Final Moab Master Leasing Plan Brings Balanced Oil and Gas Development to Southeastern Utah

by | Jul 20, 2016 | Master Leasing Plans, MLP-Moab

Collaborative effort leads to protections for regional the economy and certainty to oil and gas developers

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced today the Final Moab Master Leasing Plan that will bring balanced zoning for oil, gas and potash development in and around the Moab area, including the federal lands between Arches and Canyonlands national parks. Master leasing plans are the BLM’s most effective tool to keep up with our changing and growing economy. Because they are prepared with local communities, stakeholders and businesses, they represent a shared, collaborative vision for how our public lands should be managed. This breakthrough leasing plan for the Moab area is the result of years of cooperation between a wide range of local and regional stakeholders, the Department of the Interior (DOI), and state and local officials.

The Moab Master Leasing Plan “takes a landscape-level approach to balancing the protection of the iconic scenery in and around Moab and access to the rich energy resources found there,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. “As the first Master Leasing Plan in Utah, the collaborative process that led to the proposed plan should serve as a model for how communities can work together to balance development with the protection of world-class environmental, cultural and recreational resources.”

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The Moab MLP has been touted as the blueprint for stakeholder engagement during the years-long planning process. Participants in the Moab MLP came from a wide range of interests for stakeholder meetings to discuss their land use priorities, including representatives from the recreation community, industries such as oil and gas and potash, local elected officials, environmental groups, and more. Together, local and regional stakeholders crafted a plan that will contribute to the economic prosperity of southeastern Utah for years to come. The result is a balanced plan that protects recreation opportunities and cultural resources while also allowing for resource extraction where appropriate.

“Public lands are immensely important to the Moab outdoor recreation economy,” said Ashley Korenblat from Public Land Solutions, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing comprehensive recreation planning and stakeholder coordination to support effective and sustainable public land solutions. “Our city welcomes visitors from around the world that come here to raft, jeep, hike, bike and climb among the amazing landscapes. We appreciate the UT BLM being a good neighbor and working with local stakeholders to move forward with the master leasing plan. This effort is a model for the nation.”

By identifying the right places to develop and balancing future development with the needs of the local community, the Moab Master Leasing Plan will ensure that our lands are working for the benefit the local economy, western families and our communities. The Moab MLP will also help energy companies by identifying and resolving conflicts at the outset, helping to avoid lengthy delays on the back-end. This smart-from-the-start approach provides needed certainty not only for the energy industry, but for all users of our public lands. “Balance is essential,” said BLM Director Neil Kornze. “In this plan we make sure that southern Utah’s energy resources can be responsibly accessed while also ensuring that Moab’s recreation economy can continue to flourish.”

Copies of the Final EIS are available online and will ultimately be available at the BLM Utah State Office in Salt Lake City, the Canyon Country District Office in Moab, and the Monticello Field Office in Monticello.

 

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