Montana Land Board Approves Sale of Energy Leases

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The Montana Land Board has given final approval to the sale of energy leases on almost 122,000 acres of state-owned land, despite complaints from some locals.

Some residents say the state failed to provide adequate notice the sale was taking place. Last week’s sale totaled $10.9 million.

Other residents, joined by the oil industry, said there was sufficient time to comment. And the Land Board approved the sale Monday morning.

The sales reflect increasing interest from companies eyeing natural gas deposits in south-central Montana, including the Yellowstone River basin.

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation says the auction was among the most lucrative in the state’s history.