Just had this sent to us:
Famous Moab Trails Put at Risk by Drilling Leases
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Eller, IMBA Communications Director
IMBA urges mountain bikers to help preserve some of Moab's most famous trails. A new Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plan would lease land parcels for oil and gas extraction near iconic trails such as Porcupine Rim, Amasa Back, Barlett Wash and Tusher Canyon, turning sections of trail into heavily used access roads. IMBA respects the need for domestic energy production, but believes Moab is better served by protecting its world-class recreational assets.
If these parcels are leased and put into production, the BLM will be required to provide adequate access in the form of roads capable of accommodating trucks and other large vehicles. Parts of these roads would be located on or near some of Moab's most famous mountain biking trails.
IMBA believes the BLM should balance the need for energy production with the benefits of recreation and tourism. Please tell BLM officials to protect mountain biking and Moab's sustainable recreation economy by withdrawing parcels near Porcupine Rim, Amasa Back, Barlett Wash and Tusher Canyon. The deadline for comments is Dec. 3.
Use the following official protest letter to file your comments. This form must be used for correspondence with the BLM regarding this issue and cannot be emailed. It must be mailed or faxed. The address is attached and the fax number is 801-539-4237. Due to the high volume of faxes received by the BLM on protest deadline days, we encourage you to send you comments well in advance of the deadline.
Remember, too, that IMBA's Legal Advocacy Fund provides vital resources for protecting mountain bike access.
--- November XX, 2009 [BLM MUST RECEIVE PROTEST BY DEC. 3, 2008]
Bureau of Land Management
Utah State Office
PO Box 45155
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0155 FAX 801.539.4237
Re: December 19, 2008 Lease Parcels: 180, 181,182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 196, 197 200, 217, 218, 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, and 225
Pursuant to 43 C.F.R. 3120.1-3, please accept this letter of protest regarding the proposed lease sale of the above noted parcels. I respectfully request that these parcels be withdrawn from the December 19, 2008 sale, for the following reasons:
I am a resident of ____________, ________. I have been to Moab/am planning to visit Moab, and have specific concerns about BLM's upcoming oil and gas lease sale in Utah.
Moab's Recreation Economy Part A: I understand that the recently released Moab Resource Management Plan (RMP) includes specific reference to the Colorado Riverway Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) which includes both the Porcupine Rim Trail and the Amasa Back Trail. The existence of this SRMA requires that the following parcels be defered as access to these parcels will violate the Visual Resource Management Objectives set forth in the RMP. Further, the loss of these two trails would greatly reduce my desire to visit Moab. Parcel numbers: 200, 217, 218, 219, 221, and 223
Moab's Recreation Economy Part B: Tusher Canyon and Barlett Wash are both designated Mountain Bike Areas within the BLM Resource Management Plan and are closed to motorized travel except on designated routes. Oil and gas activity in this area will greatly detract from the desirability of these trails. The RMP does not include a site-specific analysis that addresses the impacts of oil and gas development included in these lease sale parcels. The BLM must conduct site-specific analysis before making these areas available for oil and gas leasing. Parcel numbers: 180, 181,182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 196, and 197
Moab Water Quality: I am concerned about the health and safety of both residents and visitors to Moab if drilling is allowed within the Moab Aquifer. The RMP specifically states that there will be no exceptions for oil and gas development within an aquifer. Parcel numbers: 224, 225
Parcels contiguous to Arches National Park: Due to the physical constraints of Moab's unique topography the only access to these parcels would be through Arches National Park. Therefore, I request that these parcels be deferred. Parcel numbers: 217, 218
BLM acknowledges that the potential for oil and gas production is low in these areas, so why allow permanent scars of access roads and development to tarnish the landscape that provide a high quality of life to residents of Grand County and that visitors from around the world come to enjoy? A large portion of the Moab economy will be at risk if these parcels are not deferred. The BLM has discretionary authority to approve or disapprove mineral leasing of public lands. We request that the above listed parcels be withdrawn from the December 19, 2008, lease sale, and that these parcels not be re-offered in future lease sales.
NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER
Sounds great, eh? Lets f-up a bunch of internationally known, world class mtb trails so that we might get enough oil out of the ground to keep us running for what, and extra day or less?
Please everybody copy the form down and send it in, mail or fax, as the instructions say.