Capitol Reef Superintendent Objects to Drilling on Park's Border
The zeal of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to tear up the public landscape in the West in search of energy resources knows no bounds. Among the latest parcels the agency wants to lease for resource exploration are tracts that back up to Capitol Reef National Park. Fortunately, the park's superintendent is objecting.
Albert Hendricks, in a letter to the BLM, says some of the proposed lease sites would sully the park's viewshed by bringing oil and gas drilling rigs -- along with their noise, nighttime lighting and dust -- to the edge of Capitol Reef.
Three of the 18 parcels up for lease actually touch the park's northern boundary and some, Hendricks said, would be within site of a section of the park proposed for wilderness designation.
According to The Associated Press, the parcels are part of the largest oil and gas lease auction the BLM has ever conducted in Utah, with 440,000 acres scheduled to go on the auction block next week.