The plan is part of the highly controversial Gasco Natural Gas Development Project, which the Bureau of Land Management approved in 2012. That decision initially approved nearly 1,300 new oil and gas wells in Utah’s greater Desolation Canyon region.
Eastern Utah’s famed Desolation Canyon is well known as many things: rafter’s playground, archeological treasure trove, icon of the Old West. Now this emphatically rugged stretch of the Green River adds conservation history to its lore.
On July 30, after years of negotiation, conservation groups, led by our partner the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, resolved a long-running struggle over natural gas drilling around Desolation Canyon, one of the wildest stretches of river land in the U.S. West.
SALT LAKE CITY - Today, a coalition of conservation organizations announced they have reached an historic agreement with the Bill Barrett Corporation, a Denver-based oil and gas company.
The West Tavaputs agreement ensures that the Desolation Canyon stretch of the Green River will be protected from the sights and sounds of industrial development even during the development and extraction of substantial natural gas reserves that Barrett currently has under lease.
As an environmental attorney for one of our nation’s oldest conservation groups, much of my time is spent in search of solutions for the growing threats to our public lands and wilderness areas. Reading case law, mulling over permit applications and environmental assessments, and meeting with our regional partners to facilitate sound approaches to land management are just a few of the tasks I deal with each day.