The BLM December 2018 Oil and Gas Lease Sale was totally chaotic. In August, the BLM offered about 222,000 acres of lands for leasing. But a federal judge intervened, saying that the BLM didn’t consider the impact on sage grouse habitat. On October 19, the BLM removed 141,478 acres of sage grouse habitat. Then on November 2, they deferred another 74,516 acres due to pressure from Governor Hickenlooper who felt that they should not offer leases until and environmental impact study was completed. The result was that 8,347 acres were ultimately offered for sale.
Public comment was solicited in late September on some of the leases which were ultimately removed from the lease sale. Most of these were on the Eastern Plains, and our CoNPS Conservation Volunteers sent in ten letters opposing the sale based on the presence of rare plants and rare plant communities.
The comment period at the beginning of November offered 82,000 acres of leases for sale before deferring the last 74,516 acres. Before they were deferred, the Conservation Volunteers sent in two letters opposing the sale of leases with rare plants and plant communities. A sample of the letters appear below: