Oct. 18–CANON CITY — City Council on Monday agreed to weigh in on a proposed oil and gas lease sale that could impact trails and the Dawson Ranch community southwest of town. The proposed U.S. Bureau of Land Management oil and gas drilling lease site consists of 602 acres of public land located just off Temple Canyon Road. It borders Dawson Ranch and includes four recreational trails in the area.
Ashlee Sack of Fremont Adventure Recreation said the outdoor group is not opposed to oil and gas exploration but has a concern about protecting its investment in the trails. “We have invested $350,000 in trails in that area through grant money, Fremont Adventure Recreation, local businesses and community member investments,” Sack told the council. “We had to work with the BLM for access, and we want their assurance the trails are not damaged or compromised.”
Sack said the parcels in Fremont County, which go on sale in March, were nominated anonymously. She asked the council to consider giving a comment by the Tuesday deadline.
The council also heard form Randy Keller, who said his property is right in the middle of the parcel. “I am very concerned with the impact to property values,” Keller said, “not only for myself but the residents of Dawson Ranch.”
Keller said the area is a tourism draw.
“We have seen a tremendous increase in hikers, bikers and tourism uses in the five years we have lived on Temple Canyon Road. We need to preserve the pristine nature, scenic nature and wildlife of that area,” he said.
City Council voted 5 to 1 to approve Mayor Preston Troutman’s signature on a letter of concern to be shared with the BLM by the deadline Tuesday.
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