Roaring Fork river

Garfield County Energy Resource Inventory

TRC was retained by Garfield County to develop the first phase of the Energy Resource Inventory Project (Project): collection of publicly-available digital information and develop opportunity and constraints maps utilizing geographic information systems (GIS). The energy resource maps and energy resource constraint maps can be used to supplement the County's adopted Comprehensive Plan as either a new element or to enhance existing elements. While the size of the resource and constraint maps provides a general tool for macro-planning, they can be used to initiate conversation regarding land development guidelines for developers, landowners, and agencies alike.

Garfield County naturally possesses a variety of energy resources that include both renewable and traditional fossil fuel -based resources in a landscape that is home to abundant wildlife, active recreation opportunities, agriculture, and rural living. Energy development has been a part of the County's landscape and a driving force of the economy for decades, with peaks of development occurring energy booms and shifts towards specific development driven by market demand. These elements occur at a point in time where US policy strives towards energy independence and recovery from the Great Recession of 2008. The County has benefitted from the balance between energy resource development and the natural resources that attract recreationists to wilderness areas and trail, tourism to the downtown areas, and quality of life in rural and agricultural areas.

Energy resource development has historically occurred across throughout the County, and its anticipated that energy resources will continue to be developed in the foreseeable future. However, no comprehensive inventory of existing energy resources or development constraints had been generated to identify areas of where future energy development may occur. The identification of energy resources and potential areas of development can lay the foundation of future energy resource development policies and guidelines, provide the County with a base of information for response to proposals to develop energy resources on state and federal lands, as well as laying groundwork for the preservation of natural resources and the landscape that contribute to the quality of life for County residents, recreation and tourism opportunities, as well as scenic beauty that attract visitors to the County.

TRC collected data from local, state, federal, and non-governmental organizations related to natural resources such as surface water and wildlife, transportation, infrastructure, land ownership, federal lease areas, and other applicable information. The data was collected and tracked in a spreadsheet that identified the type of information by energy resource or constraint, date of information, source of data, and name of data layer. A simplified version of the matrix is located in Appendix A. The data will be transferred directly to the County by TRC.

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