Groups protest sale of drilling rights in Utah archaeological areas

18 Dec 2014 12:10 PM | Anonymous

Groups protest sale of drilling rights in Utah archaeological areas

First Published Dec 17 2014 12:18PM       Last Updated Dec 17 2014 10:26 pm

With the Bureau of Land Management poised to offer new oil and gas leases in the heart of southeast Utah’s archaeological stronghold, various groups are demanding the agency reconsider 10 parcels slated for auction in February because it has not adequately documented cultural resources on them.

"These parcels are located amidst one of the densest concentrations of cultural resources in Utah, if not the American Southwest. These cultural resources are sacred to several Native American tribes, including the Hopi," wrote Amy Cole, of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in a protest to the BLM.

Friends of Cedar Mesa and the National Parks Conservation Association joined the protest, asking BLM state director Juan Palma to "defer" leasing decisions on parcels covering 11,027 acres mostly in and around Montezuma Canyon.
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