BLM expects crowd for Roan lease sale | AspenTimes.com

BLM expects crowd for Roan lease sale

Phillip Yates
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” A Bureau of Land Management lease sale scheduled for next week in Denver has been moved because of the large interest it is expected to draw.

That’s because the lease sale is set to include 31 parcels totaling about 52,200 acres in the Roan Plateau Planning Area north of Rifle, according to the BLM.

The BLM moved its lease sale to the Denver West Marriot at 1717 Denver West Blvd. in Golden to accommodate the increased public interest in the sale, a statement by the BLM said. The sale starts at 9 a.m. and registration for bidders begins at 8 a.m.

The event comes about a week after the BLM received about 15,000 protest letters over the agency including Roan acreage in Thursday’s lease sale.

Steven Hall, a spokesman for the BLM, said about 98 percent of the protests to the agency were form letters and that few original comments were submitted.

The agency’s current plan for the area calls for development to be phased over time with one operator working on the ground to limit disturbance to 1 percent of federal land at any time. More than half the acreage in the lease sale has a no-surface occupancy stipulation, which means companies have to drill from other areas to reduce surface disturbances.

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Environmentalists and others have been trying to prevent drilling in the area for years, citing the possible impacts of natural gas development in the area could have on the area’s wildlife, which includes genetically pure native cutthroat trout.

Lease sale information can be obtained online at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/oilandgas/leasing.html.

pyates@postindependent.com

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