The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are considering leasing nearly 10,000 acres of federal land in eastern Sevier County for coal development.

Officials of the Fishlake and Manti-LaSal national forests and the Moab District of the BLM are evaluating an application by Coastal States Energy Co., the parent company of Southern Utah Fuel, the largest underground coal mine west of the Mississippi River. The proposed coal lease tract is known as the Quitchumpah Tract.Coastal States is the parent company of Southern Utah Fuel Co., which is the largest underground coal mine west of the Mississippi River.

The mine is located in the area a few miles north of I-70 near the head of Salina Canyon. The tract is adjacent to the company's existing Convulsion Canyon Mine permit area.

The application will be processed under a procedure that was recently adopted by the Uinta-Southwestern Utah Coal Region, forest officials said. The tract encompasses 9,905 acres of federal coal lands managed by the BLM and the two national forests.

The lands have been determined to be suitable for further consideration for coal leasing under the existing BLM and Forest Service land use plans, according to George A. Morris and J. Kent Taylor, supervisors of the two national forests.