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Groups Agree to Colo. Oil Search at Monument

September 24, 2002|From Associated Press

DENVER — Trucks that send shock waves into the Earth to help pinpoint oil reserves will be used for exploration in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, under an agreement announced Monday.

A lawsuit that halted the plan last month was settled Friday after environmentalists and oil companies agreed to restrictions that would protect the archeologically sensitive area in southwestern Colorado from destruction.

The Interior Department has said the monument has the highest known density of archeological sites in the country.

Four groups filed the lawsuit after the Bureau of Land Management approved the plan Aug. 9.

The agreement calls for moving "thumper trucks" away from archeological sites and keeping their vibration in some areas on dirt roads. Experts will accompany the exploration team to identify sensitive sites.

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