“Interior Shrinks Oil, Gas Lease Sale Near Utah National Parks”

“The Trump administration on Tuesday responded to fierce local and environmental group opposition to oil and gas leasing near three Utah national parks and said much of that land will be left out of the Bureau of Land Management’s upcoming oil and gas lease sale for the state.

The land bureau had originally planned to lease 114,050 acres of public lands across southern Utah, including land close to Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef national parks. The agency said Tuesday it won’t lease the land near those parks after local outcry and will offer only 27,387 acres in its September lease sale for Utah.

“Understanding the nature of the proposed parcels, as well as gathering input from local communities, partners and the public are a priority for me as the new State Director for BLM Utah,” land bureau Utah State Director Greg Sheehan said in a statement Tuesday. “The BLM supports the recreation and tourism industry as an important source of revenue in Utah, while also responsibly leasing and supporting our nation’s energy independence.””

Bobby Magill reports for Bloomberg Environment August 11, 2020.