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BLM Colorado Master Leasing Plans

Colorado Master Leasing Plans

In 2010, the Bureau of Land Management introduced leasing reform to manage for oil and gas development on public lands. Leasing reform allows the BLM to conduct a more in depth review for areas that are or may be opened to leasing at the planning level through master leasing plans (MLP).
The purpose of an MLP is to plan for oil and gas development at the land-use plan level in a defined area containing a high-level of potential resource concerns.

The two main components of MLPs are:

  • Develop goals for maintaining or improving the condition of natural resource values in the area.
  • Identify resource protection measures and best management practices that may be adopted as lease stipulations in a resource management plan (RMP).

The following are examples of planning decisions that may be considered through the MLP process with appropriate supporting National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis:

  • Phased leasing
  • Phased development
  • Requirements to reduce or capture emissions
  • Multiple wells on a single pad
  • Additional mitigation stipulations

Each field office in Colorado will continue to evaluate and identify areas within their planning boundaries for MLP reviews as needed. Designations for new MLP areas will need prior approval by the State Director if they are not already part of an on-going RMP revision or amendment. BLM Colorado will not automatically defer or deny nominated leases solely because they are located in a proposed MLP area.


- National Leasing Reform Policy
- National Leasing Reform website
- Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Q&As
- Colorado Master Leasing Plan Submissions
- Colorado Oil and Gas Leasing Process

Map of MLPs in Colorado

The following is a list and status of MLPs in Colorado as of January 2014:
• Shale Ridges and Canyons: part of the Grand Junction RMP Revision

• South Park: to be analyzed in the soon-to-be initiated Royal Gorge Field Office RMP Revision

• North Park: part of the  Kremmling RMP Revision
• Dinosaur Trail: part of the White River Field Office RMP Amendment