The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is moving ahead with the so-called Moab Master Leasing Plan (Moab MLP). This plan will determine what areas are available for oil, gas and potash leases and permits on large swaths of public land close to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. It also affects many outstanding proposed wilderness areas including Labyrinth Canyon, Fisher Towers and Harts Point/Shay Mountain.
The BLM has released three preliminary alternatives of the Moab MLP: Alternatives B1, B2 and C. There are maps and comparisons of these alternatives on the BLM’s website.
The agency is accepting public comment through May 28 on the alternatives. There is no better time for public comment to influence the direction of this critically important plan!
We strongly encourage you to support Alternative C, which would protect the most proposed wilderness from leasing and development.
Here are some points to make in your comments:
- BLM should identify Alternative C as the agency preferred alternative. This alternative will give the most protection to lands proposed for wilderness in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act. BLM’s Alternative C would either close these lands to new oil and gas leasing or permit leasing only with stringent “no surface occupancy” restrictions. Alternative C would also close the Moab MLP planning area to new potash leasing and applications.
- BLM should modify Alternative C to close all of Harts Point and Shay Mountain proposed wilderness areas from new oil and gas leasing.
- BLM should modify Alternative C to ensure that dark night skies and air quality at Arches National Park are fully protected. Public lands north of the park should only be available for leasing with stringent “no surface occupancy” restrictions or with strict stipulations that protect those resources.
- Remind BLM that in its forthcoming environmental study it should fully analyze and consider the impacts from oil, gas and potash leasing, permitting, and development on Arches and Canyonlands National Parks – including night skies, air quality, and water quality.
Click here to see a map of the lands that will be affected by the Moab MLP. And click here to review several BLM-prepared reports and studies about oil, gas and potash potential in the Moab MLP planning area.
The Moab MLP provides a critical opportunity to correct the BLM’s 2008 Bush-era resource management plans which left hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness-caliber lands open for oil, gas and potash leasing and development in the Moab area.
Comments should be mailed by May 28 to:
Bureau of Land Management, Canyon Country District Office
Attn: Brent Northrup, Project Manager
82 East Dogwood
Moab, UT 84532
Comments can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org