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(DENVER, CO. 5/13/04) The Bureau of Land Management auctioned the leases on 74,000 acres of land in Colorado for oil and gas development today, despite protests from a number of environmental groups led by Congresswoman Diane DeGette. By law, BLM has to auction leases once every quarter, and royalty from the oil and ags is split 50:50 between state and federal governments. Gerald Brummett, representing Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation, from Denver, makes a bid on a parcel of land. He was in a bidding war with another person at the time and was smiling from the intensity of the situation. (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS PHOTO BY JUDY WALGREN)

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