A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Secretary Salazar Announces Upcoming BLM Oil and Gas Lease Sales, Lauds Progress in Balanced Energy Agenda
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today described the progress the Department of the Interior has made in the last six months to responsibly develop oil and gas resources on public lands as part of President Obama's comprehensive energy strategy for the United States. Since January, the Department of the Interior has offered more than 2.5 million acres of U.S. public lands, primarily in the West, for oil and natural gas development and companies have leased 782,280 of those acres, paying more than $60 million in bonus bids and leasing fees.
“As part of President Obama's comprehensive energy strategy, our Bureau of Land Management has an active and robust program to responsibly develop onshore U.S. lands for traditional energy production,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. “We have held 17 oil and gas lease sales since January and plan to hold another 20 sales in the next six months. Our nation needs a balanced approach to meet its energy needs today, continuing to rely on appropriate domestic sources of oil, gas and coal, while we accelerate the development of our vast renewable energy resources.”
So far this year, the Bureau has offered 2,261,854 acres in 1,749 parcels and sold oil and gas development leases on 782,280 of those acres in 866 parcels, collecting $60,108,904 in revenue.
For most federal oil and gas leases, 50 percent of the revenues collected are returned to the states where the oil and gas activity occurs. Of the remaining 50 percent of the revenues, 40 percent goes to a reclamation fund for water projects and 10 percent goes to the U.S. Treasury.
“The Bureau of Land Management plays an important role in working with industry and local communities that rely on traditional energy development on U.S. lands, and in ensuring the protection of wildlife and our treasured landscapes,” Salazar said.
The Bureau of Land Management held the following oil and gas lease sales this year: Montana on 1/27, 4/14 and 6/16; Wyoming on 2/3, 4/7 and 6/2; Utah on 3/24 and 6/23; Colorado on 2/12 and 5/14; Nevada on 3/10 and 6/9; New Mexico on 1/21 and 4/22; and one each in California, 3/11; Oregon, 3/12; and the Eastern States, 3/19.
The Bureau has scheduled an additional 20 oil and gas lease sales nationwide this year:
Eastern States on 6/25, 9/17 and 12/10; New Mexico, 7/22 and 10/21; Wyoming, 8/4, 10/2 and 12/1; Utah, 8/18 and 11/17; Montana, 8/25 and 11/3; Nevada, 9/8 and 12/8; California, 9/9 and 12/9; Oregon 9/10 and 12/10; and Colorado 9/17 and 11/12.
More information on the Bureau of Land Management's energy lease sales program is available at www.blm.gov.