In the News

Several articles have recently been published in major Salt Lake City newspapers regarding the natural gas industry in Nine Mile Canyon. Here are links to some of those articles:

Oct 06, 2008

The Salt Lake Tribune:
Editorial: "Whoa!: Put brakes on Nine Mile Canyon truck traffic."
06 October 2008
http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_10650599

Deseret News:
Preservation panel to weigh in on gas drilling near Nine Mile Canyon
02 October 2008
http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700263424,00.html

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In the News

Several articles have recently been published in major Salt Lake City newspapers regarding the natural gas industry in Nine Mile Canyon. Here are links to some of those articles:

Oct 01, 2008

The Salt Lake Tribune:
Nine Mile Canyon: Oil Drilling hits Preservation Snag
01 October 2008
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_10604810

Deseret News:
New Study Offers 'win-win' for Nine Mile
30 September 2008
http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700262855,00.html

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In the News

Several articles have recently been published in major Salt Lake City newspapers regarding the natural gas industry in Nine Mile Canyon. Here are links to some of those articles:

Sep 19, 2008

The Salt Lake Tribune:
Natural gas 'Catch 22: Prices will fall for most, but Utahns will pay more
18 September 2008
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_10494342?IADID=Search-www.sltrib.com-www.sltrib.com

Deseret News:
Energy firm cites benefits of drilling plan in Carbon, But critics say project endangers Utah rock art
10 September 2008
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700257559,00.html

Deseret News:
Canyon watchdogs defend art and air
18 September 2008
http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700259785,00.html

Deseret News:
Lawmakers support Tavaputs drilling project
18 September 2008
http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700259765,00.html

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Action Alert

Coalition Files Complaint in Federal Court

Aug 09, 2008

We wanted to let you know that the Nine Mile Canyon Coalition (Coalition) has recently joined the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) and The Wilderness Society (TWS) in a complaint filed against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in federal district court in Salt Lake City. The lawsuit is narrowly focused on a particular issue of concern. That issue is the Price BLM Field Office's approval of 25 new gas wells for Bill Barrett Corporation on the West Tavaputs Plateau using categorical exclusions (CX) under a loophole in Section 390 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Although these wells are not in Nine Mile Canyon, activities related to exploiting the wells will affect the cultural resources in the canyon through increased heavy vehicle traffic and other activities related to developing and exploiting the wells. The National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act require BLM to analyze the full range of environmental impacts caused by the natural gas drilling and development before it gives the green light to new activities. By approving these activities under the CX loophole, BLM is not considering these potentially significant impacts.

As a group dedicated to historic preservation in Nine Mile Canyon, it has consistently been the practice of the Coalition to seek cooperation with the BLM rather than consider litigation and that is what was done in this circumstance as well. After realizing how the CX process was being utilized, the Coalition and others held several unproductive meetings with Price BLM and state office staff and ultimately submitted to the BLM a Request for State Director Review, which is available under the federal administrative process. We wanted the Utah BLM State Director to review the propriety of the CX approval process which ignores its required prior review of impacts to rock art and other cultural sites in an area where BLM has already acknowledge the potential for significant impacts. It acknowledged this in its recent draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the West Tavaputs Plateau. Despite our efforts, the Utah BLM State Director denied our request for review, leaving us little other option than a lawsuit to obtain a review of the CX process which, we believe, has great potential for causing further significant harmful impacts to invaluable rock art and other irreplaceable resources in Nine Mile Canyon.

We decided to work with SUWA and TWS because they share our concern for the approval of wells under CXs and the potential for harmful impacts. They shared in our Request for State Director Review and will carry much of the litigation burden in the lawsuit.

Also, we want to reiterate that the Coalition is not against drilling. The lawsuit focuses on the BLM's responsibility to consider potentially significant impacts on the resources of Nine Mile Canyon. While participation in the lawsuit is not something we wished for, the CX process appears to be too important an issue for the future of the canyon to simply let pass without a further attempt to resolve.

The Nine Mile Canyon Coalition exists to preserve and protect Nine Mile Canyon, in partnership with land holders, user groups, federal, state and local agencies, and Native American organizations. To that end, the Nine Mile Canyon Coalition will foster educational and interpretive programs which include but are not limited to: assisting in the coordination of canyon interests; promoting programs of scientific research in the canyon; helping with inventory of cultural and natural resources; raising funds, from earnings or gifts, for research, education, interpretive or preservation programs, as such funds become available.

Questions??? Contact us at 9mcc@xmission.com

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Contact Us

Mailing Address:
PO Box 402
Price, Utah 84501
Email Address:
Nine Mile Canyon Coalition Board Chair
Dr. Deanne Matheny