South Shale Ridge in western Colorado is prized for scenery, and the natural gas that lies beneath it.
Many of the lands nearby South Shale Ridge have been leased for possible oil and gas drilling.
Kurt Kunkle of the Colorado Environmental Coalition stands next to a pinon juniper tree that's believed to be more than 700 years old.
David Ludlam of the western slope chapter of COGA says drilling and environmental protection can coexist at places like South Shale Ridge.
Wilderness conservation took a hit as part of this year’s federal budget compromise. A rider slipped into the bill at the last minute has put millions of acres of land back on the table for oil and gas drilling. One of those places is South Shale Ridge in western Colorado. The area is not federally protected wilderness. So the conservation-minded Interior Department had floated a different term for places like it, “wild lands.” But that definition is now up in the air.
Women and college students in favor of legalizing marijuana made an unusual case for it at the state capitol today, saying greater acceptance of pot could reduce alcohol-related sexual violence on campus.