The BLM is currently considering a proposal to lease drilling rights on 4,730 acres of public land just outside of Zion National Park. As part of the process, the BLM is accepting comments from the public on the project through February 10.
All three parcels proposed for the project sit near the park boundaries along a prominent drainage and close to tourist towns. Two of the parcels would be within view of the park.
The environmental assessment released by the BLM last week cites challenges to air quality, recreational activity and the presence of nearby endangered or protected animal and plant species. The EA report indicates short term economic gains from oil production jobs, but also potential economic losses from tourism and other industries.
Environmentalists and nearby residents are up in arms about the potential dangers to residents and tourists from industrial pollution and water contamination and threats to the tourism that local businesses depend on.
CALL TO ACTION
- Email your comments to the BLM firstname.lastname@example.org to oppose the project in order to save the tourism-based economy in southern Utah and prevent air pollution, water contamination and environmental damage to the area around Zion.
- Be sure to refer to “June 2017 Oil and Gas Lease Sale” in the email subject line.
For more information, see the article in The Spectrum: “Fight brewing over proposed oil drilling in Washington County.”