The Bureau of Land Management Wyoming today announced a proposal to offer 135 parcels totaling about 169,751 acres for oil and gas leasing in June 2020.
Today kicks off a 30-day public comment period on the proposed lease sale, which will close March 12, 2020.
The BLM initially reviewed 147 parcels nominated for this sale. Five whole parcels and parts of four others were deleted from the sale list. The BLM plans to defer three whole parcels and parts of three others due to other resource conflicts. The deferred parcels include one whole parcel and portions of three others that the BLM is deferring based on advice from the State of Wyoming because they intersect state-designated big game migration corridors.
This is consistent with Secretarial Order 3362 to improve habitat quality in western big game winter range. The BLM reviewed all proposed parcels to ensure leasing them conforms to all applicable land use plans, including the 2015 Approved Sage-Grouse Resource Management Plan Amendments for the Rocky Mountain Region, which are currently in effect due to the preliminary injunction of the BLM’s 2019 sage-grouse plan amendments by the U.S. District Court of Idaho.
To comment on the sale or learn more about the parcels analyzed, please visit the BLM’s ePlanning site at https://go.usa.gov/xdXVt. This site contains the environmental assessment, lists and maps of the parcels and the stipulations attached to each parcel, as well as an online comment portal.
The BLM will review and consider every comment received before preparing a final decision, but specific comments addressing distinct parcels or concerns are most useful.
The BLM is required by statute to hold quarterly oil and gas lease sales when federal land is available for lease. Leasing is the first step in the process to develop federal oil and gas resources, and it does not authorize exploration or development.
Before any development can begin on a leased parcel, the BLM must approve a separate permit based on further analysis of site-specific plans and conditions.
Wyoming is one of the country’s top energy producers on public lands. In 2018, BLM Wyoming raised nearly $117 million through oil and gas lease sales. About half the revenue from each lease sale goes directly to the State of Wyoming and, when leasing results in production, royalties from production are also shared with the state.
Revenue from leasing and development supports public education, infrastructure improvements and other state-determined priorities