Southern Ute Indian TribeSouthern Ute Indian Tribe Southern Ute Indian Tribe Growth FundSouthern Ute Indian Tribe SUGF
Historic photo of Southern Ute Indians


Presentation from Public Outreach Meeting

Draft Maps

Final Scoping Summary Report

Existing NEPA Documents

Shale Formation Oil and Gas Development


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Southern Ute Indian Tribe (SUIT) are preparing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for Shale Formation Oil and Gas Development, on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. The Southern Ute Indian Reservation spans three counties: La Plata, Montezuma and Archuleta, in southwestern Colorado. The SEIS will supplement the analysis in the 2002 Final Environmental Impact Statement Oil and Gas Development on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

Programmatic environmental documents are written to analyze impacts on a broad scale. The exact locations of wells and other facilities associated with the proposed development are not currently known. Impacts resulting from the proposed development will be assessed quantitatively when methodologies and data are available and qualitatively when they are not. Future Applications for Permit to Drill and right-of-ways will be subject to site-specific Environmental Assessments tiered to the SEIS (when required).

The proposed action falls within the BIA’s Southern Ute Agency, and the BLM’s authority under the Indian Mineral Development Act of 1982 (25 USC 2101 et seq., 25 CFR Part 225). The BIA administers lease activity, while the BLM is responsible for subsurface operation administration of such leases under the authority of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (30 USC 1701, 43 CFR Part 3160). The BIA, BLM, and SUIT are the lead agencies.

Proposed Action

The Proposed Action consists of the proposed shale development, which would include drilling 1,534 wells on 352 well pads; completion and production of those wells; construction of associated gathering system pipelines, access roads, and other infrastructure (i.e., compressor stations, injection wells, etc.); and interim and final reclamation.

Public Scoping

Although public scoping is not required for a supplemental EIS, the lead agencies conducted public and Tribal scoping from March 15 to April 14, 2016 to identify issues that should be addressed in depth in the SEIS. The results of public scoping are found in the link to the Final Scoping Summary Report, on the left.

Draft SEIS

We are currently drafting the SEIS document, and completing the analysis of resources, with the interdisciplinary team (BLM, BIA, and SUIT). The draft SEIS is anticipated to be available for public review and comment in the spring of 2017.

For More Information

For more information about the SEIS project, please contact any of the below representatives:

  1. Justin Abernathy, BLM Assistant Field Manager,, 970-882-6861
  2. Priscilla Bancroft, BIA Superintendent,, 970-563-4571
  3. Karen Spray, SUIT Department of Energy,, 970-563-5556