Feds pare Colorado gas-lease sale

Excerpts:

The U.S. Forest Service — facing opposition from state and local governments as well as environmental groups — withdrew 67,000 acres from a Colorado oil- and gas-lease sale set for Thursday.

…Criticism focused on the fact the parcels were chosen based on a 1993 plan with dated science on how drilling might affect land and wildlife.

The land is in the Grand Mesa, Uncompaghre and Gunnison national forests and is home to Canada lynx, the Gunnison sage grouse and Colorado cutthroat trout.

…Removing the 57 national-forest parcels — covering 66,692 acres — in the southwest part of the state leaves 12,200 acres in 28 scattered parcels for auction Thursday, according to the federal Bureau of Land Management.