Environmental Groups file protest to proposed BLM leases for fracking in the Kisatchie National Forest

The Natural Resources Defense Council, Louisiana Audubon Council, Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club and seven other environmental organizations have submitted a protest to the Bureau of Land Management’s planned offering of sixty-six lease parcels at the September 13, 2012 oil and gas lease sale. The parcels are publicly owned lands in the Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana, and areas where the federal government owns minerals beneath private lands within the boundaries of the Bienville and Homochitto National Forests in Mississippi.

The protest, submitted July 19, 2012, cites violation of numerous environmental laws and identifies failure of BLM to provide adequate public information regarding proposed leasing, including failure to provide adequate maps and failure to provide documents demonstrating compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The listed NEPA deficiencies include consultation with other agencies and site-specific analysis. The protest states that BLM did not take a hard look at the effects of unconventional oil and gas development including evaluation of the surface impacts and its effects on water resources, recreation, human health, wilderness and wildlife including threatened and endangered species.

The protesting parties request that BLM withdraw the protested parcels from the lease sale until BLM can demonstrate compliance with applicable laws. Parties further suggest that BLM consider whether sensitive parcels may be inappropriate for oil and gas development.

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