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DENVER I As part of a landmark settlement agreement announced in November, the Bureau of Land Management last week canceled 17 of the 19 leases on top of the Roan Plateau near Rifle.
The settlement agreement included refunding approximately $47.6 million in bonus bids and annual rental payments to leaseholders. The environmental assessment and decision record for the lease cancellation is available at www.blm.gov/co/st/en/ BLM_Information/nepa/gsfo/completed_2015_nepa.html
The settlement agreement, reached with conservation groups and oil and gas leaseholders, protects wildlife and supports opportunities for outdoor recreation on the Roan Plateau while also encouraging oil and gas development.
The BLM is also preparing a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the Roan Plateau Resource Management Plan that will address long-term management of the area. The SEIS will analyze a range of management alternatives including one based on the terms of the settlement reached in November that would prevent releasing the canceled lease areas on top of the Roan Plateau for the life of that decision.