Public lands alert!
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing to lease 79 parcels for oil and gas development on approximately 100,000 acres of federal public lands in eastern and central Utah. Included in this list are parcels along the western edge of the San Rafael Swell, in the heart of the Desolation Canyon region, the Book Cliffs, and immediately adjacent to Dinosaur National Monument.
Utahns spoke up in large numbers this year against proposed drilling leases near Zion National Park, resulting the BLM’s decision in June not to lease those parcels. Polls show that Utahns favor conservation, protection and recreation on public lands by a margin of over 2.5:1 over even responsible oil and gas leasing on public lands. But in these two areas, proper assessments have not been done to identify impacts to cultural and archaeological resources, the environment and tourism dollars in these areas.
The BLM needs to hear from the public on these proposed leases by Monday, July 24th.
CALL TO ACTION
The DEADLINE for comments is Monday, July 24th, by the close of business. Send in your comments to these 2 BLM office TODAY!
- Send a comment to the Price BLM opposing oil and gas leasing in the San Rafael Swell. Attempts to lease these parcels in 2013 and 2105 were abandoned after widespread criticism and public protest due to the lack of information about impacts to cultural and archaeological resources. However, the agency still has not completed resource inventories and admits it has only surveyed at most 2.9% of the parcels proposed for lease. Ask the agency to protect this remarkable wilderness-caliber landscape and its thousands of known — and yet to be discovered — cultural resources. Submit your comments by email to the Price BLM office at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to reference “December 2017 Oil and Gas Lease Sale” in your subject line.
- Send a comment to the Vernal BLM opposing oil and gas leasing near Dinosaur National Monument and in the Desolation Canyon and Book Cliffs regions. This proposal would green-light oil and gas development right next to the monument, including along the primary access route travelled by thousands of visitors annually. One of the parcels was previously offered at the BLM’s infamous December 2008 oil and gas lease sale and later withdrawn from sale by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar after a successful lawsuit blocked its issuance. In a letter to the BLM, the National Park Service has objected to the leasing proposal, citing adverse impacts to air quality, viewsheds, dark night skies, water quality, and natural soundscapes. Oil and gas development on the parcels near the monument would be visible from the Quarry Visitor Center as well as from numerous vantage points within the monument. Submit your comments by email to the Vernal BLM office at: UT_Vernal_Comments@blm.gov. Be sure to reference “December 2017 Oil and Gas Lease Sale” in your subject line.
- Attend the “This Land is Our Land March for Public Lands” – Thursday, July 27th, 4:30-6:30p in Salt Lake City. This march and rally coincides with day 2 of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2017 in celebration of the backbone and foundation of the outdoor industry, our federal public lands. The march will start in the South Plaza of the Salt Palace Convention Center at 4:30 p.m. and will proceed along a designated route to the Utah State Capitol. More information and RSVP here. Join Save Our Canyons to make posters for the event on Wed, July 26th from 5-8p. Details here.