The 800-acre Mount Princeton geothermal lease was recently terminated for nonpayment of rent.
The lease owner, 3E Geothermal LLC in Colorado Springs, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Young Life, which also owns the Frontier Ranch youth camp on the flanks of Mount Princeton.
The Bureau of Land Management Colorado leased the parcel to 3E Geothermal during its November 2010 oil, gas and geothermal lease sale. The lease was issued Jan. 1, 2011.
As reported at that time by The Mountain Mail, Young Life officials made clear their intention to use the lease to protect the camping experience at Frontier Ranch by preventing development that would affect the natural beauty of the area.
Denise Adamic, public affairs officer for the Bureau of Land Management Royal Gorge Field Office in Cañon City, said, “Rent needs to be received every year by the Office of Natural Resources Revenue by the anniversary date ... the date the lease went into effect.”
Adamic said, when the rental amount of $2,400 was not received by Jan. 1, officials with the Office of Natural Resources Revenue issued a notice to 3E Geothermal giving the company 15 days to pay.
When the company did not respond to that notice, Adamic said officials issued a second notice giving the company 45 days from the anniversary date to pay the rental amount plus a 10-percent late fee.
When 3E Geothermal failed to pay within the 45-day period, Adamic said, the lease was terminated.
Adamic said the company then had 30 days from the time they received the termination letter to appeal the termination to the Interior Board of Land Appeals.
Terry Swanson, Young Life vice president of communications, said failure to pay the lease was “an administrative oversight” by Young Life that is “being corrected.”
Adamic said, if 3E Geothermal loses the appeal, the company would have to place the winning bid at another lease sale in order to retain the lease.
BLM officials are “reviewing what, if anything, we will do with the area in question. We may or may not offer it for lease again,” Adamic said.
She added that BLM officials are investigating whether or not a new lease-sale nomination would be required to offer the parcel for lease again.
Adamic said the BLM had not received a plan of development for the lease and that 3E Geothermal had not begun any ground-disturbing work on developing the lease.
This geothermal lease was the first sold in Colorado since the 1980s.