Moab Trail Advocacy Passion! Please Read and Respond!
I thought I would alert you to the possible lease on Moab's BLM lands. These leases would open up the area to oil and gas drilling. This could affect most of Moab's famed trails, such as: Porcupine Rim, Amasa Back, Sovereign, Magnificent 7, Gemini Bridges, Portal Trail, Poison Spider, Gold Bar Rim, Klondike Bluffs, and so much more!
Public comment period started March 5th and will continue through May 7th. It is crucial for recreationalists to speak up if we want to protect these areas from drilling.
Here's a link to the BLM site with all the info, maps, and contact information: Master Leasing Plan
Thanks so much!
Map of the areas affected: http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medial.../MLP%20Map.pdf
Another trail bite the dust.
"My GREATEST FEAR is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my watches for what I told her I paid for them."
You'd figured there would be tons of replies for this thread.
I'm hoping they are too busy writing letters to post in the thread. But part of me knows that this is probably not the case.
This happens every year. Just because there is discussion, does not mean it will happen and it has not been proven that the leases would directly effect riding areas. More likely, it would mean some access roads that intersect trails could be closed, but unlikely trails would be. Additionally, with the current government's attitude toward drilling, these leases would never be approved.
Originally Posted by Blksocks
Let's not get all whoop-azz over nothing.
Thanks for posting these links, screampint.
I was in Moab a couple weeks ago, and heard about this plan from the Coyote Shuttle driver who took our group up to Porcupine Rim.
I'm going to go write them a letter right now, and I forwarded those links to the group I was with. Thanks again for spreading the word!
"Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits
Bad news. Thanks for the heads-up Screampint. Lets see what we can do about this shall we? MTG in Moab on Wednesday night (3/28) if you can go GO!
Bulls*!t dude. The BLM is second only to the IRS in revenue generating government agencies (as quoted by the BLM NW Colorado Regional Director). You know where the bulk of that money comes from? Energy leases. All recreation does is cost the BLM time and resources that they would rather be putting into programs that actually make money. If they are given the option to decrease impacts from recreation use and increase energy production, they will take it every time. The only way, they won't is if there is an endnagered/threatened species that would be impacted by the actions or if the their is a public outcry. But that outcry has to be L O U D to get anyone to listen.
Originally Posted by Octavious
Read please, it doesn't "happen every year." The lands were opened up to leasing in 2008, but were essentially put on bureaucratic hold until now. To keep the areas safe, public input is needed. Right now, the BLM is working on amending the 2008 Lease plans:
From the Moab BLM office:
In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), as amended, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Moab and Monticello Field Offices, Utah, intend to prepare a Master Leasing Plan (MLP), amendments to the 2008 Moab and Monticello Resource Management Plans (RMPs)
, and a single environmental impact statement (EIS) to consider leasing for oil and gas and potash on about 783,000 acres of public lands. By this notice, the BLM is announcing the beginning of the scoping process to solicit public comments and identify issues.
Master Leasing Plan
From a local advocacy group:
Public Input Needed on Moab Area Leasing Plan | Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
And some more information:
Moab Times-Independent - Mineral leases to be suspended in some BLM areas while leasing reform analysis is underway
Last edited by screampint; 03-26-2012 at 04:48 PM.
That would be so sad if you guys/gals out there lose those trails. I Wish the best that you all still have those trails in the future.
Yip yip yip nope nope nope
It would be like riding in Vernal, UT.
Originally Posted by screampint
Moab has two big buffers to new oil/natural gas or mining leases in Arches and Canyonlands. There is no way that you would see drilling on either side of 191 north and south of Moab due to its proximity to the parks. The process still needs to be carried out with the public input and environmental studies, but the core mountain bike area should be safe from new development.
I think some new drilling or mining and recreation could co-exist though as it has already (if I'm not mistaken there are potash and existing natural gas wells around Moab), but I just don't see it happening near the parks.
Thanks for posting this. Not fortunate enough to live close enough to Moab to ride there on a regular basis, but lucky enough to have made 10 or so trips over the years. If people took the time to look at the BLM lease area map you posted, they would see that quite a few of Moab's better know trails have the potential to be affected. If drilling's going to happen, maybe at the very least it can be done in partnership with recreation interests. If not, could be awful.
Off to submit my comments...
I debated whether or not to share this letter on this thread, but I decided to do so on the chance that it might inspire someone to send in their comments. Writing a quick note like this doesn't take long, and collectively many such letters could make an impact on the BLM's decision.
Here is a copy of the letter that I sent today:
BLM, Moab Field Office
82 East Dogwood,
Moab, Utah, 84532
27 March 2012
Attention: Brent Northrup
Dear Brent Northrup and the Moab Bureau of Land Management,
I am writing to voice my concern over the proposed oil and gas exploration on BLM land surrounding Moab, Utah. While I appreciate the need for affordable energy and the desire to produce more energy within the United States, there are compelling reasons not to lease the land around Moab for oil and gas exploration.
The cryptobiotic soil in this area is extremely sensitive, and energy exploration will inevitably damage it. This soil can take many years to regrow, and so it is likely that the land, plants, and animals native to the Moab region will take many generations to fully recover. This environmental harm will also damage the area's economy.
The proposed area forms an important buffer zone around two of our most important natural treasures, Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Oil and gas exploration in this area will significantly impact these parks. Such exploration will reduce the natural beauty of these areas and will cause fewer visitors to spend time in the parks.
Presently, this area is also mecca for outdoor recreation, and the motocrossers, jeepers, mountain bikers, climbers, hikers, boaters, and others who flock to Moab to experience it's unique natural resources represent a significant source of income for the town of Moab. A reduction in the number of outdoor recreation tourists will harm Moab's economy, which relies heavily on tourism.
It is not certain that oil or gas will be found in this area. If it is, then the people of Moab will be benefit economically from the jobs that will come with energy production. However, it is not certain that these new jobs will make up for the substantial loss that the tourism industry will suffer. And if no oil is gas is found, which is certainly a possibility, then the town of Moab will be left with a crippled tourism industry.
Thus, I hope you will agree that the proposed oil and gas leases represent a serious and concerning gamble with Moab's environment and economy. New sources of energy are important, but in this case the certain risks of energy exploration are not worth the potential benefits. Please join me in opposing oil and gas exploration in the Moab area.
If you've written a letter, you might also consider sharing it so that everyone can benefit from seeing your perspective.
"Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits
You know what I'm doing tonight when I get home!! I've never been to Moab, but I plan to go. It would be great if the trails were then when I do. Also, I can't imagine the negative impact to the locals, as my understanding is Moab is not a heavily populated area and they rely heavily on the tourism to drive the local economy.
'08 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc (Stolen). I hope you break both kneecaps of the jerk who stole you.
You are correct that it's not heavily populated but make no mistake, mineral extraction is still a part of the equation. In Moab and in the region. Take a look around while driving I70between Grand Junction and Eagle. Been to Wyoming lately?
Originally Posted by GPRider08
This is just my opinion and I'm no expert in the industry but I'd be seriously surprised to see much more uranium mining in the Colorado Plateau area in the near future. The big boom a couple of years ago was more a powerplay between existing companies and start ups to show new claims or previously existing claims were worth something to their outside investors with the increasing value of ore. But prices would really have to go through the roof to make mining for uranium on the Col. Plateau profitable. The Grand Canyon area is in a bit more peril because there are very high, but extremely localized sources in the form of breccia pipes. Currently, underground leaching in WY is the hot spot for uranium in the US.
Oil and gas might be a bigger deal but it's still rather limited in the Moab area. The wells are located over the anticlines (Porcupine Rim and Kane Springs) which are partially a result of large salt and evaporite deposits at depth from Pennsylvanian time. But at that time the conditions in the Paradox Basin were not really conducive to jungles of vegetation that would later become hydrocarbons so again it's not really a big hotspot. But as our supplies dwindle Moab is not immune to scrutiny and exploration by extractive industries.
When these issues come up I think folks need to remember how they got to Moab in the first place. It's got to come from somewhere. Personally, I'm not convinced that petroleum or natural gas extraction is any better than uranium. I'd rather see isolated well pads that large mines in the area. I guess it's debatable whether adits and tailings piles are the bigger eyes sore. Anyhow, I echo Plummit's comments that if drilling is going to happen hopefully recreation interests are also sitting at the table. And keep in mind the whole leasing thing is partly a game.
Well said, rockman.
Originally Posted by rockman
Thanks for the heads up Screampint. Letter sent.
Here's a direct link to the public scoping page on the Moab BLM field office website.
Here's a blog discussing the proposed lease.
ON YER BIKE!: Is Moab worth 5 minutes?
Thanks for posting, forwarding to my local groups to hopefully help generate more responses (including mine...).
It's been too long since I was up in that there area of the country, I need to go back. Hopefully it'll still be there for me when I can.
Geez.. that would just make moab a ghost town...
It only take five minutes to email them!
wasn't moab a mining town before the bikes discovered it?
I would hate to see well paying jobs not happen, just becasue someone who doesn't even live there not like mining or any natural resource jobs. There is probably a way to keep mining and have the bike trails. But i doubt that approach would happen.
Personally we need to figure out how to work together so that we have good paying jobs and not rape the environment. Tt can happen, if both parties want it to happen.