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Release Date: 08/17/12
Contacts: Denise Adamic    
  (719) 269-8553    

BLM Releases Environmental Assessment for Royal Gorge Field Office for February 2013 Oil and Gas Lease Sale

CAÑON CITY, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office today released a preliminary environmental assessment analyzing the proposed sale of oil and gas leases on 156 parcels totaling 72,756 acres of public mineral estate in Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, Kiowa, Lincoln, Park, Prowers, Otero, and Weld counties.

Six of these parcels are in the South Park area and were deferred from the November 2011 oil and gas lease sale.

The EA analyzes whether these parcels will be offered for competitive leasing to allow exploration and development of federal oil and gas resources. There are three alternatives analyzed within the EA including offering all of the nominated parcels for sale, offering a subset of the parcels for sale or not offering any parcels.

In order for a parcel to be offered in a lease sale, it is typically nominated by industry.

The EA, a list of the parcels and the attached stipulations is available online at and at the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office, 3028 East Main, Cañon City, Colo.

The State of Colorado receives 49 percent of the proceeds of each lease sale. In Fiscal Year 2011, Colorado received more than $154 million from royalties, rentals and bonus bid payments for all federal minerals, including oil and gas. Statewide, there are more than 22,900 jobs tied to mineral and energy development on public lands.

Written comments must be received by Sept. 17, and may be submitted via e-mail to or by mail to BLM Royal Gorge Field Office, 3028 East Main, Cañon City, Colorado, 81212. The most effective comments refer to a specific parcel and its associated resources.

For additional information on the February Oil and Gas Lease Sale, visit:

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time.  While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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FACT SHEET: Environmental Assessment for the February 2013 Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Why is BLM offering parcels for oil and gas leasing?
The BLM is a multiple use agency. This means that in addition to managing for recreation and livestock grazing, we also have to consider developing mineral resources such as oil and gas. Each BLM field office manages all resources under a resource management plan (RMP).  The RMP outlines management decisions for the office such as allocating lands that are available for oil and gas leasing, and what restrictions will be placed on leases to protect sensitive resources.

Regardless of the type of use, the BLM analyzes impacts to resources according to the National Environmental Policy Act.

Why is the BLM conducting an Environmental Assessment for this oil and gas lease sale?
The lease sale EA provides the BLM another opportunity for a hard look at the resources that may be affected on the ground today. This EA gives the public and the BLM a way to see if conditions have changed since the area was identified for oil and gas development in the Field Office’s resource management plan.

Will the leases analyzed in the Environmental Assessment be developed?
Not necessarily. Although a lease gives the lease holder the right to explore and develop the parcel’s minerals, the decision made through this preliminary EA is only to offer specific parcels for sale. Many parcels that are sold at a lease sale are never developed.

Once a parcel is sold, an application permit to drill (APD) must be submitted before any development can occur. When, and if, an APD is submitted, the BLM will conduct further environmental reviews to study the lease holder’s plans for developing the lease.

How can I provide effective comments?
The most effective comments are specific. If you decide to comment on this preliminary EA, consider referring to specific parcels and the associated resources on those parcels.

How do I provide my comments?
Written comments may be submitted via e-mail to or by mail to BLM Royal Gorge Field Office, 3028 East Main, Cañon City, Colorado, 81212. Comments must be received by September 17. 

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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.

Last updated: 08-17-2012