Slickrock Trail Oil and Gas Parcels Removed From BLM Proposal

Feb 24, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
Photos: Gravity Candy

The Bureau of Land Management has announced it has removed two parcels of land that contain part of the Slickrock trail from its upcoming competitive oil
and gas lease sale.

We reported in January that the BLM was opening seven parcels of land in total in Grand County, Utah, two of which were in the Salt Flats where Slick Rock is located. One of these was said to cover two-thirds of the trail. The land was nominated for consideration in November 2019 by an anonymous company.

Pressure from local groups including mountain bikers and local officials has led to the withdrawal of the two parcels of land before any environmental assessment or a public comment period.

bigquotesWe understand that the public has concerns about two of the parcels that were considered during the internal review period. 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.

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 comanaged 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.
Nicollee Gaddis-Wyatt, Moab Field Manager

The remaining parcels of land in the lease have been submitted for an environmental assessment that is open for public review and comment this week. The sale of those parcels of land is due to take place in June 2020. More information can be found here.

Regions in Article
Sand Flats Recreation Area

Posted In:
Industry News



108 Comments

  • 92 3
 Sometimes the good guys win!
  • 29 2
 What's on the other parcels, though?
  • 83 28
 Are the “good guys” the oil and gas corporations getting rich off sweetheart deals on public land while not just damaging the local environment, but also contributing massively to global climate change? If so, yes, they’re winning. But, at least they won’t f*ck up this one trail...
  • 43 67
flag drivereight (Feb 24, 2020 at 8:26) (Below Threshold)
 Sadly Trump is selling these land to his buddies! Russians and Saudis!
  • 37 95
flag hondabw (Feb 24, 2020 at 8:32) (Below Threshold)
 @drivereight: If you mean Hillary selling to the russian then you got it right! Uranium one baby!
  • 46 16
 @hondabw: LOLZ at still believing debunked right wing conspiracy theories.
  • 47 3
 @hondabw: because Hilary is the president? Err wait is she the lizard people president. Or Does Alex Jones still think she is a running the country?
  • 2 3
 @fullfacemike: orphanages.
  • 14 0
 @JohnnyVV: all while still receiving government subsidies.
  • 31 2
 @JohnnyVV: Looks like a classic negotiation tactic to me. Lead with a very high/low offer that you don't actually anticipate the other party accepting, then concede a little bit so the other party can feel like they've won even though you're still getting what you originally wanted.
  • 13 42
flag jrocksdh (Feb 24, 2020 at 9:39) (Below Threshold)
 @drivereight: bidens zero experience son most likely getting rich of this...def foreign investors of the Clintons.
bernie lol
  • 20 21
 You're an uninformed idiot... I would imagine its safe to assume your bike is largely made from materials either mined or drilled. Maybe you should take a look at the environmental controls, policies, procedures and engineering put in place in North American Oil and Gas and compare that to the emissions standards of the Chinese manufacturers that most likely make 90% of the components on your bike.
  • 38 11
 @4everkidd: yes like fracking..

Which takes on average 2-8 million gallons of fresh water PER FRACKING SITE an then pollutes it making it forever undrinkable and then sent back underground.

2 to 8 million gallons every single time.

The fresh water we drink and bathe in is the same water the dinosaurs swim and drank.

It's all we have we dont get any more.

So destroying billions of gallons our drinking water per year for short term gain is short sighted and monumentally stupid.
  • 10 5
 @reverend27: you can add to this list the increased risk of earthquakes
  • 12 15
 @drivereight: Oh my gosh, give it a rest! Ride a bike, do a good act for someone, just do something other than rant politically (and inaccurately) online.
  • 11 2
 I just came here for the arguing.
  • 5 2
 @zede: yes in my state Oklahoma we never had earth quake growing up.

Then fracking got big and we started having them and gaining in frequency and strength.

Finally they they stopped them after people and businesses were getting damaged.

And what do you know the earthquakes have stopped.

Imagine that.
  • 3 1
 @reverend27: that's not how it works.
  • 3 1
 @reverend27: That is not true. Groundwater is replenishable, albeit, not as quickly as we extract it for the most part. To say it’s “the same water the dinosaurs swim and drank” is pretty ridiculous. Like I said in previous comments, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to protest against fracking. Spreading misinformation only hurts your cause.
  • 2 3
 @JacobKmtb: ridiculous in what way?

So what if it replenishes the bad water is still bad and wont ever be drinkable again.
It is a closed system there is no new water being added. Do understand how it works?

So yes the water we have now is the same water the dinosaurs had. Some of it may be frozen but its the same water.
  • 2 0
 @reverend27: I honestly do not know what point you are trying to make, but I'll give it a shot. Most of our freshwater supply gets replenished by rain and snowmelt, which flows back to the ocean, fills aquifers and reservoirs, or gets evaporated. That water originally evaporated from the ocean for the most part, which is very much not freshwater. So no, it is not a closed system, it is literally called the water cycle.
  • 1 0
 @dlxah: Exactly.
  • 1 0
 @JacobKmtb: This is true.
Do some aquifers go bad or do reservoirs get depleted faster than they can be replenished? I don't know, but it may be related.
I'll take a hike now.
  • 42 12
 Good news! Let's keep it that way. Please no one somehow twist this to continue ranting about your political grievances -- right or left.
  • 11 12
 How could anyone read this and have a view positive or negative to the current administration and its policies?
  • 18 8
 @paulskibum: ha...maybe because some ass hat is opening up protected land for all the wrong reasons.
  • 14 6
 @rcrdrvr: if you research this, and I'm sure you did, you'll find it was the prior administration you actually opened this up for bidding
  • 8 3
 @bman33: You mean the one prior to that. The BLM released these six Utah plans in a dizzying flurry—one plan almost every week from August 1 to September 5, 2008. All before Obama could shut it down!!!! Dude, fracking is not needed...they have an over abundance of shit oil they sell to Mexico so it can be refined right next door to us and sold back because of the lack of regulation there. Over abundance of liquid natural gas too...they just can't ship it fast enough because of trucking regulations down to 8 hr drive days. Hence the push for autonomous vehicles that shouldn't be allowed to drive on the same roads as the rest of us, but guess who is repealing an ignoring those safety concerns and at the same time pushing for cars that run on the shit. Super inefficient but they can sell it at such a cheap price because of the over abundance, hence all the attacks on electric vehicles...they're going after Tesla hard. And on and on and on...attacking from every angle! All for money and greed, none of it good for the environment. If they would put all their money into clean tech it would be the next big economic boom, but they don't want that....not yet!
  • 1 1
 @rcrdrvr: I am referring to the auction of May 2016. See link below

wildearthguardians.org/press-releases/guardians-calls-on-obama-administration-to-cancel-colorado-utah-oil-and-gas-lease-auctions

The hyperbole around this is completely bullshit. Energy Independence and alternatives can and should go hand and hand. To say one can exclusively dominate in today's environment is naive
  • 2 1
 @bman33: First of all I do not think one form of energy production can dominate....yet! There are certain states that are promoting clean energy and others that do not. Eventually clean energy can take over and be supplemented by other forms.

As to your article...these lands were opened up before his administration took over and any moves to back out of the obligations were met with strong resistance. Under the current admin it's gotten even worse. Saving these two parcels were done for two reasons . To distract from other plans and the areas showed little money making potential!
  • 3 2
 @paulskibum: much of this was already set up during obama admin. states should have more control if their lands though, per the federalist papers.
  • 18 1
 Fantastic news - Proof that we can change things in these chaotic times when we stand together as mountain bikers & trail users. We should benchmark on this victory for upcoming challenges in other regions of North America. Let's keep at it !
  • 16 0
 Thanks to all who sent letters via Outdoor Alliance - proof that the recreation community can move the needle. And if you haven't heard of OA, give them a look:

www.outdooralliance.org/blog/2020/2/20/blm-plans-to-auction-off-land-that-includes-moabs-iconic-slickrock-trail
  • 17 2
 It's sort of embarrassing that it was even an option. The parcels should have been non-starters, why did it take "careful consideration and analysis" to exclude?
  • 21 24
 Cause Trump!
  • 19 3
 This. So the oil & gas companies can then appear magnanimous when extracting elsewhere. They can say "see, we LET you keep your trail". It's all just a ruse on their part in order to give us a "win" while they keep destroying another area less popular than Slickrock.
  • 2 0
 They were figuring out if the amount of money they could make was worth any public outrage.
  • 10 0
 We collectively need to stay vigilant if we want to keep riding in spectacular places like Utah - Remeber they tried to do something similar on several Moab parcels in 2008 by auctionning to highest oil & gas bidders: www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/business/worldbusiness/16iht-16oil.17872206.html With this happy outcome because of one very brave soul and the support he got from the trail users community back then: www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/us/21drilling.html - We shall never surrender...
  • 11 1
 A lot of people are really ignorant about this issue. The parcel of land which Slickrock occupies is classified as "No Surface Occupancy", meaning no development on the surface could have occurred (Also, the parcel which occupied Slickrock only covered about 25% of the trail, not "two thirds" like the article mentioned). If there were to be resource extraction from under Slickrock, it would have been done so through horizontal drilling. If the land lease had gone through, it would have had absolutely no effect on Slickrock. I am glad the proposal was removed, entirely because this parcel's groundwater flows directly into Moab's aquifer. I do not trust oil and gas companies to be responsible for their fracking.
  • 3 2
 Thank you for having common sense. Too bad most won't read your comment or comprehend it.
  • 4 0
 @bikelikemadd: I think it’s great that people are protesting against the fossil fuel industry. There are plenty of reasons to protest, but fear-mongering and spreading disinformation only discredits the cause.
  • 16 3
 Fuck yeah
  • 19 9
 Came here for the ignorant comments. Wasn't disappointed.
  • 7 0
 They do this so that nobody complains about all the other drilling. Smoke and mirrors. They were never going to drill there, this was just to appease the masses.
  • 5 0
 Lol... May be some truth to that. That happens all the time in land development.
  • 7 0
 Now if the BLM could cancel the leases and clean up the area on the way to Dead Horse Point that would also be nice.
  • 6 1
 Great news, thanks for the timely reporting. The trend of subsidizing mineral exploration on public lands to benefit a few private interests continues, but this is a welcome development.
  • 10 5
 Funny how so many North Americans hate on their big oil companies while their top 3 best selling cars are big trucks which people use to get coffee to go and donuts. But ermagerd 2.50$ per gallon is soo expensive.
  • 4 3
 Nah, the people that drive 'rolling coal' are the same people that love oil companies and chant 'drill baby, drill' when they can. There are equal number of people that gas prices don't effect.
  • 2 1
 Not the same people
  • 2 0
 Try $3.59 and up youll be alot closer
  • 7 0
 Let's Go!!!
  • 5 0
 Been waiting to see the outcome of this... And it WAS ACTUALLY GOOD! Huge thanks to the people who helped stop this
  • 6 1
 Finally some positive news. . .
  • 3 16
flag lehott (Feb 24, 2020 at 8:09) (Below Threshold)
 Unless you have hiv....
  • 5 0
 This is really great news.
  • 17 12
 Finally a WIN against these OIL SWINE!!! Let's keep the momentum going.
  • 4 0
 What's on the other parcels?
  • 29 4
 Spengle gold...
  • 2 2
 @WAKIdesigns: that’s good hahaha
  • 8 2
 Nobody cares unless it personally affects them.
  • 4 0
 The location where Epstein didn't kill himself Wink
  • 16 16
 Don't get me wrong, I love this "win" but people need to be cognizant of the big picture. Your win may be another's loss. The world runs on energy and it aint gonna stop. So I hope people consider more than what they see in their backyard. For example if you know for a fact that your region can extract energy safer and with less environmental footprint than an alternative location it is your duty to consider the sacrifice for the greater good. If not then you better be pushing for nuclear or solar/wind (only where logical), or you are simply metaphorically sweeping this under the rug.
  • 27 5
 Extracting fossil fuels for the"greater good" will only postpone the day renewable energy tech. will come to large scale fruition It's cheap profit for corporate interests that comes at a high price for the planet itself.. Not to mention the way the extraction methods tend to poison the water table and ruin habitat.
By that reasoning, why not burn the rain forests in Brazil to produce more soybeans for the Chinese? Oh, wait.....
  • 4 1
 Problem was the chances of finding oil was very low. To deal with the public and for a low guarentee was probably why no one wanted to do it.
  • 7 2
 @RayDolor: They need to get off the old and into the new...if they put their money into renewable energy then it would take off. Problem is they still want to make as much as they can off oil. Although I bet they are investing in new tech...they'd be stupid not to. Two faced bastards.
  • 5 16
flag jrocksdh (Feb 24, 2020 at 9:42) (Below Threshold)
 @RayDolor: dont we need gas to power electricity, and not rely on others. no thanks to more Obama era gas prices
  • 8 5
 @jrocksdh: yes so lets run thru our reserves in a few years and then what?

You are a muppet.
  • 4 0
 @asmtb: Thank you for the reasonable reply. I don't know why people seem to think I am anti renewable. I just want everyone to analyze their supply chain for everything, energy to groceries to waste. Its easy to push everything onto someone else to "feel good"
  • 4 2
 @rcrdrvr: In the US, 64% of energy is produced by fossil fuels, 20% by nuclear, and 16% by renewable. Around the world, 80% of energy is produced by fossil fuels.

The fact is that majority of the population live in large cities and solar/wind just to power those large cities is not very feasible. Take for instance, NY, LA, Tokyo, HK, etc., there just is not enough space to put solar panels or windmills to fuel big cities. I am for renewable energy, but currently renewable energy can't handle the majority of the energy needs of the world.
  • 6 12
flag chasejj (Feb 24, 2020 at 12:15) (Below Threshold)
 @jrocksdh: You are absolutely correct. But the huggers that populate MTB forums will never admit it and choose to live in in their delusional world with Bernie and the Retards. It's a new band . Look it up.
  • 8 6
 @chasejj: lol @ the right its those 1st grade tactics.

Yes the entire world is wrong and Trump is a stable genius.
  • 3 2
 @chasejj: Actually, you don't need gas to create electricity, it's just the preferred method of many powerful industries. www.vox.com/podcasts/2019/12/16/21024323/ezra-klein-show-saul-griffith-solve-climate-change is a worthwhile listen
  • 5 16
flag chasejj (Feb 24, 2020 at 13:47) (Below Threshold)
 @chacou: The problem is Climate Change is a hoax and fraud being pushed by governments and academia because it serves their purpose to control virtually everything.
  • 4 5
 @chasejj: you again, I see you found the universal truth. So stoic of you to be a climate change denier. Take shrooms!
  • 7 4
 @chasejj: lol wow. You believe in flat earth too?

The people who want to control everything are the same ones who've brainwashed you.

Saddest part about people like you is the same industries and politicians you support and unrelentingly attack others over name call others over and allow every single thing you see to be influenced by them..

Wouldn't so much as piss on you if you where on fire.

Always angry always pointing the finger at some group always name calling like 5 year olds.

As far as the planet warming if you think its a hoax you are just lost.

Its sad man and i really mean that. I feel bad for you.
  • 5 3
 @chasejj: but hey as ive told the other slow kids that like to post here.

Feel free to drop some links to the information you have on the fraud that is global warming.

Should be a.. interesting read.
  • 4 2
 @chasejj: I'm assuming you're a firm believer in Rush Limbaugh's 4 corners of deceit, for a little perspective on how we've gotten here this is a good read. www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/22/14762030/donald-trump-tribal-epistemology
  • 3 7
flag chasejj (Feb 24, 2020 at 15:58) (Below Threshold)
 @chacou: You are good little tool of the left quoting VOX nonsense. So predictable. I knew that but waded in anyway. Continue if it makes you feel better. Since I don't GAF.
  • 5 7
 @chasejj: The devolution of the right into unchecked tribal epistemology has involved, among other things, an absolute torrent of nonsense.

Millions of self-identified conservatives, in many cases majorities, believe that the Clintons have been involved in multiple murders, Sharia law has taken hold in the US, Obama is a Muslim (and a socialist) who was born in Kenya and seeks to destroy the US, Obama was planning a coup in Jade Helm, Democrats are running a child-trafficking ring out of a DC pizza restaurant, the UN’s Agenda 21 is an international conspiracy to increase urban density, climate change is a hoax, and on and on and on.

You could list these lunacies until your fingers went numb. (Just Google “Glenn Beck’s chalkboard.”) There are new ones every day.

The right hypes its base up with bullshit — it has for decades — until an already tribally inclined audience has now descended into near-total epistemic closure. It is contemptuous of outside fact-checking, no matter how assiduous, but endlessly gullible toward information shared on the inside. Consequently, it is an easy target.

Even the guys who make fake news for a living discovered this. The Washington Post interviewed Paul Horner, one of the original fake news entrepreneurs, and he said this:

My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time. I think Trump is in the White House because of me. His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything.
  • 5 7
 @reverend27: Rev - You really need a job, maybe Bernie's got one for you. You could even pay him to have it. LOL. Leftist clown.
  • 6 9
 @chasejj: Now such fantasies are being propagated by the president himself, who accused Obama of wiretapping him on the basis of “seeing a lot of things.” When Bill O’Reilly confronted him about his claim that thousands of New Jersey Muslims celebrated 9/11, Trump waved an article from Breitbart in defense.

When asked about Trump’s false statements regarding his inauguration crowd numbers, adviser Kellyanne Conway famously referred to her boss’s “alternative facts.” When asked about Trump’s false statements regarding widespread voter fraud, his spokesperson Scottie Nell Hughes said: “Mr. Trump’s tweets, amongst a certain crowd, a large — a large part of the population, are truth.”

In January, Rep. Lamar Smith (TX) said it’s “better to get your news directly from the president. In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.”

That’s tribal epistemology, as clearly articulated as it ever will be.

Now even some figures in conservative media are growing leery of how detached the base has become from fact-checking or restraint, as a recent Oliver Darcy piece detailed. "We have taught conservatives for many years to trust nothing other than what they hear in conservative media,” conservative radio host John Ziegler told Darcy. “Yet the conservative media has now proven to be untrustworthy."

Back in 2005, David Foster Wallace wrote a classic piece on the rise of right-wing talk radio, centered on Ziegler, a war hawk and fervent conservative. Wallace worried that “the ever increasing number of ideological news outlets creates precisely the kind of relativism that cultural conservatives decry, a kind of epistemic free-for-all in which ‘the truth’ is wholly a matter of perspective and agenda.”

Now Ziegler worries about the same thing. He told Darcy:

If you are a conservative talk show host, which I am, if you don't accept that it's likely Hillary Clinton has taken part in multiple murders, or that Barack Obama is a Muslim extremist sympathizer who was probably born outside this country — if you don't accept those two things, it's almost as if you're a sellout. You're a RINO [Republican in name only].
  • 5 6
 @reverend27: Seriously get a job g, go ride, something. Jesus. You must be a barrel of laughs at parties.
  • 5 7
 @chasejj:
@jrocksdh: You are absolutely correct. But the huggers that populate MTB forums will never admit it and choose to live in in their delusional world with Bernie and the Retards. It's a new band . Look it up.
You are good little tool of the left quoting VOX nonsense. So predictable. I knew that but waded in anyway. Continue if it makes you feel better. Since I don't GAF.

Sorry cant sit by and read your lies.

Let people like you spew your bs and lies is how we got to Trump in the first place.
Well that and the total corruption that allowed Clinton to be nominated.
  • 2 3
 @chasejj: Sous chef $30hr 4 day work week.

Im set.
  • 3 0
 @chasejj: bigly good discussion!
  • 2 5
 @reverend27: Get me a Juice Box, I'm thirsty!! :-)
  • 5 2
 @chasejj: So what do you call federal subsidies to fossil fuel producers? When the federal gov't applies those preferences to renewables it's socialism perpetrated by Soros and the Clintons and the Lizard people!

"There are a number of tax preferences, described below, available in the United States to producers of fossil fuels.The preferences below are all permanent provisions in the tax code."
www.treasury.gov/open/Documents/USA%20FFSR%20progress%20report%20to%20G20%202014%20Final.pdf

..I'm sorry about the multiple Vox links, but searching Fox News for "US Fossil Fuel subsidies" returns only junk articles on how the renewables industry would die if the US didn't provide tax incentives for it, please share if you find something insightful, aside from your colorful invectives
  • 4 2
 @reverend27: please let's have a moment of silence... "Mad" Mike Hughes died yesterday while trying to deliver the final proof that the Earth is flat by shooting himself up in the air in a self made rocket and taking a photo from 5000ft showing no curvature. Apparently a trip to Mauna Kea on Hawaii that is almost 3 times higher, did not occur to anybody... He "passed away" on the launch pad... he will always remain a hero to Hoaxers. Prayers for his soul to safely ascend to heavens and work on next rocket project with Jesus. That granted he didn't masturbate, as Jesus doesn't like that. Meanwhile - climate change deniers claim to have found pieces of Noahs Ark on top of Mount Washington.
  • 4 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I dunno about heaven, but at least Mad Mike is solidly in line for the 2020 Darwin Awards.
  • 2 1
 @WAKIdesigns: the sad part is with Mike's death we may now never find out if the world is flat or not
  • 4 0
 Nice!
  • 4 0
 Hell yeah!
  • 2 0
 Oil company looked at cost to pay for lawyers to fight all the people opposed to the drilling. Not enough profit.
  • 3 0
 This is great news Big Grin
  • 3 3
 Where are all the haters that supported drilling in this area now? They were so vocal before, and so.....Trumpian! Where are they now?! ????
  • 2 0
 LFG
  • 7 8
 Great to see some good news????.. We need to preserve our recreational land!
But..
People who blame everything on Trump are unintelligent and misinformed.
  • 17 19
 That's not going to sit well with Big Orange
  • 11 4
 I promise you he couldn't give a f*ck
  • 11 8
 Sadly Trump is selling off these lands!
  • 5 4
 @drivereight: & @NebulousNate we've all seen how little f*cks he gives in selling off these lands, good to see the good guys win one, and that's exactly why I threw shade at the Great Pumpkin
  • 2 3
 @NebulousNate: You really don't know shit. So how can you promise anything?
  • 4 1
 @chasejj: he wants to get rid of led light bulbs cause they make him orange ffs..

How can you continue to defend it?
  • 1 3
 @reverend27: You realize that's a self deprecating joke he told, correct. Or are you too dense to realize humor?
  • 1 1
 @chasejj: idk the point you're trying to make. What I do know is that the point this guy was making is he's evil and when he can't destroy wildlife or public land he's upset. That's not the case. He's cool with people wanting all of that but thanks for being an asshat who knows better you twat.
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