SILT — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is asking for public input about plans to offer new gas and oil leases for sale in Garfield and Moffat counties in an upcoming lease auction on Aug. 8 in Denver.
The August auction is to involve two pieces of land totaling 381 acres on U.S. Forest Service lands in the West Mamm Creek/Beaver Creek region of Garfield County, south of I-70 near Rulison. Also included in the August auction will be three parcels totaling 2,125 acres in Moffat County.
According to a written statement issued on Friday by David Boyd, public affairs specialist for the BLM, “No surface occupancy (NSO) stipulations would apply to the entire lease, which borders private lands with existing development,” with regard to the two parcels of land included in the Garfield County lease.
Boyd said one of the parcels is immediately south of Rifle in the West Mamm Creek drainage. The other, he said, is just east of Beaver Creek.
The NSO stipulations mean the drillers must avoid any ground disturbance, meaning they most likely would need to use horizontal drilling techniques to get to the gas reserves beneath the ground.
The three Moffat County parcels encompass a total of 2,125 acres, according to the press release.
In addition to the August lease sale, a two-week public scoping period begins on May 13 for a proposal to include nine parcels totaling 7,435 acres in Moffat County north of Craig, in BLM’s Feb. 13, 2014, lease sale.
The deadline for comments or protests about the February 2014 lease sale is May 28, Boyd said.
The scoping period offers the public a chance to help identify issues and concerns to be addressed in the leasing environmental assessment (EA) for the nine Moffat County parcels. The EA will be available for a 30-day public comment period starting Aug. 2, according to the press release.
To view maps of the proposed August lease sales, go to www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Programs/oilandgas.html.
The BLM announcement cautioned responders that phone numbers, email addresses, or other personal identifying information in comments may be made publicly available at any time.
The State of Colorado will receive 49 percent of the proceeds from the sale, according to the BLM, with the remainder going to the U.S. government.
The BLM Colorado office currently oversees approximately 4.2 million acres of public mineral estate leased for oil and natural gas development.