Colorado

May 14, 2010 9:48 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Energy leases in Colorado wilderness net few takers

There were few takers Thursday for proposed oil and gas leases in a northern Colorado mountain valley prized by hunters and anglers.

The lukewarm interest comes after criticism and formal protests by a coalition of hunting and angling groups that opposed drilling in the region northwest of Denver.

John Gale of the National Wildlife Federation calls the area "some of the most biologically rich wildlife habitat in the state."

Only two of 11 offered parcels netted bids in the Bureau of Land Management's quarterly auction. About 1,500 acres out of a total of more than 11,000 up for lease in the area were bid on.

BLM spokesman Steven Hall said it's unclear why the leases, which were nominated by companies, didn't gain more interest. They garnered only the minimum bid of $2 per acre.

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