The federal government has reached a settlement in an ongoing legal battle over drilling in the Thompson Divide area of the White River National Forest.
In 2016, the Bureau of Land Management canceled 18 oil and gas leases that were owned by the company SG Interests. Those leases were among 60 total that were issued during the Bush Administration and later came under review during the Obama Administration. That environmental review resulted in the cancelation of 25 of the leases.
Shortly after that decision, SG Interests announced it would sue the federal government; in the settlement announced Friday, the BLM agreed to pay SG $1.5 million, and the company will drop the legal challenge.
The settlement was praised by the Thompson Divide Coalition and Wilderness Workshop for bringing closure and protecting thousands of acres from new oil and gas development.