Letter: BLM right to pull drilling leases in Swell

Published November 20, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I was delighted to learn that the Bureau of Land Management has decided against new drilling and oil exploration leases in the San Rafael Swell ("San Rafael Swell land yanked from Utah oil and gas auction," Tribune, Nov. 15). The Swell is a magnificent sanctuary for me and all Utahns, providing quiet, solace and wonder at the awesome rocks, cliffs and canyons, delight in the contrasting colors of sand and sky, peace in the knowledge that is has endured eons.

I would not want it destroyed or abused by drilling, blasting, unwanted roads or debris from mining. The recent government shutdown closing our national parks should reinforce to us how the actions of a few can deny us access to our beloved parks and wilderness. Mining and drilling the Swell could equally restrict or harm access and enjoyment of the Swell.

However this decision by the BLM to protect the Swell may be fragile. We must all be alert to protect it from future threats. Congratulations, BLM, on getting it right.

Barbara Rizzardi