Proposed approval is yet another signal of the Administration’s lack of support for our public lands
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2018
Stephen Bloch, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, (801) 428-3981
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Today, the Trump Administration once again turned its back on protecting our nation’s public lands by supporting the proposed Alton mine expansion, which is dangerously close to Bryce Canyon National Park. If the proposal is approved, it will increase the mine by 3,600 acres– the equivalent of over 2,700 football fields– to access an additional 45-million tons of coal, which is two-million tons of coal each year. The coal strip mine expansion would occur only 10 miles from Bryce Canyon National Park in southern Utah. Among other impacts, it would potentially destroy breeding grounds relied on by the southernmost population of Greater Sage Grouse in North America.
Suggested approval of this coal mine comes at a time when Utah is moving toward a clean energy economy. Salt Lake City, Moab, Park City and Summit County all committed to 100% clean energy goals and the state’s rooftop solar industry continues to boom. The Trump Administration didn’t consider these factors or the unprecedented amount — over 280,000 public comments– filed in opposition of the proposal.
The final environmental impact study from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is forthcoming. There will be a 30 day public comment period following the release of the study.
The below statement is a reaction from Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Sierra Club:
“The Trump Administration has repeatedly put corporate interests ahead of the American people in issues of public land management, so this is a disappointment but certainly not a surprise. Our organizations remain strongly committed to protecting the climate and the landscape, environment and cultural resources in southern Utah. Some places are simply too special to mine—this is one of them. The doorstep to Bryce Canyon National Park should be preserved for the benefit of all visitors, rather than turned over to the highest corporate bidder.”