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Over outcry, USBLM to auction O&G leases in areas rich in archaeological sites near Hovenweep NMon

For the third time since last year, the Bureau of Land Management is auctioning oil and gas leases on archaeologically rich canyons and mesas in San Juan County, but this time in the face of opposition from local elected and business leaders, tribal officials, the National Park Service and the federal government’s own Advisory Council on Historic Preservation — all saying the BLM has not adequately reviewed the potential for future energy development to tear the region’s historic fabric.

Starting Monday, 19 parcels covering 32,000 acres are to be sold at the BLM’s quarterly online auction, coming on top of 36 other disputed parcels leased last year in this same area east of Blanding.

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