Climbing Areas in Utah Still Threatened By Oil and Gas Leases

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Big Bend Boulders, Big Bend Butte, Dolomite Spire, and Lighthouse Tower, all important climbing resources in the Moab area. Photos courtesy of John Evans, Ben Ditto, Kennan Harvey, Steve Bartlett, and Sam Lightner.  Photos courtesy of the AccessFund.org.

Big Bend Boulders, Big Bend Butte, Dolomite Spire, and Lighthouse Tower, all important climbing resources in the Moab area. Photos courtesy of John Evans, Ben Ditto, Kennan Harvey, Steve Bartlett, and Sam Lightner. Photos courtesy of the AccessFund.org.

On November, 25, 2008 the Access Fund sent out an action alert urging opposition to the Bureau of Land Management's proposed oil and gas leases that could impact world-class climbing areas near Moab, Utah. After strong opposition from the National Park Service, members of Congress, and public interest groups, the BLM pulled a number of proposed leases including a few that host climbing along the River Road near Big Bend. See: sltrib.com. However, several climbing areas are still on the auction block and your comments are needed to protect against new roads, large truck traffic, and industrial activity and infrastructure at climbing areas in Tusher Canyon, Courthouse Pasture, and Hell Roaring Canyon north of Moab. Climbs such as Monitor and Merrimac Buttes, Echo Pinnacle, and the Witch and Warlock towers could still be affected by the BLM's oil and gas auction scheduled for December 19. The sample letter in the Access Fund's November 25 action alert (found here: accessfund.org) is still applicable, so please write the BLM and urge the protection of your unique desert climbing experiences.