The Bureau of Land Management got together with public officials and Grand Valley residents Monday to discuss the future of mineral leasing, particularly surrounding watershed lands.
In February, the BLM auctioned off nearly $12M of parcels in Colorado that are prime for energy exploration, some of which are in areas that supply water for Palisade and Grand Junction.
On Monday night, the city of Grand Junction sponsored a forum for public officials and residents for more insight on the mineral leasing process.
The forum was intended to be an informative session, as both public officials and residents had their chance to pose questions and raise concerns.
Following a presentation where BLM engineer Duane Spencer talked about the history of mineral rights lease auctions and the process that's involved, which includes everything from public notice, public protest and an extensive explanation of the National Environmental Policy Act.
The public's questions were read and while questions surrounded many topics, including withdrawing parcels and inspection, water was on the minds of many.
Part of the BLM's discussion did cover protection of ground water, but while there are methods in place, Monday's speaker does acknowledge human error is still a factor and mistakes can be made.
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