BLM issues decision on challenged 2018 oil and gas leases in Utah

Monticello FO
Media Contact
JD Mallory

SALT LAKE CITY — The BLM announced a decision today to reaffirm three oil and gas leases covering 5,344 acres in San Juan County as a result of a legal challenge and subsequent commitment to reconsider 28 leases stemming from BLM’s March and December 2018 competitive oil and gas lease sales in the Monticello Field Office.    

A preliminary review indicated numerous large-scale archaeological features that appear to be associated with early agriculture are located in the area of many of the leases. That information, as well as additional Tribal consultation, led to the decision to cancel 25 of the challenged leases to protect potentially significant cultural resources and sites.   

The BLM will conduct further research of these potential archaeological features to determine their significance and further our understanding of how Ancestral Puebloan people planted, farmed, and harvested crops in these areas over 1,000 years ago. Further study is also required to adequately assess potential impacts to these features from oil and gas development.   

Please visit the BLM National NEPA Register to view the decision, environmental assessment, and for additional information and associated documents.  


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.  

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