Supporters say BLM environmental analyst raised concerns about raptors in Converse County Oil and Gas Project review and is being sacked for his work.
Leasing pause leads BLM to postpone first-quarter auction of hundreds of parcels across the state.
Environmental agency objects, along with others who say faulty justifications allowed approval of Delaware-sized Converse County Oil and Gas Project.
Conservation proposals dominate the offers but some of those could generate millions of dollars for schools.
Agency’s preferred alternatives don’t account for four-year population slide, wildfire risks or landscape-scale coordination as the BLM aligns federal conservation plans with states’, experts charge. Others back the federal plan.