Douglas County Residents Organize to Address Oil Development

Community Organization in face of Oil Development in NiobraraPoster Commentary: Niobrara News has received this press release about a community group organizing in response to oil exploration in their area. Other oil oriented community groups are welcome to submit press releases.

PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release: October 24, 2011

Oil and gas industry pressure to lease the mineral rights under residential areas in NE Douglas County is bringing that community together.  About two-dozen landowners have formed a new group called Landowners Alliance for NE Douglas County (L.A.N.D.).  On Thursday, October 27, L.A.N.D. is holding its first organizational meeting.

“We are hoping to educate the residents in our area about what oil development might mean for our area,” stated Joe’l Lambe, a retired environmental protection specialist.  “The standard industry lease and state and county regulations do not provide adequate safeguards for our air, water, and landowners.  We hope that by pulling together our community, we will be able to obtain needed protections,” she said.

Most of the residents in NE Douglas County live in larger homes on 3 – 5 acre plots.  The areas they are organizing include subdivisions such as Ponderosa Hills, Homestead Hills, Bell Cross Ranch, Black Forest Ranchettes, and other neighborhoods in NE Douglas County.

Douglas County announced draft oil and gas regulations earlier this month.  The group hopes that by organizing as many homeowners as possible, they will have more influence in helping Douglas County pass strong oil and gas regulations.  Douglas County planning staff is holding public meetings to discuss its draft oil and gas regulations on Tuesday, Oct. 25 and Wednesday, Nov. 9.

L.A.N.D. is not opposing all oil development.  It also hopes to be able to negotiate a joint “protective lease” with the industry.  The group defines a “protective lease” as one that both protects residential areas from drilling, and also fairly compensates landowners.  By pulling together hundreds of landowners, the group believes it will have more leverage to negotiate a protective lease with the industry.

According to Lambe, her neighborhood had been inundated for months with industry officials knocking on doors and sending out flyers in an effort to lease the oil it believes is under the land.  Tactics used by industry, such as threatening to “force pool” reluctant landowners, and offering leases that were confusing and misleading, helped bring neighbors together.

“The positive part the industry tactics is that it got the neighbors talking to each other,” Lambe said.  “We have held neighborhood meetings where long-time residents met each other for the first time.”

The meeting will be held on Thursday, October 27th from 7:00 – 8:30 PM at Parker Hills Bible Fellowship Church, 7137 East Parker Hills Ct, Parker, CO.  For more information, call L.A.N.D. at 303-840-2599.

WHO:  Landowners Alliance for Northeastern Douglas County (LA.N.D.)
WHAT:  L.A.N.D. is holding its first public meeting to update interested neighbors on the current activities regarding oil drilling in Douglas County, CO and to talk about leases – the good, the bad, and the ugly. We will also describe ways that YOU – landowners with mineral rights and landowners without – can benefit from joining our efforts.

The agenda for the evening

• Introduction of L.A.N.D: who we are; what’s our mission?
• Update on oil industry activity in Doug Co and nearby areas
• Introduction of attorney Matt Sura & how he’ll be working with us
• Elements of a protective lease & pitfalls of the standard industry lease
• Douglas County regulations in progress
• Now, what YOU can do…
• Q and A

DATE / TIME: Thursday, October 27th from 7:00 – 8:30 PM
LOCATION: Parker Hills Bible Fellowship Church, 7137 East Parker Hills Ct, Parker, CO
FOR MORE INFO: Call L.A.N.D. at 303-840-2599

L.A.N.D. MISSION STATEMENT

The Landowners’ Alliance for Northeastern Douglas County (L.A.N.D.) is a voluntary group of like-minded individuals working together to address oil and gas development in Douglas County, CO. We advocate for landowners’ protective mineral rights leases as well as for protective state and county regulations in order to preserve the safety and aesthetic values of our communities, neighborhoods, and landscapes. To that end, we provide objective information to interested landowners in Northeastern Douglas County to empower them to interact with regulatory agencies, to evaluate potential oil industry offers critically, and to secure fair compensation for the recovery of their mineral resources and/or for surface access to their land.

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