Wednesday, February 04, 2009

BLM Asked Not to Cash Any Checks Just Yet.

As reported in The Chronicle, brand new interior secretary Ken Salazar has asked his subordinates at the Bureau of Land Management to hold off on cashing those bonus checks that energy exploration companies have paid when they were awarded 116 land parcels in scenic Red Rock Country in southern Utah. (The Chron reports 77 parcels, but the Oil and Gas Journal has it at 116).

Red Rock Country is surrounded on all sides by national parks and national forests, and is visited by hundreds of thousands of scenery appreciating tourists every year.

The Bush regime rushed through a lease sale late last year in a desperate attempt to circumvent what the voters all said at the polls loud and clear: Enough!

And now, all of that has come to a screeching halt.

The Oil and Gas Journal reported that Utah's BLM office offered 131 parcels, and 116 were sold, totaling 148,598 acres of federal land in Carbon, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Grand, San Juan, and Uintah counties. Revenues from the sale totaled more than $7.4 million, including $7.2 million in bonus bids, $222,951 in rental fees and $16,240 in administrative fees.

The lease sale was heavily protested and suits were filed to stop the sale, and then to halt the finalization of the sale after the bids were opened on December 19th.

The largest bid was for Parcel 137, in the area near Vernal, Utah (photo below).

Oh, but then, look at this next photo, also taken in the Vernal area. See? the area has already been despoiled by thoughtless graffiti artists who can’t keep their artwork off of these scenic cliff faces.



Anonymous said...

We should have had a law that banned Native Americans (or grafitti artists) from destroying such a beautiful place.

Hal said...

In the native Athabascan, this particular "graffito" reads:

"Fa-andosh and Qwa-tlan, forever"