An announcement by the Bureau of Land Management is considered a positive step in the right direction in western Colorado. The BLM has approved a coal lease modification that will allow Twentymile Coal to access around 340,000 additional tons of federal coal. “The 310-acre lease modification involves federal coal under private surface and will not result in new surface disturbance,” shares the BLM announcement. Twentymile Coal has been mining with underground methods since 1983. The Foidel Creek Mine currently produces about 7 million tons of coal per year. Western Colorado leaders have remained engaged to fight for the coal industry and their way of life. While this lease approval only scratches the surface, area leaders hope it is a sign of more to come. Moffat County leaders have slashed budgets for 2017 but remain concerned about the future. Commissioner John Kinkaid says that an economic turn-around is critical to Moffat County and northwest Colorado and it can’t come too soon.