Moab Oil and Gas Lease Update

Date: 12/17/2008

On November 25, the Access Fund sent an action alert urging opposition to the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) proposed oil and gas leases that could impact world-class climbing areas near Moab, Utah. Once these parcels are leased and put into production, the BLM must build roads capable of accommodating large industrial vehicles. Oil and gas rigs could sprout up near many of Moab's most famous climbs, significantly changing these famous desert landscapes.

After strong opposition from the National Park Service, members of Congress, and public interest groups, the BLM pulled a number of proposed leases, including a few that host climbing along the River Road near Big Bend. See www.ens-newswire.com/ens/dec2008/2008-12-15-093.asp

Several climbing areas are still on the auction block, including Tusher Canyon, Courthouse Pasture, and Hell Roaring Canyon north of Moab. Climbs such as Monitor and Merrimac Buttes, Echo Pinnacle, and the Witch and Warlock towers could be affected by the BLM's oil and gas auction. The window for comments closed on December 4, and the auction is scheduled for December 19. Thanks to everyone who submitted protest letters to the BLM. Stay tuned for updates.