BLM Lease Sales
The most recent competitive lease sale by BLM’s Eastern States Office was held online on March 19, 2020. Only three parcels were offered in the sale, covering lands in the Bienville and Homochitto National Forests in Mississippi. One of the Homochitto tracts, in Franklin County, received a bid of $268 per acre, with the other tracts going for smaller amounts. The sale originally was to have also included thirteen parcels in the Wayne National Forest in Ohio — an area in which there has been high interest; but those parcels were all pulled just before the sale, as a result of the U.S. District Court decision in Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Forest Service, finding deficiencies in the environmental assessment on which the offering of lands in the Wayne National Forest was based. For more on that decision, see the Court Opinions page of this website.
In the previous sale, on December 12, 2019, seventeen parcels were offered in the De Soto and Homochitto National Forests in Mississippi, along with three Wayne National Forest parcels in Ohio. All parcels received bids; but only the Wayne parcels attracted substantial interest ($522 – $1252 per acre). The status of the Wayne leases won in this sale is uncertain in the wake of the recent U.S. District Court decision.
The sale before that, on September 12, included one split-estate parcel (federal minerals under private surface) in Alabama; one Kisatchie National Forest parcel in Louisiana; fifteen parcels in the Homochitto and Bienville National Forests in Mississippi; and fourteen parcels in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest. All but one of the parcels received bids, including $312 per acre for the Alabama tract (in Escambia County); $152 and $153 per acre for two of the Homochitto National Forest tracts; and between $212 and $3751 per acre for the tracts in the Wayne National Forest. Once again, the status of the leases for the Wayne parcels is uncertain following the recent court decision.
Eighteen parcels were offered in the sale of June 27, 2019: sixteen split-estate parcels in Mississippi, and two in Louisiana. However, only three of the parcels received bids, none of them higher than $6 per acre.
Two parcels in the Homochitto National Forest in Mississippi were listed in a notice of a lease sale that was to be held on June 18, 2020. However, those parcels were withdrawn due to the virus situation. (Lease sales by other BLM State Offices, including Wyoming and Colorado, have similarly been postponed.)
The next Eastern States lease sale is tentatively scheduled for September 17, 2020.