Larimer County and Fort Collins open space oil and gas development plan to be discussed at Energy by Design open house

The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department, Utilities Department and Larimer County Department of Natural Resources are hosting an open house to present the Energy by Design (EbD) planning process for Red Mountain Open Space, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Meadow Springs Ranch. Together the properties comprise over 40,000 acres at the heart of a regional conservation effort known as the Laramie Foothills Mountains to Plains Project. In 2011, the State Land Board (SLB) began seeking a strategy to lease and develop its oil and gas holdings underlying these three properties. The SLB has a constitutional mandate to generate reasonable and consistent revenue for its beneficiaries, the largest being the school trust supporting K-12 public education.

To balance the competing interests between the surface and mineral estate, the SLB hired The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to utilize the EbD tool to develop a thorough, transparent, and science-based plan that will balance oil and gas development on the properties with the City and County’s biological, cultural, and scenic resource conservation efforts.

Planning for oil and gas development in the project area is a three phased process that identifies strategies to avoid, minimize, and mitigate the potential impacts of oil and gas development. The phases include: 1) Apply EbD to identify priority areas for avoiding and minimizing impacts; 2) create an Oil and Gas Development Plan and; 3) develop a Compensatory Mitigation Plan. The open house will provide an introduction to EbD, present the results from the Phase I planning efforts, and discuss the steps associated with Phases II and III. Short presentations covering the process will be given twice throughout the evening. The public is invited to come learn and share ideas and comments.

Energy by Design open house details:
September 10, 5-7 p.m.
Larimer County Courthouse Office Building
200 W. Oak Street
Boyd Lake Room, 1st Floor

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