Long Term Plan For Public Lands Promoted by Moab Businesses

Molar Rock, Canyonlands National Park(Moab Utah)- Several business owners in the Moab area are calling on the Bureau of Land Management to balance oil and gas development with tourism and recreation, as the agency puts together its long-term plan for public lands in the region. Kirstin Peterson, co-owner of Rim Mountain Bike Tours and a Moab City Council member, is among a coalition of about 50 business owners that sent a letter to the B-L-M this week. She says it asks that the agency’s Master Leasing Plan determine oil and gas development and potash mining in a way that aims to protect the regional recreation economy.

Peterson 1 :11 “There’s vast tracks of land that right now are not being used to further the recreation economy. There’s definitely plenty of areas that we feel could remain opened to mineral extraction.”

The Master Leasing Plans encourage energy development in lower-conflict areas while protecting recreation and tourism sites. Peterson says that tourism to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, as well as to other local attractions, add millions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the local economy.

Peterson 2 :15 “The primary driving force behind our sales tax is visitors and tourists. And people that are here to visit our national parks, to recreate on our public lands, and to just enjoy a really world-class asset that we have here.”

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has praised the Master Leasing Plan idea. She has said the plans minimize conflict and help businesses drive a more predictable return on investment.



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