Letter: Say no to oil and gas leases

(Photo Courtesy Ray Bloxham, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance) The oil and gas industry has asked the BLM to sell oil and gas leases on at least 100,000 acres of scenic public land near Canyonlands and Arches national parks, including parts of Hatch Canyon.

Most Utahns and visitors from around the nation and the world who find beauty, solitude, recreation and far-reaching vistas of nature would say no. Yet the Bureau of Land Management is proposing an 85,000 acre oil and gas lease sale right next to Arches and Canyonlands national parks.
Calls to cancel the sale are building momentum and include local government entities, the outdoor industry, environmental organizations and citizen groups. The sale will negatively impact Utah's economy and reputation as a premier outdoor recreation destination. The U.S. Department of the Interior is trying to push this sale through ahead of the November presidential election.
Once the sale is final, our treasured public lands and landscapes, which one can truly not find anywhere else in the world, will be open to industrial development. This will initiate a long legal battle, taking up countless resources that could otherwise be used for thoughtful and proactive projects to make Utah truly the "Life Elevated" place it claims to be, rather than fighting the destruction of pristine landscapes.

To everyone who loves Utah's wild and scenic public lands: Urge your elected officials and businesses to oppose this sale.
Roger Boyd, Salt Lake City
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