The U.S. Bureau of Land Management sold 13 oil and gas leases this week without protest. The leases comprised 12,195 acres in the southeastern Utah Canyon Country District.
The sales netted $523,000 and had support from officials in Grand and San Juan counties. Although some nonprofit groups submitted comments questioning air and groundwater protections for the likely development, they did not lodge protests.
Moab-based Living Rivers thanked the agency for reducing the sale acreage to protect areas around Arches National Park, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance called the sale validation of the BLM's current "win-win" approach to energy development and conservation.
"Energy development is moving forward while we continue to protect the great treasures of Grand County," County Councilwoman Audrey Graham said in a written statement.