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BLM Utah Auction Generates Little Interest

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) found market resistance in its quarterly lease auction in Utah on Tuesday, selling only three of the nine parcels up for bid.

The sale generated $14,837 in bonus bids, rentals and filing fees, covering 4,100 acres. BLM had offered a total of 14,950 acres in the internet-based lease sale.

The nine parcels lie west of Interstate 15 and encompass parts of the area known as the West Hills, Sage Valley and Spring Canyon.

The three parcels were sold in Juab County. Liberty Petroleum paid the highest per-parcel price at $4,340, a BLM spokesperson said.

With federal-state protection plans in place for the sage grouse, environmental advocates had warned BLM earlier this year that the proposed lease sale would threaten protections in place on the 15,000 acres up for auction.

BLM noted in its report on the sale that all the proposed acreage had been protested.

A formal federal announcement on the sale results said the auction was completed "in keeping with the Trump administration's goals of promoting America's energy independence."

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