BLM plans lease auction on Western Slope forest land
The Bureau of Land Management will conduct a stripped-down oil-and-gas lease auction Thursday for properties scattered across Colorado, but none in national forest lands where they had been scheduled.
The U.S. Forest Service withdrew 57 parcels, comprising more than 66,000 acres on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, leaving 28 parcels on 12,205 acres.
The Forest Service withdrew lands it manages from the BLM-managed auction after some agencies, including the San Miguel County Commission and the Colorado Division of Wildlife, complained that the lands needed more study.
Withdrawing the land from the sale was appropriate to allow for additional review of protests, Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Rick Cables said.
After its review, the Forest Service will determine which parcels, if any, will be offered in a future sale, Cables said.
Among the parcels that remain in the auction, which will be conducted at the bureau’s Lakewood office, are a 359-acre parcel in Garfield County and a 158-acre parcel in San Miguel County that is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy.