We applaud the Bureau of Land Management for listening to the public and deferring 58 of 81 oil and gas lease parcels on 74,516 acres of public land in Colorado from its December 13, 2018 sale. WELC provided technical comments opposing these leases and later filed formal protests requesting their deferral.
Gov. Hickenlooper and Sen. Bennet sent letters to the Colorado Bureau of Land Management requesting these deferrals, amplifying appeals from the state of Colorado, the Town of Paonia, Gunnison County, and conservation groups.
“We’re grateful to Senator Bennet and Governor Hickenlooper for taking action on behalf of the many Coloradans who voiced concerns about oil and gas leasing on these public lands,” said Laura King with the Western Environmental Law Center. “The Bureau of Land Management did the right thing here by acting to better balance public land use in a state with such strong conservation values.”
Including land in the fertile North Fork Valley, the deferrals allow completion of the Uncompahgre Resource Management Plan. This plan will guide resource development in the valley, as well as wildlife-rich lands in the northern and western portions of the state, to allow for consideration of wildlife protections.
Twenty-three parcels will move forward in the lease sale, representing some 8,347 acres.