BLM pulls some Colorado lland from oil, gas lease sale
GRAND JUNCTION (AP) – Federal land managers have delayed offering about 16 square miles in Rio Blanco County in western Colorado for oil and gas leases so they can consider whether the land has wilderness characteristics and should be protected.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Thursday the Bureau of Land Management is withholding the land from an auction scheduled for May 1.
Another eight square miles in the county have been withdrawn over concerns about the impact of drilling on the greater sage grouse. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the bird warrants designation as an endangered species but that other species have a higher priority for protection.
About 11 square miles in Rio Blanco County will be offered for leasing at the sale.
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