BLM lease sale brings in $1.47 million |

BLM lease sale brings in $1.47 million

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Oil and gas leases on 37,173 acres in Colorado were sold Thursday for $1.47 million, Bureau of Land Management spokesman Vaughn Whatley said.

The BLM manages more than 27 million acres of subsurface rights in the state. Whatley said the agency has rules in place to ensure that damage from oil and gas development is minimized. The parcels offered for sale were analyzed to make sure sufficient protection was in place, Whatley said.

Half of the money for the quarterly lease sale will go to the state of Colorado.

Lauren McCain, director of the environmental group, Deserts and Grasslands Program, said she knew that some of the parcels being considered were on habitat of the lesser prairie-chicken, which is a candidate for endangered species protection. She said she didn’t know if the BLM had offered these parcels or accepted their protest.

Whatley said he couldn’t comment because the land involved was under the control of the U.S. Forest Service. Janelle Smith, spokeswoman for the Forest Service, did not return a call.

Whatley said parcels were offered in Baca, Fremont, Garfield, Kit Carson, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, San Miguel, Weld, and Yuma counties.

McCain said the threatened habitat is in Baca County in the Comanche National Grasslands.

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