Protest of mineral sale south of New Castle could go to Interior’s Board of Land Appeals
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE, Colorado ” The Colorado Division of Wildlife is mulling its options in the wake of a Bureau of Land Management decision to reject its protest over the sale of a federal mineral parcel below the Garfield Creek State Wildlife Area.
Randy Hampton, a spokesman for the DOW, said the agency was disappointed that the BLM “has chosen to disregard our concerns” by dismissing the protest.
State wildlife officials sent a letter to the BLM in January protesting the sale of the parcel in the 13,200-acre wildlife habitat, which the DOW has used for almost 26 years as winter range for elk and deer. However, the BLM sold the 360-acre parcel for $2,400 in February, and has since dismissed the state’s protest of the sale.
“The Garfield Creek State Wildlife Area is a vital and critical habitat for wildlife in that area,” Hampton said. “We will review our available options and then decide what we are going to do moving forward. We are looking at all the available options.”
Hampton said he could not give a timeline about when the DOW would respond the recent BLM move.
If the DOW decides to appeal the rejection of its protest, the matter would then go before the U.S. Department of Interior’s Board of Land Appeals, which reviews appeals of the department’s decisions, said Steven Hall, a spokesman for the BLM.
The BLM did not uphold the state’s protest because, according to agency officials, the parcel’s lease has several protections that will reduce disturbances to area wildlife.
Those include seasonal drilling restrictions and a no-surface occupancy stipulation.
The latter requirement forces companies to extract natural gas from other areas to minimize surface disturbances.
Contact Phillip Yates: 384-9117
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