BLM Targets Wild and Culturally Significant Lands for Fossil Fuel Leasing

Oct 4th, 2017 Written by suwa

Once again the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is poised to auction off outstanding federal public lands in redrock country for fossil fuel development. The latest ill-conceived proposal targets some of the most culturally significant and dramatic lands in southeastern Utah, threatening the region’s air quality, cultural resources, dark night skies, wilderness-caliber landscapes, and even national monuments—including Bears Ears.

Tell the BLM this outrageous proposal to lease and develop public lands is completely unacceptable.

Tin Cup Mesa. Copyright Neal Clark/SUWA

Not only is this lease sale terribly misguided, it’s also totally unnecessary. At the end of the BLM’s 2016 fiscal year, about 1.1 million acres of BLM managed lands in Utah were in production out of approximately 2.9 million acres leased to oil and gas operators—that’s less than forty percent of the total land under lease. Given the current surplus of oil and gas leases in Utah, there is simply no need to open up more public land to fossil fuel development, particularly in sensitive and wild places.

Click here to tell the BLM not to auction off our natural and cultural heritage to the fossil fuel industry.

Specifically, the BLM is proposing to lease for oil and gas development:

•    Parcels located in the Goldbar Canyon, Hatch Point/ Hatch Canyon, and Labyrinth Canyon proposed wilderness areas in Grand County and the Cross Canyon, Monument Canyon, and Tin Cup Mesa proposed wilderness areas in San Juan County.

•    Parcels in the Alkali Ridge Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), designated for its impressive density of cultural and archaeological sites. The BLM itself has recognized that the area contains “[l]arge pueblos with complex architecture and connecting prehistoric roads” and calls it “one of the best-known and influential examples of scientific archeological investigation in the southwestern U.S.”

Under the Trump administration, the BLM is rushing to sacrifice the most outstanding and significant public lands—lands that belong to each and every one of us—for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry. If we don’t act, we stand to lose something truly irreplaceable.

Please stand up for your public lands by submitting comments to the BLM by October 23rd!

Thank you for taking action.

>> Click here to view a map of lease parcel locations

>> Click here to see more photos of lands affected by this lease sale