SILT, Colo - The Colorado Division of Wildlife is hosting a meeting to help hunters, local residents and concerned citizens get answers to questions about drilling activity on Garfield Creek State Wildlife Area.
A public meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Coal Ridge High School (35947 Highway 6, New Castle). Representatives from the Division of Wildlife will provide information about the property and the negotiations with several energy companies operating in the area. Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, mineral rights owners, local government and wildlife conservation groups have been invited to attend.
Garfield Creek State Wildlife Area is a 13,000 acre property that provides critical deer and elk winter range in southeastern Garfield County. The wildlife area also protects surrounding agricultural property owners from damage caused by wintering big game animals and holds deer and elk off of Interstate 70 by providing undisturbed wintering areas south of the Colorado River.
Garfield Creek State Wildlife Area was purchased by the Division of Wildlife using sportsmen dollars, but mineral rights under the property are owned by private individuals and the federal government. As a surface owner, the Division of Wildlife cannot prevent the drilling activity from occurring. Wildlife officials are working with energy companies to extract the private and federal minerals in order to develop comprehensive surface use agreements that will maintain the integrity of the wildlife area while not interfering with the right of sub-surface owners to extract minerals.