Leasing Lands for Geothermal Development


FACT SHEET | What process determines which lands are made available for geothermal leasing?

The first step in developing geothermal energy resources on Federal lands is nominating lands for leasing.  
Nominations must be submitted on BLM Form 3203-1 for lands indentified as open for geothermal development and comply with the 2007 regulations (43 CFR 3203; 72 FR 24406, May 2, 2007), including requirements for maximum acreage, acceptable land descriptions and nominating parcels as a block. 

A non-refundable filing fee of $105.00 per nomination, plus $0.10 per acre nominated must accompany each nomination.  Fractional acreages should be rounded up to the nearest whole acre.  Submit nominations to:  Bureau of Land Management, Idaho State Office, Minerals Division, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Boise, ID  83709.

Stipulations may be placed on leases to protect other resources through mitigation or restrictions on surface use.  
Nominated lands are not automatically placed on a sale when received, and the BLM cannot guarantee that the lands nominated will be included in any particular sale notice.  The BLM evaluates nominations to determine whether proposed parcels are available for leasing and whether the nomination conforms with BLM policies, regulations and land use plans.  If a parcel is determined to be available, the potential impacts of leasing on the environment are analyzed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Lease sales are scheduled as reviews of nominations and NEPA analysis are completed.
Parcels nominated may be protested in the 30 days following publication of the sale notice.  Sale notices contain guidance on how to file a protest.  The BLM aims to review and resolve all protests before the scheduled sale.  If a protest cannot be resolved before the sale date, the BLM may defer the protested parcel. 

a BLM energy lease sale


Competitive lease sales are held at BLM offices or other publicly accessible locations.  Dates and times or sales are announced in advance through sale notices, and results are published after sales are completed.