Drilling Leases on 12,00 acres on hold

Agency voluntarily delays energy development sale

The Durango Herald by Emery Cowan

The Bureau of Land Management’s Colorado office on Thursday announced it will hold off selling natural-gas and oil leases on more than 12,000 acres in Southwest Colorado.

The 12 parcels in La Plata, Montezuma, Archuleta and San Miguel counties were scheduled to be auctioned at a Feb. 14 lease sale.

The BLM decided to pull the leases in Southwest Colorado for two reasons, said Connie Clementson, field manager of the Tres Rios Field Office, which oversees the area.

Clementson said the local field office needed more time to address protests that were submitted about the environmental assessment of the lease sale. She also said she wanted to delay leasing until after she had time to meet with newly elected government officials in the affected counties.