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Auction • Tim DeChristopher disrupted a U.S. Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction Dec. 19, 2008, in Salt Lake City.
Winning bids • After he bid $1.8 million to win bids on parcels near Arches and Canyonlands national parks and drove up prices on several others, BLM agents removed him from the auction room for questioning.
Civil disobedience • The then-University of Utah economics major acknowledged his false bidding, saying it was an act of civil disobedience in protest of Bush administration policies that he insists worsened the global climate crisis.
Sale halted • On Jan. 17, 2009, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina temporarily halted the sale of 77 parcels, finding that the BLM had violated certain environmental protection laws pertaining to air quality and historic preservation.
Leases shelved • On Feb. 4, 2009, Ken Salazar, President Barack Obama's Interior secretary, shelved the 77 contested lease parcels, including ones DeChristopher won, and scolded the Bush team for rushing reviews of the disputed sites.
Indictment • On April 1, 2009, a federal grand jury handed up a two-count felony indictment against DeChristopher that accused him of violating the terms of the auction he promised to observe when he signed up to bid. He pleaded not guilty April 28.
Defense denied • On Nov. 16, 2009, U.S. District Judge Dee Benson refused to let DeChristopher argue in court that he tried to sabotage the auction to combat the climate crisis.
Another defense setback • DeChristopher's attorneys later filed a motion arguing their client is a victim of selective prosecution. But, in March 2010, Benson refused to force prosecutors to turn over more documents about other bidders who failed to pay.
Leases ruling • In a separate case, Benson refused Sept. 1, 2010, to force the withdrawn leases to be sold, but scolded the federal government for offering the parcels and then pulling them back.