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Release Date: 07/03/13
Contacts: John Beck 303-239-3882    

BLM accepting public comment on coal lease application in Delta County (07-02-13)

MONTROSE, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on a preliminary  environmental assessment that analyzes a proposal to lease approximately 1,789 acres of federal coal reserves beneath BLM, U.S. Forest Service-managed lands and private land in Delta County, Colo., adjacent to the existing Bowie II Mine.

Bowie Resources, LLC, which operates the Bowie II Mine, submitted a coal Lease by Application to the BLM on Oct. 18, 2012. If the BLM determines to make the lease available, it would be offered through a competitive sale. The role of the Forest Service is to determine whether or not to consent to the BLM issuing a competitive coal lease and if it does consent, to prescribe stipulations needed to protect surface resources on National Forest Service lands. 

The LBA is being analyzed through the National Environmental Policy Act process, which addresses the cultural, socioeconomic, environmental and cumulative impacts that would likely result from leasing these federal coal reserves. The BLM is hosting a public hearing at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at the Paonia Town Hall, 214 Grand Avenue, Paonia, CO 82418, to allow for public comment on the EA and the fair market value and maximum economic recovery on the proposed lease tract.

A summary and map of the proposal are available at the BLM Uncompahgre Field Office, or in the Public Room at the State Office in Lakewood, Colo. The BLM will accept public comments on the EA through Aug. 2, 2013.

Written comments can be mailed to Desty Dyer, at the Uncompahgre Field Office, 2465 S. Townsend Avenue, Montrose, CO 81401; or sent via email to, or fax at (970) 240-5368. Please note “Spruce Stomp Coal Lease By Application” in the subject line for all emails. For more information on the EA, please contact Desty Dyer at (970) 240-5300.

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.

Currently, there are nine producing coal mines (seven underground and two surface operations) encompassing 75,000-acres in the state.  In Fiscal Year 2012, coal energy production on BLM Colorado public lands directly contributed $918.1 million to the economy, generating royalty revenue of $57.7 million, according to the Office of Natural Resource Revenue, and accounted for 5,719 direct and indirect jobs in Colorado. Total direct economic benefits associated with the coal mines within the North Fork Valley exceed $60 million annually.

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.

  2465 South Townsend Avenue      Montrose, CO 81401  

Last updated: 07-03-2013