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Public Notice

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Call for Nominations

The Division of Mineral Resources of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is accepting nominations to lease State Reforestation Areas and Multiple Use Areas in western and central New York for the purpose of oil and gas exploration and development. The information gathered through the nomination process will allow the DEC to determine the level of interest for a possible future state land lease sale and will assist in the surface management planning process for state lands as exploration efforts expand outward from New Yorkís Southern Tier. Nominations to lease Wildlife Management Areas will not be accepted at this time. DEC will be accepting nominations until November 28, 2003.

The fact that a particular parcel is available for nomination does not guarantee that the parcel will be included in a lease sale. The DECís land managers and other staff will review the nominated tracts and, through a tract assessment process, determine which areas would be available or excluded from surface disturbances associated with hydrocarbon exploration and development activities. They will also develop lease-specific conditions and stipulations for all tracts selected for inclusion in a lease sale in order to provide for the exploration and development of the resource in a safe, environmentally sound manner consistent with surface management objectives. If the information gathered in this call for nominations results in the potential offering of tracts in a lease sale, the tract assessments, special conditions and stipulations developed by the DEC will be made available for public review through meetings and workshops to gather oral and written comments prior to finalizing specific conditions for a tract or parcel. DECís on-going unit management planning process also provides the public with opportunities to comment on proposed management activities on State land.

For general information on the nomination and leasing process, proceed to State Land Leasing Process on the Division of Mineral Resources website (www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dmn). Click on 2004 Lease Sale to view a list of Reforestation and Multiple Use areas available for nomination and a map showing their locations. The DEC reserves the right to accept or reject any nomination. Please use the contact below if you have interest in a county that is not on the nomination list.

All nominations are held confidential. Each nomination requires a nomination letter and a bid guarantee deposit of $500 plus an additional $1 per acre for each tract nominated. Deposits must be paid by check or money order payable to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Nominations are subject to review by DEC staff to determine suitability for leasing.

All tracts selected for inclusion in a lease sale by the Department will be offered for competitive bid. Bid guarantees will be applied toward the bonus bid if the nominating party is the high bidder and returned if the nominating party is not the high bidder. The bid guarantee will be forfeited if the nominating party fails to submit a bid when the tract is offered.

A letter listing the nominated areas by county name and number (for example, Cortland SRA #199) and number of acres along with a bid guarantee check (payable to NYSDEC) for the appropriate amount should be addressed to:

Charles Gilchrist, Chief, Compliance and Enforcement Section
NYSDEC, Division of Mineral Resources
625 Broadway, 3rd Floor
Albany, NY 12233-6500

The Division of Mineral Resources anticipates that a lease sale arising from this process would be held in Spring of 2004. All leases offered in a lease sale will be awarded to the responsible bidder who submits the highest dollar per acre bonus bid. Lease terms include a one-eighth (1/8) royalty, a ten dollar ($10) per acre minimum bid and five dollar ($5) per acre annual rental for the primary term of five years.

State land lease sales were previously held in 1999 and 2003. Approximately $3.2 million was received by the state for 13,000 acres of state land in the southern Finger Lakes area. The 2003 sale, held in March, leased 26,000 acres of state land in proximity to several Trenton/Black River natural gas fields for $4.5 million.

For additional information or assistance, contact Charles Gilchrist at (518) 402-8056.