Say No to Drilling Near Dinosaur National Monument
Imagine pulling up to a national park visitor center and seeing oil and gas drilling in direct view. That’s exactly what could play out in Dinosaur National Monument if a new proposal by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) goes through. The BLM is currently considering leasing 5,000 acres of land adjacent to the Monument and near the Green River for oil and gas development.
“One of the proposed leases would butt up against the western boundary of the monument renowned for its paleontological treasures and wild rivers, while another is within sight of Dinosaur’s visitor center and fossilized bone exhibit hall,” according to reporting from National Parks Traveler.
Not only would the drilling impact the park’s visitor experience, the impact to the area’s natural and cultural treasures, air and water quality, as well as wildlife could be significant.
O.A.R.S. representative, Steve Markle stated: “There’s no doubt these leases would have a visual impact on park visitors, but they could also contribute to light pollution at night, water pollution, increased dust and noise from heavy truck traffic, and air pollution. We agree with Dinosaur Superintendent, Mark Foust, that oil and gas activity in the Uintah Basin is a primary contributor to these wintertime ozone exceedances. Anyone who has spent time in the Basin in the winter can tell you that poor air quality is a real issue.”
If the proposal moves forward, the parcels being considered would be put up for auction in December. Right now, however, BLM’s Vernal District Office is taking public comment through July 24 on a draft environmental assessment that includes the parcels near Dinosaur National Monument.
A similar proposal near Zion National Park was recently retracted by BLM after they received and reviewed more than 40,000 public comments.
If you would rather not see oil and gas drilling near the world-famous Carnegie Fossil Quarry, or are concerned about the fate of the Green River like we are, please speak out today. As we saw with what played out near Zion, your voice does matter in the protection of our wild places.