I received this in an email and believe it’s important enough to put up on the site. The wild lands around Moab, Arches & Canyonlands are going to be lost December 19 unless we do something. Some of you may be in favor of domestic drilling, but this is not the right place. This area is a national treasure and we must do something to stop the lease for drilling.

- Michelle
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News about the drilling:
Washington Post, November 13
Salt Lake Tribune, November 8
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As you are probably aware, the current administration’s final parting shot at the environment will take place on Dec. 19 in Utah when the BLM plans to sell oil and gas leases on lands adjoining Arches and Canyonlands NP, in the general Moab vicinity, and in Desolation Canyon.

I have taken a closer look at the areas to be leased. Like to raft? You’ll be staring at rigs in Desolation Canyon and all along the Moab “Daily”. Like to mountain bike? The areas include the Sand Flats Road and areas within sight of the Porcupine Rim trail. Like to hike? They include Negro Bill Canyon. Like to look through Delicate Arch to the La Sals? How about a nice oil rig sitting there in your view right under the Arch. You won’t be able to go many places in Moab without having an oil rig staring at you. Those vistas that go on forever will be forever filled with ugly oil rigs. And roads. And vehicles. And dust. And paradise will be paved…

Yep. Unbelievable. But not unstoppable. And there is never a good reason to go away without a damn good fight! Please read on. And then write on, and pick up the phone and start calling. Here’s the alert I received.

Dear Red Rock Forests Members:

We are buoyed by news that the Obama Administration plans to ‘roll back’ some of the oil and gas decisions, and that the proposed lease sale that will impact Arches and Canyonlands National Park, Desolation Canyon, and thousands of acres of wilderness quality public lands – is front and center in their efforts.

While we are thrilled with the Obama Administration’s plans, we must not forget that this lease sale is slated for December 19th, before inauguration day. We are hearing concerns that the Bush Administration is doing everything it can to ensure that the parcels sold on that date will stick, despite the best intentions of the Obama Administration.

We are doing everything we can to fight this effort NOW! More than ever, we urge you not to miss the opportunity to heed Barack Obama’s call to service and speak out for these national treasures!

We urge everyone not to get lulled into the thought that ‘Obama will make it all better.’ HE NEEDS OUR HELP NOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Here’s what you can do:

Send a Protest letter to the BLM Utah State Office (must be mailed or faxed for receipt by Dec. 4, 2008) urging removal of parcels near or adjacent to Canyonlands & Arches National Parks and near/adjacent to lands with wilderness qualities:

BLM
Utah State Office
PO Box 45155
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0155
FAX 801.539.4237

Call Terry Catlin, who is in charge of BLM’s O&G leasing program
801-539-4122

Call the Moab BLM Office, Shelly Smith, Mgr., 435-259-2100

Call or write Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Ask to speak to: Amanda Smith,
801-538-1000
1-800-705-2464 toll free
1-801-538-1528 FAX

Call or Write Utah Gov. Huntsman’s Public Lands Policy Coordination Office
John Harja, Director
801-537-9801 phone
801-537-9226 FAX

If you are in Utah, call
Utah Representative Matheson
speak to: Mike Reberg
801-486-1236
877-677-9743 toll free

Utah Senator Bennett
801-524-5933 – Salt Lake City office
202-224-5444 – Washington DC Office

If you don’t live in Utah, use this link to www.congress.org and type in
your zip code in the box on the left navigation bar that says “My Elected
Officials.”

This is a national issue. These are our national treasures, there are no
other places like them in the world.

This is an issue of Big Oil and local economies. Big Oil is pitting itself
against the small business owners of Grand County – those that own
bookstores, coffee shops, bicycle and rafting companies cafes, and brew pubs
- that rely on visitors/recreationists to support the local economy. What
will happen to them when drill rigs are within the sight line of the
Spectacles and Delicate Arch?

This is an issue of the abuse of power. The Bush Administration is bullying
the American people by this last minute lease sale. We must step up, heed
Obama’s call to service, and save this area NOW!

Please make YES WE CAN count!
Thanks!

Terry Shepherd
Executive Director
Red Rock Forests
P.O. Box 298
Moab, UT 84532

435-259-5640