The Pawnee National Grassland is conducting an Oil and Gas Leasing Analysis that will serve as a starting point for an Environmental Impact Statement looking at lands not currently leased.
Current oil and gas management is conducted under the 1997 Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland Forest Plan. The decision was made in this document for which lands were administratively available for leasing and included conditions (lease stipulations), under which lands would be available for leasing.
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That decision was made based on 1995 projections for the reasonably foreseeable oil and gas development for the PNG. Much has changed in both technology and interest since then, leading the U.S. Forest Service to do this leasing analysis.
The purpose of this analysis is to consider and disclose any new circumstances or information relevant to environmental effects that may not have been anticipated during the Forest Plan to determine if additional management direction and/or leasing stipulations are necessary to protect National Forest System lands (potential surface impacts). This is not a site-specific analysis. Individual projects will have additional analysis take place before implementation would occur.
Public scoping is taking place for 45 days, after the Notice of Intent in the Federal Register was published on April 1. A Draft EIS is expected August 2013, with the Final EIS anticipated in August 2014. To participate in scoping, the public can view information online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/oilandgas.