The Sun Advocate recently ran a letter that re-enforced what many of us who work in Nine Mile Canyon have known for decades; that resource extraction and protection of artifacts can co-exist. We are fortunate to have the Hunt Ranch in the canyon. Their commitment to its heritage is a great community asset.
Since we're talking about commitments to the canyon, how about recognizing Bill Barrett Corporation for BBC's stewardship and contributions to our area as well? After all, no other entity, whether it be federal, state, otherwise public or private have done anywhere near the work and investment to protect and even improve upon the condition of Nine Mile as has BBC. As a community partner, it's hard to attend a non-profit function without finding that BBC's support helped make it possible.
As pointed out by the University of Utah (see www.tavaputs.com and "Community and Economic Impacts"), "Bill Barrett Corporation has brought renewed development activity to this area and started to reverse the overall gas production declines."
Why is this important? Royalties from federal minerals brought in nearly $14 million for Carbon and Emery Counties in 2006, and oil and gas property tax brought in another $10 million more. Energy companies are the top 10 tax payers in our county, meaning higher services and lower property taxes for the rest of us.
If you take the time to read the entire U of U study, you might find it frightening to think of the future ahead of us in Carbon County without the prospect of BBC's continued responsible development of natural gas resources atop the Tavaputs Plateau.
Sadly, the action, or rather inaction, from our country's current administration may make that dire prospect a reality sooner than any of us would have thought a year ago.