The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Monday launched a public comment period for a proposed oil and natural gas leasing sale in December that covers 28 parcels in northwestern Colorado within the Piceance Basin.

The proposed sale, scheduled for Dec. 4, covers 29,600 acres, including 22,329 in Garfield County and 7,278 acres in Mesa County. Comments are due by March 8.

“BLM wants to hear from the public about any issues and concerns they feel should be considered as it evaluates leasing these parcels,” a spokesperson said. “The evaluation itself will be released for public review and comment in May.”

BLM’s Wayne Werkmeister, acting field manager for the Grand Junction, CO, office, said the most effective comments usually “address issues and concerns specific to these parcels being considered.”

David Ludlam, executive director of the West Slope chapter of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, called the proposed sale a positive development and said the group would be submitting comments.

“This is welcome news and now that we see the recovery here [in western Colorado], it is important that we start rebuilding our federal lands inventory as it sometimes takes 10 years to permit on federal lands,” Ludlam said. “We certainly welcome the fact that there are some meaningful parcels coming up in this next BLM lease sale.”

Ludlam called the potential sale’s geographic area “ground zero” for the U.S. Geological Survey report, which last year estimated the Piceance’s Mancos Shale potential at 66 Tcf in reserves. “Mesa County is highly productive both in traditional formations and also has lots of future development to tap the Mancos.”

Comments regarding the sale may be sent via email or mailed to: BLM, Attn: Dec 2017 Lease Sale, 220 E. Market St., Meeker, CO 81641.