Colorado Cutthroat Trout Protected by New Federal Plan

Colorado Cutthroat Trout Protected by New Federal Plan

A new federal plan for oil shale development in the Rockies is a significant improvement, encouraging research on the still unproven technology while protecting wildlife habitat, having cutthroat trout protected and taking more time to assess the impacts, say members of a conservation coalition.

Sportsmen for Responsible Energy Development said the Bureau of Land Management's proposal, released Friday Feb. 3, takes the right tack because the potential impacts of extracting the oil from rock under Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah haven't been thoroughly assessed. Companies are still exploring ways to mine kerogen, a precursor to oil, from the shale.

"The BLM's prudent approach to development makes sense," said Brad Powell, energy director for Trout Unlimited's Sportsmen Conservation Project. "Fish and wildlife populations in the West are dependent on the availability of clean, cold, clear water. Our water supplies in the West are too valuable to put at risk until the technology is better developed."

The BLM's preferred development scenario in the draft environmental impact statement would protect many key wildlife areas, including habitat for greater sage-grouse and Colorado cutthroat trout, said Kate Zimmerman, the National Wildlife Federation's senior policy adviser on public lands.

The 180,910-acre Adobe Town in southwest Wyoming's Red Desert would also be excluded from development.

The new proposal encourages companies to seek leases for research and development projects. They could pursue commercial production after fulfilling the terms of the research leases.

The proposal revises a 2008 plan to open about 2 million acres to the development of oil shale and tar sands. Several conservation groups challenged the plan on grounds that it didn't adequately analyze the potential effects on water quality and supply, air quality, wildlife and other natural resources. The BLM agreed to re-evaluate the plan.

"As pressure mounts to find more sources of sustainable, domestic energy, we cannot forget that America's Western public lands form a key part of our outdoors heritage and national identity," said Steve Belinda, director of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership's Center for Responsible Energy Development. "The BLM's revisions are an improvement in the effort to balance the wise of our public lands with preserving our public-lands heritage." For more information, go to:

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You


Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...


How to Catch Smallmouth Bass on Topwater Flies

Dave Karczynski and Tim Landwehr

Modern methods for catching smallmouths on topwater flies.


Fly Fisherman Magazine Documentary Recognized by Outdoor Writers Association of America

Fly Fisherman - June 24, 2019

Fly Fisherman's documentary "One Path" was recognized with two awards.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Breaking the Surface

Attack of the Bass continues as Breaking the Surface attacks bass with fly and lure 12:30pm ET Sunday, April 17th.

Basic: Reels

Fly reels should be matched well with the rod to feed the line smoothly when casting, retrieving, and fighting a fish. Arbor size and drag are two very important features of a fly reel.

Basic Fly Casting

When learning to fly fish, casting is the first thing to master. Lean what to do, and not do, to successfully make a short fly cast.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...


Alpine Lakes for Remote Monsters

Landon Mayer - April 18, 2018

You don't always catch large trout in these alpine lakes and streams, but even the small ones...

United States

Wind River Range Wyoming

Greg Thomas - July 27, 2015

Golden riches in Wyoming's high-country heaven of the Wind River Range.

See More Stories

More Conservation


Fly Fisherman Conservationist of the Year Finalists

Sarah Grigg - November 08, 2017

Starting on October 25, 2017, we will reveal the top nominations for the Fly Fisherman...


Why a Native Fish Coalition?

Ted Williams - July 02, 2018

The Native Fish Coalition believes that hatchery fish should never be stocked on top of native...


Proper Handling to Conserve Fish Stocks

Ross Purnell, Editor - May 15, 2014

When ANGLING innovator Lee Wulff first popularized it, catch-and-release fishing was a...

See More Conservation

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.