Horse News

BLM Stoops To Low Bargain Basement Fees for Public Lands

I thought it was bad enough when the BLM was charging $2 an acre for oil and gas leases, but now I see (from the Elko Daily news article below) that the BLM is leasing public lands for bargain basement fees of $1.50 an acre.  And for NONCOMPETITIVE geothermal leases, it’s only $1 an acre for 10 years!  What will the BLM do next?  Just tell these bidders to set out their lawn chairs and take whatever public lands they want?  (Oh wait, they just about do that now, since the bidders tell the BLM what parcels they want them to nominate.)

And it seems like only yesterday that the BLM Elko District was crying about the DROUGHT.

Let’s take a look at this equation:

We’re running out of water because there’s a severe drought + BLM leases public lands for pennies to “uses” that use LOTS of water + blame everything on the wild horses & burros and get rid of them = BLM “management” of public lands is ______ (you fill in the blank, but please don’t use swear words on the blog).

Anyhow, if you look at the BLM’s PUBLIC LAND STATISTICS for 2013, you’ll get a look at the bigger picture.

Besides the fact that the title of the article below refers to public lands as “BLM Land,” the links in the article don’t work, but you can go HERE to look at the Elko District oil & gas leases and HERE to look at the geothermal leases.


BLM to Auction BLM Land in Elko for Oil Exploration

RENO — More than 64,000 acres of public land in the Elko District are up for bid in a competitive oil and gas lease sale 9 a.m. today at the Bureau of Land Management state office, 1340 Financial Blvd., Reno.

The BLM will include 44 parcels for lease. Registration and assignment of bidding numbers begin at 8 a.m.

The BLM offers quarterly oil and gas sales. The last Elko District sale on March 12, 2013, generated more than $1.2 million with the sale of 31 parcels covering more than 38,000 acres.

A second oil and gas sale will take place after, for 29 parcels in the Winnemucca and Carson City districts.

Parcels are nominated by industry representatives in advance of a sale.  The BLM reviews each parcel for any resource conflicts, which can result in stipulations placed on the parcel, deferral or partial deferral.

A complete summary of the parcels to be offered, GIS shapefiles and other documents related to the oil and gas sales are available online at

Oil and gas leases are for 10-year periods with annual rentals of $1.50 per acre for the first five years and $2 per acre after that until production begins.

Once a lease is producing, a royalty of 12.5 percent is charged.  Half of the bid and rental receipts go to the state.

Geothermal Lease

The BLM will have a competitive geothermal lease sale Wednesday at the BLM state office.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the sale begins at 9.  The sale includes two parcels in Nevada totaling more than 3,400 acres.  One parcel is located on the Winnemucca District, the second is located in the Carson City District.

There will also be five parcels located in Oregon.

Geothermal leases are for a 10-year period.  Annual rental for a competitive lease is $2 per acre for the first year, and $3 per acre until year 10.

Annual rental for a noncompetitive lease is $1 per acre for up to 10 years.

Additional environmental analysis would need to be conducted to receive permits to drill or build a facility to develop the energy from the geothermal source.

A complete summary of the parcels to be offered, GIS shapefiles and other documents related to the geothermal lease sale are available at

40 replies »

    • Louie, regarding NONCOMPETITIVE LEASES:
      The BLM issues noncompetitive leases only for parcels the agency previously offered competitively but which failed to receive a bid for a 2 year period.

      The lands in expired, terminated, relinquished, or canceled leases are not available for noncompetitive leasing until the BLM offers them competitively in a Sale Notice for an auction and failed to receive a bid. You may file a noncompetitive pre-sale offer on these lands if the prior lease for these lands has expired or terminated, or the lease holder has given up the lease, or the BLM has canceled the lease at least 1 year before you submit the pre-sale offer to the appropriate BLM State Office.

      Following an oil and gas lease sale, you may submit an offer for a noncompetitive lease on any of the parcels that did not receive bids. These lands are available for 2 years, beginning the first business day following the last day of the auction, as specified in the Sale Notice. For noncompetitive leasing you must submit each offer on a separate lease offer form. If you submit an offer on the first business day following the auction through the last day of the same month, you must identify the lands you want by the parcel identification number used in the Sale Notice. Afterwards, and for the remainder of the 2 years, you must use legal land descriptions when you submit a noncompetitive lease offer. During this remaining time of the 2 years, you may submit offers for lands that are different than the parcel configurations offered at the auction.
      You must submit your offers on a BLM-approved form. You must include payment of a administrative fee (click here for current fee schedule) and the first year’s advance rental of $1.50 per acre. The BLM considers all noncompetitive lease offers filed on the first business day following the auction as having been filed simultaneously. The agency determines the priority among multiple offers for the same parcel by public drawings. If you submit an offer after the first business day of the auction, you will receive priority according to the time of filing. For example, the BLM gives priority to an offer filed at 10:15 a.m. over an offer filed at 10:16 a.m.


  1. Who is qualified to hold a lease?

    You may qualify to hold an oil and gas lease if you are an adult citizen of the United States. Minors may not acquire leases, but the BLM is authorized to issue leases to a legal guardian or trustee on behalf of a minor. Associations of citizens and corporations organized under United States, State or municipal law may also qualify.

    Aliens may hold interests in leases only by stock ownership in U.S. corporations holding leases and only if the laws of their country of citizenship do not deny similar privileges to United States citizens. Aliens may not hold a lease interest through units in a publicly traded limited partnership.


  2. Is it fisable that we could buy this land with donations , that Land (which belongs to the Mustangs already ) could Home a ton of Mustangs !!!!


  3. BLM “management” of public lands is and has been a comp[ete Failure , start to finish a greedfilled way to Bilk the Public and decieve te Public !!!!


  4. Bill McKibben of tried to “buy” some of these leases, but went to jail because he didn’t have the $2 million to pay for it. Please read his website to see some of the tactics he has used to prevent the wholesale privatization of public assets.


    • Tim Christopher had the money during pre prosecution and the Feds cancelled the auction sale so the land rapists could bid and get the land they wanted in an illegal do over .

      I find it strange would “bid” and NOT have the money. Ask Tim. I would think McKibben would have been sued AND prosecuted by the crooked Feds.

      And why any entity would not have standing in a Federal Court suing to end the unfair practices of Federal and State regulators giving away the candy store is beyond my ability to comprehend, save that the crooked always win.

      Besides, the crook regulators have “conditionalized” the bidder, bidding and use process to the point of exclusion for most save for the land hogs.

      Now, why someone or some org can’t sue because of that boggles the mind and scares the pooh out of me as to what our judicial system has become.


  5. The selling out of the American public seems to be just a way of life for many, if not most, of our government agencies. And we pay for it. My representatives in IL seem to be of the “pass the buck” mindset, meaning they trust that the “Government Accountability Office” is presenting them with the most cost effective and logical solution to the BLM’s mismanagement of the wild horse and burro program, which is euthanasia or slaughter. They are too busy trying to obtain campaign contributions to worry about trying to actually do anything that might help the American public. After all, the American public is not their largest campaign contributors so their views don’t really matter to them. It’s all about the money and maintaining your position in office. There are definitely some incumbents that I won’t be voting for come election time.


  6. Yet they charge far higher fees for farmers and ranchers, many who are raising our food! – Without farming and ranching, we – as a nation – will be unable to feed ourselves.

    The BLM has become nothing more than a “go-between” for the big foreign industries (ref to: the Cliven Bundy saga – as through the eyeglass-lens of Sen. Harry Reid and his dealings with a Chinese solar energy company looking to build a massive solar facility there). Most of our government bureaucracies have gone to the deepest pockets rather than truly serve the People.


  7. It just irks me to no end that BLM (and the media) refer to our land as “BLM land”. The federal government does not own land in the West. The American people own the public lands in the West and they are [supposedly] administered on our behalf by the national government under laws and regulations enacted under both political parties. This land belongs to all citizens of the United States, not the federal government.


    • The indains are having the same trouble. The Dunn sisters grazed their catt;e pm their reservation land. The BLM rounded up their cattle and horses to sell to pay the grazing fees they said the sisters owed. Which they didn’t because the land belonged to the tribe. The horses died because they were penned up with feed or water. All of a sudden, a mining company moved in and they began mining for gold. The land was ruined. They ended up going to the United Nations who sided with them for they still had the original treaty that was signed to allow the white settlers to cross their land to California with out being stopped by the Indians. The US still hasn’t accepted the ruling, and haven’t replaced the cattle.


  8. Although everyone would like to see more rain and snow for the west this “drought” is caused not only by the weather but by “other” human uses of our public lands. Drought can be caused by too little precipitation (rain and snow) over an extended period, as most people assume, but drought can also be caused by increased demand for the available supply of usable water. These include but are not limited to human uses such as over usage by livestock, mining, solar, geothermal, solar, gas and oil development that have been approved by BLM for the sake of money. These uses are the culprit – over usage by manmade exploitation that is manipulated by the selling and leasing of our land to private enterprise for the pure sake of money. This is not use – this is abuse.


    • GrandmaGregg, someday soon we are going to learn that Al Gore created the entire global warming scam in order to get people to go along with the biological diversity treaties for save the planet. All the harmless even helpful things like horses and burros have been destroyed because people were afraid global warming would make them unsustainable—which is what Al Gore bet on. He knew that he didn’t need to actually prove global warming existed; he just had to get us to believe it that it might or it probably did. He banked on our ignorance about previous climate change change. Our horses are as good as gone and they’ll get rid of cattle because the World Bank funded propaganda program has convinced people that the methane that cows produce cause global warming. The problem is that the mean global temperature rate has not risen in 19 years, which means that there is no global warming. Countries all around the globe are discovering that their agencies in charge either invented or created data to make it appear as if global warming were occurring even NOAA.

      Research on the evolution of horses includes some data about past climates and plants, and in the past CO2 does not rise with temperature. It rises after the temperatures have risen and there are more plants growing. More plants mean more oxygen which mean more animal organisms. Then there is more CO2. It makes logical sense. CO2 is increasing even though the temperatures are actually dropping fractionally, but the plant abundance is still strong. The guy who invented the myth of the non-native horse was appointed to the National Science Board to control funding and the direction of scientific research by President Clinton. Now we’ve spent 20 years of scientific research trying to make people believe that a phenomenon that Al Gore invented to get people to go along with his Dystopian vision of well-mannered invasive species where he profits by charging people for dirty air.

      If he and President Clinton were confident that the science they had was solid—confident to change the way of life for people all around the world, they would not have needed to put a gate keeper in place to keep their lies about the horse being non-native shut down. But the only way they sold that lie and the lie to get rid of livestock grazing is based on their claims that methane is making the world warmer. The world is not getting warmer—and hasn’t for 19 years by temperature data nor have ice sheets or other records done anything but fluctuate normally for 36 years, and no one wanted to stand up to big green; no one wanted to say—well you know we ought to make sure that this global warming thing is really happening.

      I just cannot get over the fact that people were more against cow flatulence than they were for wild horse and burro survival. You can’t find the truth about climate from our agencies. And you won’t find a cure for Ebola or anything else because we’ve spent our scientific dollars trying to make Al Gore look like oracle.. .He may have implemented the DELPHI approach, but he’s no oracle. He’s just a narcissistic, greed, misanthrope, that hates America, hates everything good and pure and honest, and he’d rather destroy the planet than admit that he’s lied about everything from the beginning.


  9. Apart from the many troubling aspects of this situation, how can the Gov’t. possibly even cover the administrative (i.e., paperwork) costs related to these leases? Even buying a thumb drive costs more than $1… and we know people are being paid wages for their government jobs. How can they keep a straight face about such willful chicanery? Covering the actual costs of oversight would seem to be a minimum basis for determining fees. We have the grazing program for a model…oh, sorry, NOT! Why are we doomed to repeat incompetency?


  10. So ANYONE who successfully bids on these lands – cant put them to any use other than DRILLING? Sure does prevent a group of advocates coming together to buy land for the horses, doesn’t it? This is just wrong…


  11. The BLM is not needed any more infact they were never needed, save expense and the Wild Mustangs and Burros, The BLM has out lived it usefulness !!!!! and proved they are a failure !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get rid of them all……………….


    • I totally agree with you Arlene! The BLM should no longer exist! They are a failure! It reminds me of the lies that we heard in history class, RE: Native Americans…about the red-skins (aka) wild savages… Who were only trying to protect their land & their beliefs.. They had great respect for their horses. They honored all animals & the land that they treasured.. Our gov’t way back then.. rounded THEM up… Seems like nothing has really changed here?? UGH!


  12. Oh, this is very clear here what the BLM & our government are doing here! It would be amazing if they were willing to let us lease some acreage (at that cost)?? to protect the Wild Horses & Burros! Everyone here would pitch in many $$ to do this to protect these innocent ones. But the truth is that the ” Beef Industry ” ( & their lobbyists to drill for coal or whatever) are supported by so many! THEY HAVE WAY TOO MUCH POWER here… Plus they want to get rid of all of the Wild Herds who are so called “PROTECTED”?? by law?? ” This is extremely frustrating to say the least! If we could lease gov’t land at that price that would be amazing! But, I sincerely doubt that will EVER HAPPEN!! MANY UGHS!! But thank you to everyone here that gives their input… Keeps me hoping that things will change & that our LOUD voices will make a difference!! Keep up the good work here!!


  13. Honest to God how do we stop this corrupt agency? My Congressman sits on his privates and my Senators are useless. Oh Boxer and Feinstein say they care but you YOU always get the canned responses about how they care. Baloney. Even my stinky bathroom smells better than Washington and the stench that rolls from there.

    How did BLM sidestep EA’s and NEPA? Oh that’s right. The sleazy woman from BLM who told RSGA to sue her own agency for removals. So the horses go, and just a guess here but it won’t be long before you see the cattle go buy bye. Cause those ranchers are seeing dollar signs in the sky for all the land they lease. They can sublease it and make millions.

    You think the Dustbowl was bad? That land has never recovered. And BLM is doing it all over again cause someone somewhere is getting paid the big bucks.

    There won’t be a recovery in my lifetime after this debacle. The land will be forever ruined. And all any of us can say is WE TRIED. We were there, we helped by donating funds for the legal defense. We tried to tell people. It won’t mean squat. And I’m not really satisfied that even in trying we failed.

    But I swear by all that is holy NO RED MEAT EVER. I will NEVER give funds knowingly to the Rock Springs area. Not ever.


  14. How horrible again for the horses, they lose their life and BLM get paid such a little bit for an acre of land for some one else to graze on .
    this is such a load of bull crap again and the horse get he boot.


  15. Oh my gosh! Just went on the BLM’s website.. Myths & Facts about the BLM & Wild Horse issues.. What a joke! So very pathetic!!! ARGGHH!!


  16. I wish there was an association of persons who could buy-up all the miles of cheap private land that is adjacent to our public lands..640 acre squares around for example, battle mountain go for as little as 40k. It is the owners of that private land who blm considers the ‘stakeholders’, their wants are given much more weight in public land decisions. If an association owned 50 or 100 miles of private land interspaced with 50 miles of blm public lands.–that would ‘free’ a lot of our wild horses from the blm feedlots. Don’t even have to do anything with the private land, just own it. We also need to work harder to have horses listed as a native species. Wild herds, their grazing would quickly heal the lands that are now wildfire tinder, due to lack, a couple decades or a couple years of no wild herd grazing.


    • Sunlei, you may be on to something here. What if the private landowners “checkerboarded” BLM lands and then sued them to KEEP wild horses on the public lands?


  17. Commentary: BLM selling out ranchers to make way for Big Oil? (excerpts)

    August 23

    With varying allotments budgeted by BLM, I have grave concerns during these drought times for BLM’ s priorities. Are our permitted grazing allotments being tagged as potential oil exploration allotments? Is BLM seeing $$$ signs for the oil and gas competitive lease sales? Currently competitive BLM lease sales numbered 44 parcels in Elko County and 102 parcels or 174,021.36 acres in Battle Mountain.

    Since quantities of water are needed for both grazing allotments and oil exploration allotments, I wonder if pushing cattle off allotments clears the way for better lease sales to oil companies who will need large quantities of water?

    I was told that the oil company would drill their own well. Yes, and how far down will that draw the water table and springs in the area? They couldn’t tell me how many gallons of water they would require. We need information for a better understanding of the risks involved in fracking. Will our sage grouse habitat be compromised by the installation of drilling pads and heavy traffic of the oil trucks? A well pad of 4.7 acres will be cleared and graveled and approximately 30 acres will be required for roads.

    Flying out of Texas recently I photographed a disturbing site of pocked-marked landscape around Ft Worth, Texas. This was once lush and green with stands of trees and grassland for the quarter horses. Acres of graveled oil pads were close to housing and more disturbing, next to the schools.


  18. I would be willing to donate whatever amount I could afford, which ain’t much since I have two horses already, to buy up some of the private land in the checkerboard area near the public lands. However, as was pointed out, the ranchers who lease these public lands for grazing might stand to make even larger profits by sub-leasing these lands for oil and gas exploration. I doubt that the BLM would allow this though, because it would take money out of their pockets. Any way you look at it the horses lose. Unless you have billions of dollars to buy a few senators and congressmen like the Koch brothers are doing, you don’t stand a chance of anyone in Washington caring about your views. As a blue collar working class American, I feel abandoned by my own government. Might have to put some of the wild horses on wildlife preserves like Busch Gardens and charge admission to ride around in a little truck to see what wild horses looked like. It’s too bad there isn’t a way to make the horses as valuable as the cattle or oil or minerals, like some kind of status symbol to have on your property. I know that if I owned land near a herd management area I would consider it a privilege to have the horses and burros on my land.


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