Robert Redford speaks up for Desolation Canyon

In the Denver Post yesterday, Robert Redford wrote:

We have few places left that represent the raw beauty and the history of our American West like Desolation Canyon, in my home state of Utah.

It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1968 for good reason. John Wesley Powell explored Desolation Canyon a century earlier, one of the last uncharted places in the lower 48 states. For thousands of years before that, the region was home to American Indian tribes including the Hopi, Fremont and Ute people. Their pictographs and petroglyphs still line the canyon walls; silent reminders linking us to the most fundamental roots of civilization.

Yet now, much of that is at risk.

The Interior Department is on the verge of approving a Denver company’s proposal to drill nearly 1,300 gas wells in northeast Utah.

Denver-based Gasco Energy wants to drill more than 200 of these wells in the Desolation Canyon proposed wilderness area alone. It wants to put more holes into the surrounding plateaus that until now have remained unthreatened for all of history.

Think about the consequences:

Scenic roads throughout the region would suddenly be clogged with diesel trucks and drilling equipment. Debris from drilling and construction of pipelines and service roads would threaten tributaries to the Green River. Sounds of drilling would replace the last vestiges of natural silence and would be heard at Sand Wash, the put-in for recreational river runners vital to Utah’s tourism industry. One of the most remote places in America would be despoiled.

Is this what we really want to do to our country? Certainly, it’s not what most Americans want.

Read the rest of his op-ed by clicking here.

Then, join Robert Redford’s call to protect Desolation Canyon by signing our petition and spreading the word!