Press Release Dec 11, 2018

Southern Utah National Parks Threatened by BLM Oil and Gas Lease Sale

New oil and gas lease sales threaten Arches and Canyonlands National Parks as well as Hovenweep National Monument and its surrounding cultural landscape.

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, the Bureau of Land Management offered up more than 150,000 acres of federal land across the state for oil and gas leasing. Oil and gas development on the lands up for sale would threaten Arches and Canyonlands National Parks as well as Hovenweep National Monument and its surrounding cultural landscape.

Beyond today’s lease sale, oil and gas operations are the largest human-made source of air and climate pollution in the Uinta Basin, plaguing this once-pristine region with significant air pollution comparable with densely populated cities like Los Angeles and Denver. National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) recently filed a lawsuit against the Department of Interior for the leasing of more than 115,000 acres of public land in western Colorado and northern Utah without adequate environmental protections. These lease sales violate federal environmental laws and will worsen air quality in a region already laden with harmful levels of ozone pollution.

Statement by Erika Pollard, Southwest Associate Director for National Parks Conservation Association

“This is just the latest example of how the Trump administration’s push to drill in Utah is sacrificing some of our most cherished places for short-term gain. Today’s lease sale threatens both the iconic Arches and Canyonlands National Parks as well as the rich, cultural landscape surrounding Hovenweep National Monument. Since taking office, the Trump administration has offered oil and gas leases near more than 20 national park landscapes, under its tireless and reckless quest for energy dominance. These decisions, happening with little to no opportunity for the public to weigh in, could irreparably damage these treasures for current and future generations.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.