MOAB, Utah (BRAIN) — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Friday announced that two parcels of land, one of which includes part of Moab’s famous Slickrock Trail, will not be in an upcoming oil and gas lease sale.
Last year a company in the oil and gas industry filed an expression of interest in leasing the BLM-managed parcels for underground oil and gas extraction. The mountain bike industry, local and state elected officials — including Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert — and others opposed the plan. A public comment period opened Thursday.
“We understand that the public has concerns about two of the parcels that were considered during the internal review period,” Moab Field Manager Nicollee Gaddis-Wyatt said in a BLM press release. “After careful consideration and analysis over the last two months, those parcels will not be included in the proposed June oil and gas lease sale.”
Gaddis-Wyatt added, “We are committed to supporting recreation and protecting natural resources in the Moab Field Office and to listening to our neighbors and representatives in the local communities. We have successfully co-managed the Sand Flats Special Recreation Management Area with Grand County since 1994 and we value that enduring relationship. We are also proud to manage a mountain biking trail system that is internationally renowned and enjoyed by many.”
Acting Canyon Country District Manager Brian Quigley said, “Recreation access is a priority of ours — as well as responsible energy development — and both provide important economic benefits to Utah. As a resident, recreator, and manager of public lands in Moab, I understand the public’s concerns.”