The Bureau of Land Management's revised notice for the North Fork minerals lease sale has addressed the issues raised by the county government in the original sale notice.
The Board of County Commissioners heard a report on the revised notice from local government designee Bruce Bertram at its Nov. 19 meeting.
The county's comments on the original, August 2012, sale notice centered on concerns over lease tracts that were near schools or towns, that had steep slopes, or that might have posed problems for agricultural or domestic water sources and conveyances, Bertram explained.
Bertram told the commissioners that the revised notice, issued on Nov. 16, includes oil and gas lease parcels from three other BLM field offices in addition to the Uncompahgre Field Office in Montrose which is handling the North Fork tracts. Some lease tracts in Arizona are also included in the notice.
Nominated parcels and portions of others that the county government had expressed concerns about have been removed from the revised, February 2013 sale notice, Bertram explained. Those parcels and portions of parcels were near the towns of Crawford, Hotchkiss and Paonia, and near Jumbo Mountain. Others with high slopes near Fire Mountain Canal and in the Terror and Hubbard Creek areas were removed, he said.
"It seems like most (of the county's concerns) have been addressed by removing parcels," Bertram said.
Other parcels have had additional lease notices and operational stipulations placed on them from the many comments received in the first sale notice.
According to the BLM, the 211-page sale notice has, in all, "198 parcels containing 114,932 acres of (public) lands in Colorado for oil and gas leasing and four parcels containing 8,886 acres of (public) lands in Arizona for oil and gas leasing."
Last May the BLM issued a deferral of all the North Fork parcels scheduled for the August 2012 sale. A flood of comments had prompted the BLM to conduct additional study on the proposal.
"Following additional BLM analysis, 20 modified (North Fork Valley) parcels totaling approximately 20,555 acres will be offered during the February 2013 lease sale," the BLM announced on Nov. 16. The original sale notice had included "approximately 30,000 acres (some in Gunnison County) within 22 parcels located near Paonia, Hotchkiss, Somerset, and Crawford," the BLM said. The area involved in Delta County encompasses from Hotchkiss east to the county line, and from Crawford north to the national forest boundary.
Last May 2 the BLM suddenly announced in a brief statement that it had deferred "all parcels associated with the August 2012 oil and gas lease sale in the North Fork Valley ... to conduct additional analysis of the proposed lease parcels based on public input."
Anyone with questions regarding the revised lease sale, now scheduled for Feb. 13, 2013, is advised to contact the BLM, Shannon Borders, at 240-5399.blog comments powered by Disqus