Then in August of 2008, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) leased all of its lands on the top of the Plateau for drilling, amidst a storm of protest and outrage. Private lands all around are already under development, and the roads and the drilling are surrounding the last empty expanses of this wild and beautiful place, where generations of Americans have hunted, fished, grazed cattle and sheep, and looked out over the vast, sun-baked Colorado River valley from the shade of ancient aspens. Trout Unlimited and the National Wildlife Federation, among other conservation groups, have filed a lawsuit to keep the BLM from turning loose the bulldozers, the trucks and the drilling mud on the last undeveloped 30,000 acres of the Plateau, a kind of island protecting the headwaters of the creeks that hold the trout and water the lands below. Looking at the rush of development, the well pads and roads in the creek bottoms all around, it seems impossible that anyone could object to leaving this one last piece alone. But so far, the BLM and the companies who leased the public land from them, are not backing up. Some feel that industry is making a stand here- that if the last of the Roan can be developed, then no place in America can be off limits. The courts, perhaps, will decide whether that is true.