Heidi McIntosh, associate director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, discusses the impact that some of Bush's midnight regulations could have on pristine and remote areas in southeastern Utah (which are among host Barbara Bernstein's favorite spots in the world).
On election day, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it will sell oil and gas leases on areas in eastern Utah including sections of Desolation Canyon, White River, Diamond Mountain, Bourdette Draw, and other lands in the Nine Mile Canyon region. These public lands had largely been off-limits to new oil and gas leasing because of a series of federal court and administrative decisions overturning earlier illegal BLM leasing decisions. The BLM had previously declared these pristine lands to be wilderness caliber landscapes.
“Previous administrations proved that there can be a balance between wilderness protection and oil and gas development,” said former BLM Director Jim Baca. “Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has worked tirelessly to appease the oil and gas industry no matter the cost to our national heritage of wild and untamed places. Extraordinary places like Desolation Canyon deserve to be protected.”
For more information visit:
SUWA promotes local and national recognition of the region's unique character through research and public education; supports both administrative and legislative initiatives to permanently protect the Colorado Plateau wild places within the National Park and National Wilderness Preservation Systems, or by other protective designations where appropriate; builds support for such initiatives on both the local and national level; and provides leadership within the conservation movement through uncompromising advocacy for wilderness preservation