan developed by the county, just two days after county commissioners approved the plan.
The Bureau of Land Management has been considering measures to protect the greater sage-grouse. Garfield County worries about the impacts the measures would have on oil and gas and other activities and says its own mapping shows far less acreage in the county requires sage-grouse protections than is indicated by maps the BLM is using.