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Thousands sign on against Alton coal mine

Published January 26, 2012 7:59 pm

Energy • Operation would expand near Bryce Canyon National Park.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Sierra Club on Thursday delivered to the Utah office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management more than 210,000 signatures opposing a proposed expansion of a coal strip mine about 10 miles southwest of Bryce Canyon National Park.

The BLM is completing an environmental review, the draft for which recommended approving expansion of the Coal Hollow Mine at Alton from private land onto 3,500 acres of federal land. Sierra Club organizing representative Tim Wagner delivered the signatures after a small rally outside the office, and said coal is a poor foundation for southern Utah's future economy.

David Nimkin of the National Parks Conservation Association added that the dust and night lights from the mine could harm the views and stargazing experiences of the 1.3 million people visiting Bryce each year.

BLM and Alton Coal Co. officials have said they don't expect significant effects to the park.

Brandon Loomis