Landmark Energy Plan Protects Arches, Canyonlands National Parks

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced July 20, 2016 the completion of its environmental review for a landmark oil and gas leasing plan on federal lands between Arches and Canyonlands national parks. The release of the Moab Master Leasing Plan (MLP) is the result of a collaborative process where the BLM listened to the needs of local leaders as well as from representatives of the resource extraction, recreation and conservation communities to decide how oil and gas should be leased in shared landscapes including national parks and other valued lands.

“The reaching of a consensus between BLM, the National Park Service, and local stakeholders for smart development near Arches and Canyonlands national parks is an important achievement not just for protecting two of the most beloved national parks in the nation, but also for the many stakeholders who worked together to find the right balance between development and protection in the region,” said the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA).

The resulting Moab MLP underscores the vital role Arches and Canyonlands national parks play in the strong Moab economy. Altogether, the Moab MLP provides excellent protections for Arches and Canyonlands, two of Utah’s famous “Mighty 5” national parks that bring more than $200 million to Moab each year. As the BLM heard from many local stakeholders, the environmental resources and visitation experience of these economic anchors would have been harmed if energy development would have been permitted on adjacent park lands.

Last month, NPCA released a report detailing the success MLPs have had balancing protections for national parks and other sensitive lands with responsible energy development.

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