Oil and Gas Drilling Coming to Arches, Canyonlands

Travel Blog  •  Valerie Conners  •  11.10.08 | 11:23 AM ET

Utah’s Bureau of Land Management has stirred the ire of the National Park Service by announcing its plan to expand drilling in eastern Utah to on or near boundaries of Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument and Canyonlands National Park, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.  “We’re not anti-oil and gas,” said one Park Service official. “But we’re very much pro-park.” Should drilling begin in these parcels of land—including sections dedicated as wilderness as well as Nine Mile Canyon—tourists may soon be seeing oil rigs pop up in their photos, a prospect that has wilderness outfitters concerned. Said one cycling guide, “It’s not a world-class outing if you can see oil wells.”

Valerie Conners

Valerie Conners is the senior producer and editor at World Hum.

6 Comments for Oil and Gas Drilling Coming to Arches, Canyonlands

Mark Schoneveld 11.10.08 | 1:07 PM ET

Having lived only a two hour drive from Moab for many years, I can say that this new drilling initiative will be a MAJOR bummer.  I hope we can do something to stave off the madness (thanks, Bush, you jerk!).

Courtney Smart 11.10.08 | 4:12 PM ET

I agree, drilling there is ridiculous. When will we learn: we need a new source of energy, other than oil. The soil surface alone is fragile there and this area suffers already because of tourist not treading as lightly as they should.
We need new sources, not destroying beautiful areas to maintain ignorance.

Jennifer 11.11.08 | 1:59 PM ET

Courtney hit tha nail on the head.  The age of oil is quickly coming to an end! If we were sinking most of the money that we are currently into oil exploration and drilling into alternative energy research and developement instead we would be in a very good place in the near future as far as our energy concerns go.  And, the best part, we wouldn’t be destroying the planet in the process!

Philip 11.12.08 | 8:45 PM ET

As a resident of Moab, I can say that there is much more to lose here than the gain.  The scars left behind in 100 years from all this will be staggering.  This is Desert.  And Desert doesn’t recover in any one person’s lifetime.  It’s too bad the boundaries of all these parks in Utah were decided in Washington rather than here in Utah.  It’s incredibly ridiculous to have straight line boundaries to canyon country… and on the other side of that straight line is a well pad and it’s off-gas flame.

Kevin 11.17.08 | 9:50 PM ET

I guess this is Bush’s way of repaying all his big oil money buds before he leaves office. I spent several days in the maze district of Canyonlands a few years ago and it was a life changing experience. The thought of that area being affected by someones ignorance and greed is just beyond my understanding. Hopefully there is some way of reversing this decision in the near future.

TambourineMan 11.21.08 | 4:49 PM ET

Ah, Bush and his BLM puppets up to their old tricks again. One last screw for the road, eh? Lovely.

Aw well, let’s hope Saint Obama uses his Antiquites Act pen to establish some more southwest Natl Monuments…and fast. And unlike Clinton, please don’t let the BLM manage them.

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