Media Contact: Tozier - Int. 4306 | Information Service
For Immediate Release: January 19, 1959

Bonus bids running as high as $5,505.55 per acre have been received for oil and gas leases on lands of the Navajo Indian Tribe in Utah and New Mexico which brought tribally rejected bids of only $257 an acre just 13 months ago, the Department of the Interior announced today.

These were part of the results of a January 13 bid opening at Window Rock, Arizona, involving 36 Navajo tracts with a total of 72,370 acres. The total of the high bids received was $3,603,927.54.

Nearly half of this was bid on one group of four tracts totaling 640 acres. Two of the tracts brought bids of $511.75 per acre each in contrast with bids of o.pl05 per acre on one and $257 per acre on the other in December 1957. Bids on a third tract were $4,555 per acre as compared with $318.75 and on the fourth they were $5,505.55 in contrast with $257.

On the 32 other tracts the highest bid was $178.91 per acre and the average was $25.62 per acre.

Over the past 10 years the total income received by the Navajo Tribe and individual Navajo landowners from oil and gas leases on their lands has been more than $90,000,000. Of this amount, more than $59,000,000 represents bonuses received by the tribe in the past two and a half years prior to the January 13 sale.