SILT, Colo. (AP) — The federal government has held the first of several public meetings on plans for oil shale development on public lands that would keep activity off thousands of acres of environmentally sensitive areas in three Western states.

Under the proposal, new leases initially would be issued strictly for research on how to commercially produce oil from oil shale in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.

The first meeting was held Monday in Silt, Colo., to discuss the environmental impact and the different options that have been announced. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports more than 75 people attended.