Forest Service, BLM release Greens Hollow Coal Leasing Environmental Impact Statement

Release Date: Feb 27, 2015

Contact(s): Rosann Fillmore, 435.636.3525, John Zapell, 435.896.1070

The Forest Service has released a draft decision that could make 73.4 million tons of in-place federal coal resources in central Utah available for lease while protecting ecological and cultural resources.

In reaching the draft decision, the Forest Service considered supporting the economies of Sanpete, Sevier and Emery counties, helping meet the energy needs of people in the western United States, and ensuring the conservation and restoration of federal lands.

The Forest Service’s draft decision consents to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offering the Greens Hollow Federal Coal Lease Tract for competitive sale. The consent is subject to requirements that will protect surface water, groundwater, roadless characteristics, sage grouse habitat, key big game habitat, and cultural resources.

The BLM will issue its own decision on offering the tract for lease after the Forest Service completes its decision-making process.

The Greens Hollow Coal Lease tract is located on 6,175 acres in the Manti-La Sal and Fishlake National Forests near Salina, Utah. It is estimated to contain about 55 million tons of recoverable, high-energy-producing coal.

The Manti-La Sal and Fishlake National Forests’ draft Record of Decision (ROD) is accompanied by the release of a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). The SEIS, prepared jointly with BLM and Office of Surface Mining, is the culmination of a comprehensive public involvement process. The SEIS includes input from the public, federally-recognized tribes and local, state and federal agencies. It analyzes the environmental effects of mining the Greens Hollow Tract through extension of the existing underground operations in Salina Canyon.

The draft ROD would require compliance with the 2001 Roadless Rule and other measures to protect roadless characteristics; inclusion of the latest sage grouse protective measures resulting from the Utah Sage Grouse EIS; and specific measures to prevent mine subsidence from damaging significant cultural sites or resulting in the loss of surface water.

Coal leasing and active underground mining have occurred in the area since the 1940s. The existing mine in Salina Canyon provides electricity to about 1.4 million households. The coal resources in the Greens Hollow Tract could power 11.8 million homes.

Publishing of the draft ROD begins a 45-day objection period when objections will be accepted from those who have submitted specific written comments about the project during previous opportunities for public comment. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted, timely and specific written comments regarding the proposed project unless based on new information arising after the designated comment opportunities. More information about the Forest Service objection process can be found in the legal notice for the Draft ROD published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Sun Advocate, Price Utah.

Detailed information on the final SEIS and draft ROD is available online at: or




Fishlake National Forest Contacts:

Allen Rowley, Forest Supervisor, 435-896-1600

John Zapell, Public Affairs Officer,



Manti-La Sal National Forest Contacts:

Rosann Fillmore, Public Affairs, 435-636-3525

Tom Lloyd, Minerals Staff Officer,