Posted 8-9-18, Bureau of Land Management (CHEYENNE) – In an effort to balance conservation of Wyoming’s special natural resources and development of its considerable energy potential, the Bureau of Land Management Wyoming released a Notice of Competitive Lease Sale detailing plans to offer 350 parcels for lease in the September 2018 lease sale. The notice describes the parcels we will offer as well as the appropriate measures the BLM will take to protect the rich local landscape and wildlife and ensure environmentally responsible energy development. The BLM will hold the sale Sept. 18-20, 2018, on www.energynet.com.

BLM Wyoming originally analyzed 394 parcels nominated for this sale. After close consultation with the State of Wyoming, we are deleting or deferring 44 entire parcels and portions of 31 other parcels due to resource conflicts and environmental issues. This includes three entire parcels totaling nearly 5,000 acres that are being deferred because they are largely located within the Red Desert to Hoback designated mule deer migration corridor, which traverses state, private and federal land in western Wyoming.

“The BLM worked with the State of Wyoming to determine criteria for deferring or leasing parcels in the migration corridor, and we will continue to work with the State to determine the best ways to protect this important habitat as we move forward with the leasing process,” said BLM Wyoming State Director Mary Jo Rugwell.

The remaining parcels intersecting the migration corridor will have special stipulations to safeguard the area, such as timing limitations and disturbance limits. Operators looking to develop here must work with the BLM and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to take reasonable measures to avoid and minimize impacts to big game and big game habitat.

On Feb. 9, 2018, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3356, directing appropriate bureaus within the Department of the Interior to work in close partnership with western states to enhance and improve the quality of big game winter range and migration corridor habitat on federal lands. This is the latest example of the Secretary fulfilling his promise to better serve our local communities.

Leasing is the first step in the process to developing federal oil and gas resources. Before drilling, an operator must submit an application for permit to drill, detailing its plans to develop the lease. At this time, the BLM will work with the operator and cooperators including the State of Wyoming to ensure all energy development is environmentally responsible and in keeping with the BLM’s mission, balancing development and the protection of wildlife habitat.

This notice kicked off a protest period for these parcels, which will close August 13. As detailed further in the notice, protests must be submitted by 4 p.m. MDT on August 13, and must be filed by hand-delivery, mail or fax. You can review the sale notice, environmental assessments and related documents at https://go.usa.gov/xQxMN.

Wyoming is one of the country’s top energy producers on public lands and in 2017 generated more than $1.2 billion for taxpayers from mineral revenue alone. Hunters and other recreationalists also contribute millions of dollars each year to local economies as they travel to Wyoming from across the country to pursue herds of pronghorn, deer and elk that roam the state. The state of Wyoming receives about 50 percent of the proceeds of each lease sale. The last BLM Wyoming lease sale, held in June, raised about $36 million.