A geochemical baseline survey was conducted on a four by nine mile area surrounding the Paraho Oil Shale Demonstration plant at Anvil Points, Garfield County, Colorado. This study determined the baseline concentrations and variability for selected trace elements that are of primary environmental concern during the proposed development of oil shale resources. The elements studied were Hg, Mo, B, and F. The pH and organic carbon of soils and sediments were also measured. The sample media consisted of surface soils, stream sediments, and The plant species: Big sage (Artemisia tridentata), Indian ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides), and Western wheatgrass (Agropyron smith ). Soil and plant samples were collected using a hierarchical first stage design and a systematic grid second stage design. Stream sediment samples were collected from all clearly defined stream channels within and surrounding the study area on an interval of 1/2 mile. The elemental concentrations in soils, plant, and sediment samples were shown to vary significantly, reflecting the underlying geologic unit. Stream sediment concentrations also varied significantly between individual streams and gullies. Baseline values were determined for media derived from each geologic unit as well as the study area as a whole. Monitoring of operations and potential contamination should consider the geologic unit being sampled. If stream sediments are to be used, individual baselines must be developed for each stream as well as the geologic unit underlying each stream channel.