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passes to see

bump inprice

next season

BLM reviewing plan for up to 146

natural gas wells northeast of Paonia

County works

toward CNG

fueling station

for next year

Public comment open until

April 16


Aproposed oil and gas master devel-

opment plan could eventually result in

the drilling of up to 146 natural gas wells

30 miles northeast of Paonia. The Bureau

of Land Management is currently accept-

ing public comment on an Environmen-

tal Impact Statement (EIS) for the plan,

which is the first oil and gas master de

velopment plan (MDP) in the area. Sub-

mitted by SG Interests, Ltd., the plan’s

approval would set the tone for develop-

ment of what is called the Bull Mountain


The unit encompasses approximate-

ly 19,670 acres of federal and private

oil and gas mineral estate in Gunnison

County and is bisected by State Highway

133. In addition to the gas wells, the pro-

posal includes four water disposal wells

and associated pads, access roads, gas

and water pipelines, screw compressors

and overhead electric lines.

%arb Sharrow, field manager for the

%/0’s 8ncompahgre )ield 2ffice, ex

plained that master development plans

are a common practice for oil and gas

development. This is the first for the 8n

compahgre )ield 2ffice because that of

fice has not had much development on

BLM lands.

“A lot of wells up there currently do

not have to go through an environmental

analysis with the BLM because they’re

on a private surface with private miner-

als,” Sharrow said. It’s also common for

companies to drill some wells before they

create an MDP.

“It’s hard for the companies to come

in with a master development plan until

they have a fewwells under their belt and

know exactly what the resources will be.

[SG Interests] still doesn’t know exactly,

but they have a better idea now that they

have drilled a few wells,” Sharrow said.

The BLM can approve the MDP as

proposed, approve it with modifica

tions or mitigations, or reject it. If it is

approved, the EIS will be an “umbrella”

analysis for actual development within

the Bull Mountain Unit. As SG Interests

proposes specific development proj

ects like wells or pipelines, BLM review

would be guided by the findings in the


“The company will still have to come

in to us with a specific application,µ Shar

row explained. “They will come in with

a specific proposal, and we will look at it

under the umbrella of the EIS decision.”


On Sale May 1


Crested Butte Mountain Resort has an-

nounced that 2015-2016 season ski passeswill

go on sale on Friday, May 1, and pass holders

will see a small increase in prices. Early buy-

ers will see the Peak Pass increase in price to

$629 from $599 for adults.

Child (7-12), Young Adult and Senior

Peak Passes will also see upticks to $209,

$315, and $419, respectively. Children six and

under will receive their passes for free, and

the college price is $519.

The Adult Peak Pass Plus, which in-

cludes a wide range of additional benefits,

will increase from $799 to $839. The Child

(7-12), Young Adult, and Senior rates for the

Peak Pass Plus will be $419, $525, and $629,

respectively. Children six and under will be

$105 and the college rate will be $725.

The increases come after two years of

the same rates, including the $599Adult Peak

Pass, which created quite a bit of buzz when

it was introduced. Scott Clarkson, vice presi-

dent of marketing and sales for Crested Butte

Mountain Resort, explained that the resort

rarely holds prices steady from year to year

because of consistent rises in operating costs.

He and other resort executives did so last

year in order to boost the Colorado market

and give locals who missed out on year one a

chance to grab the special rate.

“We normally see costs going up about

five percent a year in operating a resort, sowe

try to reflect that in pricing and rate manage

ment,” Clarkson said. “We were overlooking

that in order to hold the rates last year, so this

year we had no choice but to raise it.”

Clarkson said the $599 rate did help

move the needle with skiers in places like

Buena Vista, Montrose, and Grand Junction,

and he feels this year’s modest increases keep

skiing accessible at CBMR. “When you look

at it all told, these rates plus the GCSAPP

Choice 3ass 3rogram make it affordable for

families to ski at CBMR,” Clarkson said.

With operating costs rising aannually,

Clarkson thinks pass holders should expect

a 4 to 5 percent increase each year. But he

pointed out that it would take 12 years to

reach 2012 early season rates, when an adult

season pass was around $1,000.

The early-season 2015-2016 rates will be

good through October 9, 2015, and all passes

will include uphill skiing access, discounted

buddy tickets, percent off at C%05 man

aged lodging booked through Crested Butte

Vacations, and three days of free skiing at

Loveland Ski Area.

Lower cost, alternative fuel


Gunnison County is taking steps to-

ward a future of less petroleum and more

alternative fuels. The idea of converting

fleets to natural gas came from the Board

of County Commissioners’ 2013 strate-

gic plan, which lists numerous ways the

county is working to protect the environ-

ment. The goal for Gunnison, according

to John Cattles, director of facilities and

grounds for the county, is to have a pri-

vately owned, publicly accessible, for-

profit compressed natural gas (CNG)

station so individuals and businesses in

Gunnison County or with fleets that pass

through Gunnison can take advantage of

lower cost, alternative fuel. “The station

will be fast-fill, so it will be much like

going to a regular gas station and filling

up,” Cattles said.

CNG is made by compressing natu-

ral gas to less than one percent of its

volume at standard atmospheric pres-

sure. The gas consists mostly of methane

so it is odorless, colorless and tasteless.

Cattles said Colorado governor John

Hickenlooper has made building fueling

infrastructure a priority in Colorado and

is combining efforts with neighboring

states to commit to switching state ve-

hicle fleets to CNG. “For heavy vehicles

like buses, tractor trailers, dump trucks,

and trash trucks CNG is the best alterna-

tive fuel available,” Cattles said.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 FROM CRESTED BU E TO ASPEN: Racers headed out on the Grand Traverse at midnight on Saturday, March 28 as Soul Train partiers cheered them on om the Bu e 66 deck. For coverage of the event see page 25. L S

Soul Train Royalty











VOL .55


NO. 14


APR I L 3, 2015



Crested Butte News



never sleeps

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[ Overheard ]

“ is place smells like a pe ing zoo.”

-woman leaving an Aspen restaurant

at the Grand Traverse nish line

30 19

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