When the Colorado Bureau of Land Administration holds its quarterly oil and fuel lease sale in December, solely eight,347 of the 224,341 acres of public lands initially proposed for leasing might be supplied.
Considerations about drilling in habitat for elk, deer and different massive sport as effectively better sage grouse prompted the BLM to take away tens of 1000’s of acres from the Dec. 13 lease sale. The BLM mentioned Friday that it was additionally suspending motion on proposed oil and fuel leases within the North Fork Valley close to Paonia.
Friday’s announcement follows a call in October to take 148,797 acres off the public sale block. The BLM mentioned it eliminated these proposed leases, most of which have been in northwest Colorado, after Gov. John Hickenlooper raised considerations concerning the impacts of drilling in sage grouse territory.
The leases could possibly be supplied at future gross sales.
BLM spokesman Steven Corridor mentioned in an e-mail that the company determined Friday to defer motion on leases within the North Fork Valley on the request of the governor. The governor and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet had each requested the BLM to carry off on providing oil and fuel leases on public lands within the valley due to considerations from native elected officers and residents.
One of many points was that the BLM has not completed rewriting its administration plan for the realm.
“We’ve got a very good working relationship with the BLM, and we’re grateful that they not solely listened to the considerations of the governor but in addition these of Sen. Bennet and the native communities,” mentioned John Swartout, a senior coverage adviser to Hickenlooper.
Bennet additionally mentioned he appreciated the choice.
“The governor and I labored in lockstep to make sure the enter of communities, sportsmen, and conservationists was on the middle of this course of,” Bennet mentioned in an announcement. “We’ll proceed working with the BLM to stability accountable power improvement with different pure useful resource priorities in Colorado.”
Hickenlooper and Bennet beforehand questioned adjustments by nationwide BLM officers that shortened the time durations for public remark and revised necessities for environmental evaluate in efforts to streamline and pace up the leasing course of.