2nd Wayne Natl Forest Lease Sale Hauls in $5.2M, Double Expectations

After 10 loooooong years of waiting, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finally auctioned its first round of property leases for shale drilling in Wayne National Forest (WNF)–located in Ohio (see BLM Auction Leases 17 Parcels, 719 Acres in OH Wayne Natl Forest). The BLM plan was to auction 33 parcels totaling 1,600 acres. As it turns out, only 17 parcels totally 719 acres actually got auctioned. At the last minute the BLM withdrew 881 acres (16 parcels) because there are remaining issues with ownership title of the mineral rights. The 719 acres was all leased by noon and brought bids ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 per acre. Yesterday the second round of properties in WNF were auctioned–an additional 1,180 acres. BLM was hoping to to get at least $2 million from the auction. They got $5.2 million! The lowest price was for a 5-acre plot that sold for $1,002 per acre (total $5,010). The highest price was an eye-popping $10,001/acre for 39.68 acres (total $396,840). Yikes! Between the first and second auctions, 1,840 acres have been auctioned for a total of $6.9 million. Up to 40,000 acres total may, at some point, be auctioned. The next auction is scheduled for June 22. Here’s what we know about the auction that closed yesterday (we have a list of the properties auctioned and the winning bids)…

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