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View Diary: Rep. Steve Pearce loves Romney's plan to help corporations by giving states control over public land (50 comments)

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  •   Jewels like Desolation & Nine Mile Canyons (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trumpeter, Senor Unoball

    in Utah's federal lands, being oturned over to oil and gas drilling

    The cancellation of the Utah leases in early 2009 was just the first of several Obama administration initiatives that aroused anger here. The Interior Department moved to all but terminate a Bush-era legal loophole that had allowed more than 30,000 new wells on federal lands without individual environmental reviews, including nearly half of those approved by Mr. Stringer’s office through 2011. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar later announced a plan to protect wild lands in its inventory from any future drilling projects. “The public lands were the central candy store where the oil industry walked in and took what it wanted,” he said.

    ....

    The Vernal office recently approved a second project near Desolation Canyon, proposed by Gasco Energy, which includes 215 new wells on pristine land that environmentalists fought to protect from development. They have said they intend to challenge the project in court.

    “One of the crown jewels of American wilderness landscape has been left on the cutting room floor,” said Steve Bloch, a lawyer with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

    This spring, contractors were building a natural gas pipeline through nearby Nine Mile Canyon — nicknamed the nation’s longest art gallery — where American Indians once pecked stick figures into sandstone walls.

    The bureau defended the drilling, noting that the gas company is paying for archaeologists to help preserve the canyon’s petroglyphs, but not everyone thinks that is adequate. Blaine Miller, a retired bureau archaeologist, warned that the dust, traffic and construction around the wells could damage the work, which is over 1,000 years old.

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 12:18:54 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Desolation Canyon (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willyr, Senor Unoball

      The apex of my wilderness experience as a youth took place in Desolation Canyon, rafting down the Green River with Outward Bound.  Its beauty and isolation stunned me back then, and I am sure the same would be true today.  That such a place exists in its natural state is evidence of the wisdom of some men.  Allowing well-digging in such a place is evidence of the profound stupidity of others.

      •  Nothing like "River Time" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Senor Unoball

        I did a self-guided raft trip with 2 friends about 10 years ago through Desolation Canyon and Gray Canyon...80 or more miles of alternating flatwater float and pretty big whitewater---house sized rocks in places---and it was a blast. Once you're on the river you lose all sense of civilization, all connection to anything but the Here and Now---especially the river. The rhythms of the river become your rhythm, and your senses completely attuned to what the river is doing. Time doesn't matter. Only the river.

        It's magical.

        Desolation and Gray's side canyons are also chock full of Anasazi rock art. There's one panel of pictographs and petroglyphs that's got to be 60 feet long...with hundreds of figures and handprints all over the place. Really an amazing place.

        Shhhhhh.

        Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

        by willyr on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 01:55:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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