First let me express my admiration for those individuals that feel strongly about preserving the integrity of Nine-Mile Canyon! In fact, I count myself as one of those individuals.
Next let's set the record straight.
In reference to the letters to the editor by Mr. Eric Mainord (Letters to the editor, Jan. 19, 2010, Sun Advocate) and Ms. Tanner's (Letters to the editor, Feb, 2, 2010, Sun Advocate) reply, the alternate route Mr. Mainord alluded to was the East Carbon-Water Canyon-Dry Canyon alternative.
This alternative would destroy a great many acres of mountain property and could injure or perhaps kill numerous individuals attempting that route in the winter time.
The other misconception is that oil and gas wells are to be drilled in the canyon bottom. While there are two old active wells in the canyon bottom, the new wells are to be drilled on the plateau top not in the canyon.
Second, while the price of natural gas is low, the majority of natural resource companies are actively drilling on state and private land and would be expanding their operations in West Tavaputs if the EIS were approved. Remember that during the energy boom of the 80s; natural gas was less than $1 per thousand cubic feet. The current price is still very profitable if drilling were allowed.
Third, does anyone in Carbon County honestly want the primary and only route to Nine Mile and West Tavaputs to be Gate Canyon from Myton in Duchesne County? Carbon County would not derive any economic gain from the development of these resources other than their percentage of royalties paid to the state.
Finally, I would like to address the most disturbing aspect of the recent mud slinging relative to Nine Mile. Doesn't anyone remember the terrible road conditions of the Nine-Mile Canyon road prior to recent oil and gas development? BBC and Carbon County Road Department have made a miserable dusty two track into a really good two-lane gravel road. Even 10 years ago, few people dared to venture up to the Cottonwood Canyon Great Hunt Panel in a two-wheel drive sedan. Now people from all walks of life from all over the world have an opportunity to visit this unique canyon.
I sincerely believe that all the residents of Carbon and Emery County owe a debt of gratitude to the individuals with Bill Barrett Corporation who have worked diligently to develop this area's resources while improving the quality of life for all of us. BBC supports almost every venue in our area, from little league baseball to the Helper Arts Festival.
I believe it's time for all of us to show gratitude to BBC for what they do in our area.