The Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976 requires that Federal coal lands to be considered for leasing must be identified in a comprehensive land use plan. At the time the Great Divide Resource Management Plan (GDRA RMP, 1990) was prepared, approximately 60% of the Federal coal lands in the Carbon Basin Coal Area were leased and exempt from the coal screening/planning process. Subsequently, development of this lease was never pursued and the lease expired. In addition, the coal screening/planning process was not conducted on the remainder of the Federal coal lands in the Carbon Basin area during the RMP planning effort because no interest had been expressed in leasing the Federal coal. For these reasons, no coal planning decisions were included in the Great Divide RMP for the Federal coal lands in the Carbon Basin area. Recently, interest has been expressed in leasing Federal coal in the Carbon Basin. In response, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has conducted the coal screening/planning process on the area and documented the results in an environmental assessment (EA).
United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, "Decision Record for the Environmental Assessment for Coal Planning Decisions in the Carbon Basin Area of the Great Divide Resource Area" (1998). Record of Decisions (WY). Paper 19.