Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Fight brewing over proposed oil drilling in Washington County

Conservation groups are rallying supporters to fight a proposed oil and gas lease sale on public lands that could come within just two miles of Zion National Park.

The Bureau of Land Management released this week an environmental assessment of three parcels nominated as potential leasing sites within Washington County, including two that would be well within view of the popular park if they’re actually developed.

The two parcels in question straddle the North Creek drainage area just west of the national park boundaries, north of Virgin and other tourism-heavy towns along state Route 9. A third parcel is also under consideration about 10 miles to the northwest, along Interstate 15 just north of the Toquerville interchange. Combined, they cover 4,730 acres of land administered by the BLM's St. George Field Office. The Spectrum