Stand at the edge of Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah, and be prepared to be swept away by a landscape of redrock badlands and canyon country.
This extraordinary national park, with its enormous views and unique geologic features, is largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management – and unfortunately the BLM is making some very disconcerting decisions about this precious part of south-eastern Utah.
It’s been called fool’s gold for a reason. For decades, energy companies have tried to extract oil from rock, but oil shale technology has never been developed to make large-scale production economically viable or environmentally sound.
Even the oil and gas industry admits that a viable oil shale technology is years, if not decades, away.
Yet, despite large public concern, Congress has given the go-ahead for oil shale development on public lands in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming, three states that are home to major oil shale deposits.
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As Americans, each of us inherits an extraordinary wilderness legacy — spectacular national parks, tranquil deserts and canyons, wildlife-rich wetlands and seashores and towering forests. Our nation has had the wisdom and foresight to protect a wealth of these public lands that contain some of the most stunning places in the world.
In New Mexico’s Santa Fe National Forest you’ll find one of the most heavily roaded forests in the southwest. More than 4,470 miles of road braid across its landscape—enough to take you from Santa Fe to Reykjavik, Iceland.
If loads of roads weren’t what you were expecting to find in a national forest, you’ll be happy to know that the forest may soon see a return of roadless areas.
Recently, the forest released an initial plan to close many miles of unnecessary, environmentally damaging roads across the forest.
Some places just deserve to be saved, and protection can't come soon enough for Gold Butte. It doesn't take long to realize you're in a spectacular place when visiting the Gold Butte region of Nevada. If the dramatic sandstone formations and red rock cliffs don't do it for you, surely the thousands of Native American petroglyphs and prehistoric sites will.
The place commands the awe and respect of most travelers that meander through.
Spend any time in Colorado this election season and you’re sure to see at least one erroneous advertisement warning consumers about the “$321 million tax hike,” should they vote for Amendment 58, which would end state tax credits to a wealthy oil and natural gas industry and invest the money in education and renewable energy.
On the heels of Congress lifting a spending limitation designed to give oil shale research more time to go forward, Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-UT) has been touring the state declaring that Utah is open for oil shale business. That’s interesting because last we checked, the industry had not yet finished researching where the huge amount of water and electricity necessary for a commercial-scale oil shale program will come from.