Bill:  “My name is Bill Nelson. I came from Wales originally, a long time ago.  Now I live here in Battlement Mesa in Stone Ridge Village.  We have this beautiful view from our home.  My career was in financial management and general management. Actually, I started off as a chartered accountant and a certified internal auditor. I’m retired now. I like to golf and I used to ski a lot, but we don’t do that anymore, mainly because my wife kept falling down.”

Eleanor: “My name is Eleanor Nelson.  I was born in Wilmington, Delaware, but I was raised in Pittsburgh and South Florida. That’s where Bill and I met — in South Florida, where we worked for the same company. When we got married we moved up to Boca Raton, which is a nice area within Palm Beach County, Florida. From there, we used to come out to Colorado to ski during the winter and that’s where many of our vacations were spent. We felt that since the kids were grown and had moved away and we had no close family where we lived, we decided, well, why don’t we just move to Colorado?  We looked for a place that would give us access to ski resorts. And this was it.”

Eleanor: “Many of us who retired here came, basically, at the same time — you know, the old timers. We retired and just wanted to escape urban life and this is where we wound up. And so, everybody was so happy, really upbeat, thinking this is a wonderful place. And the activity center was a big draw for a lot of people, as was the golf course. And so, when we came here we talked to our realtor and said we had heard about the oil and gas drilling. We asked, ‘Could you show us what that is. What does a rig look like?’  And he pointed, ‘Way up there, there’s a rig. Oh, don’t worry about anything here because this is a covenant-protected community and nothing will come in.’”

Bill: “We had dozens of friends at the beginning.  We’d have parties. We originally rented a Mesa Ridge townhome while our home was under construction. And in those little units up there we often had parties of up to 60 people at a time. And it was great. And then when we built this house we still had the same group. We’d say, okay this Friday is yours, next is ours, and so on.  Very often we’d go down to Parachute as a group when they had more restaurants than they have now.  It was wonderful but most of our friends have now moved somewhere else because they didn’t want to deal with the oil and gas development.”

Bill: “Sometime last year they were fracking, and we just kept waking up for nine nights straight saying what the heck is that noise. Finally I came out on our deck and said, ‘The noise is coming from way over there, and of course they had the lights on and everything.  So I called the PR representative from WPX and Williams. And she said, ‘that’s our rig — why didn’t you call me sooner?  We would’ve put some hay bales around there, you know, to cut down on the noise.’ And I said, ‘I can’t believe that we can hear it from that far away.’ So she called Don Simpson or Ursa, who then called me.. I told him ‘If I can hear that noise this far away and the proposed Ursa B Pad is going to be right below us, how are you going to mitigate the noise location because we’ll be looking down onto it?’.  He said, ‘We have engineers studying right now to see how we’re going to mitigate it.’ Some of their proposed mitigation is to put sound walls behind all of the homes on this curve or put a cantilever on top of the sound wall on the side of the pad exposed to the homes.  There are eight homes that all look down toward the pad. In fact, in response to one of the questions posed by our neighbor regarding noise mitigation during the County Commissioners’ hearing was ‘Which would you prefer? Look at the pad or look at a wall?’   And our neighbor responded that he would rather look at a wall. So now there is a wall proposed as a sound mitigation solution.”

Bill: “We paid a premium to get this lot with the view and they want to take it away from us for three years to drill 25 wells — as if that were nothing.”

Eleanor: “From a driller’s perspective I can see where this would be ideal for them. From our perspective and all the people that live here, this isn’t right. And unfortunately, too many government officials are so enamored by the lure of easy oil and gas revenues that they have allowed it to cloud their civic consciences”

-Bill and Eleanor Nelson
Battlement Mesa, CO