Letter to the Editor: Rejoicing
Last week the BLM made the great decision not to lease 80,000 acres of wild lands in the San Rafael Swell for oil and gas drilling. Some may disagree, because they believe drilling is an economic driver, but in my view this is short sighted.
Like many others, I've been visiting the Swell for over 20 years exploring the redrock wilderness, spectacular canyons and ancient ruins of southern Utah. Last year I bought a 1902 fixer upper house in Emery because of its proximity to the Swell.
As our planet's population ever increases, pristine and special landscapes such as the Swell will become rarer and more sought after by people seeking beauty and solitude.
Protecting scenic landscapes is the basis for a long term, stable, sustainable, economic base. It may be hard to see from a close-up, short lens view, but the unique qualities of the Swell need protection. Those who think oil and gas development can be done without real damage need to take a look at existing areas of development.
The desert is fragile, and once scarred with drill pads and roads, it remains that way for decades. This lover of that beautiful landscape is rejoicing right now.