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US Government backs off drilling near national parks


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:) On a slightly more positive note than this earlier thread

From: The Times of India - 26 November 2008

Drilling leases on and near the border of Utah's scenic national parks have been pulled from an auction block. The US Bureau of Land Management announced its decision late Tuesday after negotiations with National Park Service officials who objected to noise, lights and air pollution near Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument and Canyonlands National Park, all in Utah. Some of those parcels were within 1.3 miles (2.1kms) of Delicate Arch, a freestanding span of 33 feet (10 meters) that is the signature landmark at Arches near Moab, Utah. Hundreds of thousands of acres (hectares) throughout Utah will still be auctioned off Dec. 19 for oil and gas drilling.

In all, the Park Service objected to 93 parcels where drilling could drown out the sounds of wind, water and wildlife for visitors, possibly contaminate nearby springs and worsen ozone levels, Mike Snyder, the Denver-based regional Park Service director, wrote Monday in a protest letter to the bureau. BLM maps showed the agency will remove 34 parcels from the December auction, including those bunched along park boundaries. That was little more than a third of what the Park Service wanted eliminated. Snyder, however, showed no disappointment. ``Working with Selma Sierra, the BLM Utah state director, has resulted in the kind of resource protection that Americans want and deserve for their national parks,'' he said in a joint statement.

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Read Full Article: Government backs off drilling near national parks | Flora & Fauna | Earth | The Times of India

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