This past June, the West Elk Mine punched a mile of road and two drilling pads for methane venting into lands that conservation groups say should be roadless, according to federal policy. Mine operators, however, say their leases for a planned and approved expansion sit underneath the surface of the roadless lands and are not subject to the state’s roadless rule. Chad Reich for KVNF in Paonia, Colorado, reports on the struggle taking place in the Gunnison National Forest.
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KHOL is part of a new collaboration reporting on the impacts of fossil fuels in the West coordinated by the Rocky Mountain Community Radio Coalition. This piece is the third in a series of 18 stories airing over two months.