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Health, Science & Environment

BLM Postpones Greens Hollow Coal Lease Sale On Environmental Groups' Petition And Appeal

Greater Sage Grouse

The coal lease auction of 6200 acres scheduled for Thursday has been postponed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Salt Lake City office.

An official from the BLM says in a statement a stay petition and appeal filed by four conservation groups requires them to hold off on the Greens Hollow coal lease sale. The climate and energy program director for WildEarth Guardians, one of the groups behind the petition, is Jeremy Nichols. He says the nearby sage grouse habitat is among their primary concerns.

“The last thing you want to do when you have a population there that is still hanging on," says Nichols, "the last thing you want to do is add any more disturbance that could push it over the brink.”

BLM rules force an automatic stay for 45 days while it’s being reviewed by the Interior Board of Land Appeals. Nichols says this is just the beginning of the process.

“The message we’re trying to send to the Bureau of Land Management is that ‘you’re not going to be able to sell this coal without a fight,’ and we obviously have won this round and we’re going to continue to engage to ensure that we win in future rounds,” Nichols says.

Joining WildEarth in the petition and appeal are Center for Biological Diversity, Grand Canyon Trust and Sierra Club. There’s expected to be nearly 56,000,000 tons of usable coal in Greens Hollow.

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