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Release Date: 04/24/12
Contacts: Denise Adamic, 719-269-8553    

BLM offers public more review time for Geothermal Leasing Environmental Assessment (04-24-12)

MONTE VISTA, Colo. — The Bureau of Land Management’s San Luis Valley Field Office is extending the public comment period for the environmental assessment of geothermal energy leasing in the San Luis Valley. The SLVFO is offering the 30-day extension because it published the EA without the unsigned Finding of No Significant Impact as required by BLM’s land-use planning guidance.  Additionally, the EA had errors in the length of the public comment period and the type of Federal Register notification the BLM was to conduct.

“The preliminary EA and its analysis remain the same,” said Andrew Archuleta, Field Manager for the SLVFO. “However, the public now has more time to review the EA, as well as the Finding of No Significant Impact.”

The EA and its supporting documents are available on line at or at the BLM Office, 1803 West Hwy 160, Monte Vista, CO 81144.

This EA identifies public lands with the potential for geothermal development and provides a list of the stipulations to be applied to any future leases. The FONSI is a summary of the analysis done in the EA. When completed, the EA and FONSI will amend the 1991 BLM San Luis Resource Area Management Plan, tiering it to BLM’s 2008 Geothermal Leasing Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.

Comments on the EA must be received by May 24, 2012, and should be mailed to: Bureau of Land Management (Attn. Joe Vieira), 1803 West Hwy 160, Monte Vista, CO 81144 or e-mailed to Be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available. The BLM cannot guarantee that we will be able to withhold any personal information. All comments received prior to and during this extension will be considered throughout the BLM’s planning process.

The SLVFO released the EA on March 12 and held two public meetings to share information and gather comments.  Due to public feedback, the BLM first extended the comment period on April 9.

In 2008, the BLM completed the Geothermal Leasing PEIS, which amended 114 RMP's across the western United States. The PEIS updated the BLM’s energy leasing procedures to make lands available for geothermal energy leasing while protecting the land for future generations. Although the San Luis Resource Area was analyzed, the BLM did not include the area in its 2008 decision. In 2010, the BLM began a local analysis to understand the issues and concerns related to geothermal energy leasing in the Valley.

For more information log on to: or call Joe Vieira, BLM Project Manager at 719-852-6213. 

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  1803 West Highway 160      Monte Vista, CO 81144  

Last updated: 04-24-2012