BLM advances drilling on doorstep of Utah monument lands and wilderness

Sep 1, 2017
Photo by mark byzewski, flickr

Today the Bureau of Land Management’s Vernal and Price field offices announced they will be moving forward with issuing oil and gas leases nearby Dinosaur National Monument and San Rafael Swell, opening these natural wonders to neighboring pollution and threatening the nearby outdoor recreation economy.

The National Park Service has strenuously and repeatedly objected to any drilling next to Dinosaur National Monument, while the leases being proposed near the San Rafael Swell are on lands that the BLM has found have wilderness values.

In response, The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from Nada Culver, TWS senior director of Agency Policy and Planning:

“The Dinosaur National Monument is an incredible landscape and prehistoric treasure, attracting fossil researchers and enthusiasts for over 100 years with some of the most near-complete dinosaur skeletons in North America; while the San Rafael Swell is one of the most uniquely beautiful terrains in the world, with many native plants occurring nowhere else.

“Issuing oil and gas leases on wilderness-quality lands loved and used by the public, and at the doorsteps to these iconic places continues a disturbing trend to blindly sacrifice our public lands to the fossil fuel industry, without considering impacts to the environment, people or these irreplaceable landscapes.”