Gas Leases to Be Auctioned August 11 Guest Commentary
Jun 30, 2005 | 379 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Leases on 15 parcels of land in Montrose and Ouray Counties designated by the Bureau of Land Management for sale to gas developers will be sold at auction in Denver August 11. Fourteen of the parcels were originally offered for sale on May 12, but were delayed by the BLM at the request of Representative John Salazar. The Sale Notice was provided to the Uncompahgre Valley Association by the BLM. Similar information was also provided to the Ridgway-Ouray Community Council in Ouray County. More than 130 landowners in Montrose County are affected by the pending sales.

One additional parcel has been added to the August sale. It is located in the West End of Montrose County and, while the land offered for sale is all BLM land, there may be private landowners who will be affected by gas development when it occurs.

In order to provide citizens with information on the realities of gas development, UVA and ROCC will sponsor a forum, "Gas Drilling: Your Rights, Industry's Rights" on Tuesday, July 19. The forum will take place at the Ridgway 4H Center in Ridgway from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be presentations by the BLM, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Oil and Gas Accountability Project, and various Colorado citizens who live with gas development in Garfield County and elsewhere. The day will conclude with a panel discussion with members of the Montrose and Ouray County Boards of County Commissioners on the implications for the two counties.

Gas leases in Montrose and Ouray counties were first offered for sale by BLM at the May 12, 2005 sale. The Sale Notice is normally available at BLM offices and on the Internet. At the time of the May notice, access to the BLM web site was severely restricted and has now been only partially restored. UVA and its members obtained the May 12 Sale Notice and researched property records to find out which landowners might be affected. Members of the Ridgway-Ouray Community Council in Ouray County conducted similar research. The organizations notified landowners of the pending sale. As a result of calls to Representative Salazar by Montrose and Ouray county commissioners and citizens, Salazar asked the BLM office in Denver to delay the sale of parcels where landowners were affected. Other parcels, affecting only BLM land, were sold at the May 12 sale.

The current Sale Notice lists the parcels that were delayed in May. Parcel numbers listed in the May 12 notice have been changed. For more information, contact UVA at 249-1978.
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