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(DENVER, CO. 5/13/04) The Bureau of Land Management will auction 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. The BLM supervisor over the oil and gas leasing section Beverly Derringer opens up the auction while aucioneer John Clatworthywaits behind her to get going. (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS PHOTO BY JUDY WALGREN)

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