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U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced today that the department is cancelling 77 oil and gas leases in Utah issued in the final days of the Bush Administration. The decision means that more than 100,000 acres of pristine Utah wild lands and iconic recreation destinations will be protected from oil and gas drilling.
The lands that will be protected are near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Dinosaur National Monument, and Nine Mile Canyon include lands that contain iconic hiking, paddling and camping destinations and trails to the nation’s greatest density of ancient rock art.
Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) joined other groups in protesting both the lease sales and the final Resource Management Plans (RMPs) under which the leases were issued.
â€œSecretary Salazar’s bold action and leadership shows that this new Administration will work to restore the appropriate balance between energy extraction and protecting lands for recreation. These areas, specifically, along the Green River attract thousands of hikers, paddlers and other visitors every year and support a thriving business for outfitters and local communities,â€ said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of OIA.
OIA applauds today’s decision and supports challenges to the Resource Management Plans (RMPs) that remain in place in Utah. In protesting the plans, OIA argued and remains adamant that the plans fail to properly address the protection of human-powered recreation destinations and to limit damage from offroad vehicle use. The six RMPs were completed during the Bush administration and have serious consequences for 7 million acres of public lands.
About Outdoor Industry Association
Outdoor Industry AssociationÂ® (OIA) is a national trade association whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of the outdoor industry. OIA provides trade services for over 4000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives and retailers in the outdoor industry. OIA programs include representation in government/legislative affairs, market and social research, business-to-business services and youth outreach initiatives. Educational events include the annual Rendezvous, Outdoor University, and the Capitol Summit. Outdoor Industry Association is based in Boulder, Colorado, and is the title sponsor of the Outdoor Retailer tradeshows. For more information go to www.outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.