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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
 
Release Date: 06/08/12
Contacts: Forest Service , 404-272-9413  
  Celia Boddington , 202-208-6913  

U.S. Forest Service and BLM Announce Longer Time Period for Information Sharing on Talladega National Forest Natural Gas Lease Issue


WASHINGTON -- U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management officials today announced that they will allow time for additional engagement with key stakeholders, including local communities and residents, regarding pending oil and gas leases on the Talladega National Forest in Alabama. This ensures that all relevant input can inform the process moving forward.
 
The sale of natural gas leases on 43,000 acres on the Talladega National Forest was to begin on June 14. That sale is now on hold to allow for additional public engagement, including public informational meetings.
 
"The Forest Service works hard to ensure that stakeholders have ample input into the decisions of the agency with regards to the management of the public's national forests," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "Given the importance of this lease sale, we believe it is appropriate to allow for additional public informational meetings."
 
"The BLM supports President Obama's 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy, which is a comprehensive effort to boost the safe and responsible production of all available domestic sources" said Acting BLM Director Mike Pool.  "As we continue to offer millions of acres of America's public lands for oil and gas development, it is critical that the public have full confidence that oil and gas leasing is occurring in the right place at the right time in the right way.  The decision to provide the public with more time to share information and review potential lease parcels in the Talladega National Forest is part of our efforts to ensure the American public is fully engaged in this important process."

National forests are managed for a broad range of multiple uses, from wilderness protection, to recreation, to forest management to oil and gas exploration. The Forest Service works with stakeholders and the public to balance conservation and resource extraction.
The Forest Service develops land use plans, with significant public input, that determine if and where oil and gas leasing is appropriate. If interest in leasing exists, the Forest Service gives consent for leasing to the Bureau of Land Management if the lands meet the leasing criteria contained in the forest plan. The Bureau of Land Management then manages the leasing process and issues the lease.

Oil and gas leases have been offered three times in the last five years on the national forests in Alabama (2007, 2009, and 2012), with no takers on the Talladega.



The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
--BLM--

Last updated: 08-06-2012