May 05 2009
On February 13 2009 the Bureau of Land Management, through Acting Director Ron Wenker, notified bureau state directors of a new internal procedure to "allow for a full review of parcels" by bureau headquarters "prior to an oil and gas lease sale".
Under the new procedure, each state office is to send a briefing paper to headquarters at least one week before the notice of lease sale is posted. The paper is to be updated at least five days before the sale if protests seeking state director review have been filed.
Each paper must provide:
The state offices are to focus primarily on identifying lands to be offered which possess wilderness or roadless character (whether by proposed legislation, public proposals or Forest Service designation). Also to be discussed are parcels with issues related to endangered species and municipal watersheds.
The memorandum does not explicitly require state directors to report on parcels that the bureau itself has identified as possessing wilderness character, but has elected (through resource management plan decisions) to leave open to leasing.
The memorandum does not indicate that state directors must await authorization from the national office before proceeding, but experience suggests that the new procedure will make the timing of lease sales less predictable.
For further information on this topic please contact Poe Leggette at Fulbright & Jaworski LLP's Washington DC office by telephone (+1 202 662 0200) or by fax (+1 202 662 4643) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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