The United States is comprised of approximately 2.3 billion acres. Of this, 737.7 million acres, nearly one-third (1/3), are controlled by the federal government. In the western states, there is a predominance of federal land; Wyoming is nearly 50%, Nevada is 85%, Montana is 29%, Colorado is 36%, and Idaho is 65%. The Forest Service is responsible for management of an estimated 151.8 million acres in the Rockies. of this remaining total, 43.7 million acres are withdrawn from mineral entry for leasable minerals. These areas are the designated wilderness areas and study areas set aside by the agencies and Congress through the 1964 Wilderness Act as well as State Wilderness Acts recently passed or proposed. The withdrawal of lands for wilderness designation proposed. The withdrawal of lands for wilderness designation amounts to 29% of the Forest land in the Rockies. The industry has taken a closer look at these areas for their oil and gas potential even though they are sometimes more environmentally sensitive and, therefore, more costly.

The exploration process, in my opinion, is driven by economics. Generally, the economics of dealing with the Forest Service and leaving established basin production didn't exist until the late 1970's, with exceptions. Higher prices and stiffer competition resulted in an expansion out of the basins.

I would like to talk about the additional requirements put on oil companies to drill in some of these Forest Lands where the potential for oil and gas exists. I would like to show several potential for oil and gas exists. I would like to show several examples of the permitting delays that have been encountered and some of the common stumbling blocks. Additionally, I have some examples of exploration in sensitive environments to illustrate the compatibility of oil and gas operations in sensitive environments.

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