The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said it will hold a lease sale for oil and natural gas parcels in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) next month.

The sale, which will be conducted on Aug. 11 in Anchorage, AK, will make 190 tracts of land available, totaling about 1.8 million acres, while protecting critical migratory bird and caribou habitat in buffer zones around Teshekpuk Lake. The tracts offered for lease will be within the northeast NPR-A, closest to existing infrastructure, such as the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, and areas of known development potential.

In developing the lease sale the BLM said it decided to withdraw lands in a buffer zone around Teshekpuk Lake because of their importance to migratory birds. The lake shore areas contain internationally significant molting habitat for black brant, Canada geese and greater white-fronted geese.

The lake’s shoreline buffer zone has been respected through several administrations, which have agreed to withhold the lake (219,000 acres) and areas to the north from leasing. The area north and east of the lake (430,000 acres) has been deferred from leasing until 2018. The sale also holds back about 170,000 acres south of the lake because of migratory bird and caribou habitat concerns.

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