BLM to offer Moffat County acreage for federal mineral lease sale

Some parcels held due to greater sage-grouse habitat

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— More than 2,000 acres of federal land in Moffat County will be part of an oil and natural gas lease sale in August.

The Bureau of Land Management is offering three parcels totaling 2,125 acres. A 381-acre U.S. Forest Service parcel located in Garfield County also will be offered during the August sale, according to a BLM Colorado news release.

Maps of the parcels are available online.

The BLM’s state office is accepting protests until 4 p.m. June 10. Protests may be sent to the BLM Colorado State Office, 2850 Youngfield St., Lakewood, CO 80215. The lease sale takes place at 9 a.m. Aug. 8.

BLM Colorado also is in the process of reviewing a proposal to offer nine more parcels in Moffat County during its winter oil and natural gas lease sale slated for February 2014. A two-week public scoping period begins Monday on those parcels that encompass 7,435 acres north of Craig.

The scoping period provides the public an opportunity to help identify issues and concerns to be addressed in the leasing environmental assessment, which will be available for a 30-day public comment period beginning in August.

The parcels fall under the resource management plan of the Little Snake Field Office in Craig. The BLM was reviewing 19 additional parcels encompassing 16,941 acres for the February lease sale, but it removed those parcels from consideration because they house critical greater sage grouse habitat.

Comments specific to the proposed parcels and associated stipulations are being accepted until May 28. Comments may be submitted by email to lsfoweb@blm.gov or by mail to Little Snake Field Office, 455 Emerson St., Craig, CO 81625.

The Little Snake Office is reminding residents that public comments may be made public at any time. That includes personal identifying information of commenters. Residents may request personal identifying information be withheld, but the BLM cannot offer any guarantees.

The state of Colorado will receive 49 percent of the proceeds from the lease sale, with the remainder going to the U.S. government, the release states.

The state received more than $158 million in fiscal year 2012 from royalties, rentals and bonus bid payments for all federal minerals, including oil and gas.

BLM Colorado has approximately 4.2 million acres of public land leased for oil and natural gas development, generating more than $6.5 billion in direct economic benefits in 2011 and approximately $9.5 billion in total economic impacts, according to the release.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 970-875-1794 or jmoylan@CraigDailyPress.com

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