Gayla Martinez’s Statement to Planning Commission, July 21, 2021

My name is Gayla Maxwell Martinez and I live in Larimer County.

I would like to thank Mr. Sura for his presentation and acknowledge the many improvements that have been added to the Larimer County oil and gas regulations.

Addressing the section concerning Public Conservation Lands.

To say that damage to Public Conservation Land can be adequately compensated by off-site mitigation is euphemistic and ignores the critical importance of maintaining the integrity of contiguous natural ecosystems.  Previous plans, such as the Mountains to Plains Energy by Design study, that suggest options to minimize or mitigate impacts were developed pre-SB181 and are now outdated.

There is an interpretive sign up at Soapstone Prairie that refers to these lands as our “Last Best Places.”  Their value is immeasurable.

According to The State of Colorado’s Biodiversity report, published by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, the shortgrass prairie ecosystems of northeastern Colorado, including Larimer County, are some of the least protected and most endangered because of the threat of oil and gas extraction.

I would ask that areas zoned as Open Space should be entirely off-limits to oil and gas development.

 

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