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BLM Delays Colorado Lease Sale to Complete Stakeholder Talks

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Wednesday cited uncompleted talks with Native American stakeholders as the reason to cancel a planned Colorado oil and natural gas lease sale that was scheduled for Thursday (Feb. 11).

A new date has not been set, and a BLM spokesperson told NGI the sale would not be rescheduled until the tribal discussions are concluded.

Scheduled to be sold were five parcels in Dolores County, CO, all of which has been undergoing evaluation.

The BLM holds up to four development lease sales annually in all applicable states, using recommendations and input from the public, industry, tribes and other stakeholder groups, according to BLM’s Steven Hall, Colorado communications director.

"The BLM intends to complete the tribal consultant process and will then determine whether those parcels are available to be offered at a subsequent sale," he said.

States receive 49% of the proceeds from each federal mineral lease sale and from mineral royalties. In fiscal year 2015, $247 million was provided to Colorado from royalties, rentals and bonus bid payments for all federal mineral leasing, including oil and gas.

Another BLM sale in Wyoming also was recently postponed, but that was because of a severe snowstorm (see Daily GPIFeb. 2).

Environmentalists have taken credit for forcing BLM to cancel some scheduled sales (see Daily GPIJan. 19). A protest against leasing land for drilling is planned in Utah for Feb. 16.

"Keeping fossil fuels in the ground is critical for the protection of our climate, our public lands legacy and indigenous communities," said Friends of the Earth’s Marissa Knodel.

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