Every year thousands of people visit the Natural Bridges National Monument to enjoy the solitude and beauty of the White Canyon complex. But the monument only covers about 7500 acres, leaving over 85,000 acres of the White Canyon proposed wilderness unprotected from threats such as tar sands development.
Currently, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is evaluating potential locations for tar sands leasing in Utah — yes, that same type of destructive strip mining you’ve probably heard about happening in Alberta, Canada. The photo above depicts part of the BLM’s “Designated Special Tar Sands Area” in White Canyon, a place that the BLM is considering for lease. Even if the Obama administration does decide to do the right thing, without meaningful protection future administrations will be free to turn parts of White Canyon into an industrial complex.