Sept. 3, 2018
By Dennis Webb, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
The Bureau of Land Management has pulled more than 5,000 acres overlying the idled Bowie No. 2 Mine outside Paonia from a planned December oil and gas lease sale due to regulatory questions surrounding its plans to offer the acreage.
The agency is continuing to consider offering more than 224,000 acres in its December lease sale, including 2,831 acres in the North Fork Valley, where the town of Paonia and Gov. John Hickenlooper have argued any leasing should await completion of a new resource management plan for the BLM’s Uncompahgre Field Office.
The town, the governor and activists also have objected to the abbreviated comment process for the leasing proposal, which largely consists of acreage under the jurisdictions of the White River Field Office in Meeker, Little Snake office in Craig, Kremmling Field Office and Grand Junction Field Office.