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High Plains District Office
Release Date: 03/04/11
Contacts: Lesley Collins    

Wright Area South Hilight Field Record of Decision
Available from Wyoming High Plains District Office

The Record of Decision (ROD) for the South Hilight Field Coal Lease Application, part of the Wright Area Coal Lease Applications Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), is available for review.

On Oct. 7, 2005, Ark Land Company applied for federal coal reserves in two maintenance tracts encompassing approximately 4,590.19 acres and 588.2 million tons of coal. The tracts are adjacent to the Black Thunder Mine operated by Thunder Basin Coal Company. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) determined that the application would be processed as two separate tracts, which are referred to as the North Hilight Field tract and the South Hilight Field tract.

Including the South Hilight Field, the Wright Area Coal EIS analyzed the proposed leasing of six federal coal tracts located in the Wyoming portion of the Powder River Basin. The EIS disclosed to the public direct, indirect, and cumulative environmental impacts of issuing a federal coal lease in the Wright area. A separate record of decision will be issued for each tract that was analyzed in the Wright Area Coal EIS.

The BLM approved Alternative 2, which was the preferred alternative for this lease by application (LBA) as analyzed in the Wright Area Coal Final EIS. Under Alternative 2, the South Hilight Field tract will be offered for lease at a competitive sealed-bid sale. Under the selected configuration, the tract includes 1,976.69 acres, more or less, and the BLM estimates that the tract contains approximately 222,676,000 tons of mineable federal coal resources in Campbell County, Wyo.

The final configuration was selected because it allows for efficient recovery of the federal coal while also conserving sufficient unleased Federal coal reserves for the potential configuration of a future competitive LBA tract, if warranted for production maintenance. A competitive coal lease sale will be announced in the Federal Register at a later date.

This decision is subject to appeal to the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) as provided in 43 CFR 4 within 30 days from the date of publication of the notice of availability in the Federal Register. The ROD contains instructions for filing an appeal with the IBLA.

Copies of the ROD are available for public inspection online at: or at the following BLM offices:

Bureau of Land Management
Wyoming State Office
5353 Yellowstone Road
Cheyenne, WY 82009

Bureau of Land Management
Wyoming High Plains District Office
2987 Prospector Drive
Casper, WY 82604

For more information, contact Sarah Bucklin or Mike Karbs at (307) 261-7600.

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.

High Plains District Office   2987 Prospector Drive      Casper, WY 82604  

Last updated: 03-04-2011