Images from
Nine Mile Canyon

Home > Alerts, Successes, and Endangered Rock Art > Action Alerts > 9 Mile Canyon News

Following links are to some news stories which are of interest. This page will sometimes be more up to date than that of the Nine Mile Canyon Coalition, sometimes less up to date, so you should also check their web site.
Click and choose "Alerts" from the right end of their menu bar at the top.

*** Nine Mile Canyon has been nominated to the Historic Register

*** On occasion of a signing ceremony for a partial agreement with some potential, here are some

*** Talking Points from the Nine Mile Canyon Coalition,
*** This may become an opportunity for additional pressure, etc.

*** Here are three recent articles in the Salt Lake Tribune.

2009 February 4
BIG NEWS!!!  Oil & Gas Leases in 9 Mile Pulled by Interior Secretary

This message is brought to you by the Nine Mile Canyon Coalition, PO Box
402, Price, UT 84501

Greetings, Nine Mile Canyon Enthusiasts:

Today was a GREAT DAY for Nine Mile Canyon and other special places in 
Utah.  Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that the government is 
dropping the lease of 77 parcels of federal land that were offered at 
a BLM-administered oil & gas lease sale on December 19th.  Some of 
those leases were located in and around Nine Mile Canyon.  While this 
does not affect the current industrial activity or mode of operation 
in Nine Mile Canyon, there is hope that the new Administration will 
move soon to protect the Canyon's unique and irreplaceable cultural 
treasures and landscapes.

The Nine Mile Canyon Coalition thanks Secretary Salazar and President 
Obama for this important decision regarding our public lands. It's 
great to know that Nine Mile Canyon's plight is in the new 
Administration's sight and conscience.

A Google search on the terms "secretary Salazar 77 oil" will return 
hundreds of media, press and web coverage links regarding the 




2009 January 21
"Judge blocks disputed BLM Utah oil, gas leases"
Weekend ruling - BLM failed to consider damage before selling them, 
judge says.
by Patty Henetz, The Salt Lake Tribune - 21 January, 2009


Here are a few older links:

"Drilling Leases Scrapped in Utah" by Leslie Kaufman  02/04/2009

Associated Press (AP):
"Salazar scraps sale of oil-and-gas leases in Utah" by Paul Foy  02/04/2009

KSL TV - Salt Lake City:
"BLM cancels 77 oil and gas leases in Utah" by Whit Johnson and AP  02/04/2009

THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE Editorial  02/04/2009:
"Undoing damage"

"Interior Secretary cancels energy lease sale" by Joi O'Donoghue,5143,705282698,00.html

"Bush-era energy drilling leases in Utah canceled"

"Nine Mile Canyon: Fall 2008 Update" by Troy Scotter, URARA Past President

La Pintura vol.34 no.6 December 2008 pp.12-14

Links from Nine Mile Canyon Coalition, 3 June 2008 and 4 June 2008

This morning (June 4, 2008) the Salt Lake Tribune's Editorial Board features yet another editorial in favor of our position regarding the West Tavaputs Draft Environmental Impact Statement.  It can be found 
at the following link:


Nine Mile Canyon issues were receiving widespread attention in 2008.  
Here are more links (thanks to Robert Mark) and articles released by major newspapers.
Not all links here may still be accessible.

Who Owns the West? Oil and Gas Leases. For a map of Utah.

A letter from the chair of the National Resources Defense Council at election time will be here.

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance --

BLM leases planned for 19 December near Arches, Canyonlands National Parks and Dinosaur National Monument and more
News release from 30 October is here
Opportunities greater after the election, here.
Action alert on the same 10 November is here.
Salt Lake City Tribune article 11 November on plans to drill in people's back yards (mineral rights trump surface rights) are here.
Obama positioned to reverse Bush actions (Washington Post 9 November) is here.
Arizona paper Nov.15 picked up Nov.14 editorial from Washington Post, here.

6 October 2008 Salt Lake Tribute editorial against truck traffic in Nine Mile Canyon here.
2 October 2008 Deseret Morning News on a preservation panel to weigh in here.

Las Vegas Sun Editorial "Protecting Ancient Heritage"  May 31, 2008

Deseret News Article "Canyon Oversight Questioned"  June 2, 2008,5143,700231011,00.html

Deseret News Editorial "Preserve the Petroglyph"  June 3, 2008,5143,700231226,00.html

The public comment period ended on May 1st, 2008, but the Nine Mile 
Canyon Coalition urges you to respond to these articles by writing to 
your Senators and Representatives, and submitting letters to the 
editor of your local newpapers.  Together, we can continue to pressure 
the BLM and energy industry to develop energy resources around Nine 
Mile Canyon in a responsible and non-destructive manner.

From Science magazine (AAAS) -- free if you are a member with subscription, Jan. 2008

Hats off to EPA: Nine Mile Canyon rightly gets reprieve

Tribune Editorial 06/03/2008


Our hats are off to the Environmental Protection Agency for issuing what amounts to a reprieve of sorts for the priceless archaeological treasures in Nine Mile Canyon.
    Without the EPA putting the brakes on expansion of natural gas drilling, the more than 10,000 petroglyphs and ruins in the canyon were headed for almost certain irreparable damage or destruction from dust and chemicals kicked up by trucks and machinery.
    Taking an action that is rare for the drilling-friendly Bush administration, the EPA - essentially doing its job - last week put a stop to further energy development on the West Tavaputs Plateau, which includes the canyon, until a more accurate environmental impact study is completed.
    The Bureau of Land Management's study of the Bill Barrett Corp. project's effect on air quality is inadequate, the EPA ruled. Specifically, the agency took exception to the study's finding that the drilling of hundreds of new wells would cause only very small increases in ground-level ozone. That finding "is not technically defensible," the EPA wrote.
    About 100 wells exist now on the plateau, requiring big rigs to make hundreds of trips up and down the narrow dirt road through the canyon. The dust and corrosive chemicals used to keep it under control are damaging the ancient Puebloan rock art.
    Barrett's plan to drill more than 800 additional wells on 138,000 acres, and increase the canyon traffic accordingly, would almost certainly doom the irreplaceable cultural treasures.
    Daniel B. Kuhn, a freight planner for the Utah Department of Transportation, prepared a report in 2006 on highway freight traffic associated with development of oil and gas wells in the Uinta Basin. Kuhn warned that construction and drilling, as well as maintenance and removal of drill rigs, create a need for hundreds to more than a thousand trips a day, involving large semi-trailer trucks, longer combination vehicles and oversize load-carrying trucks.
    Kuhn estimates that between 375 and 1,375 truckloads of material, supplies and equipment are needed to establish each new well.
    The gravel road through Nine Mile Canyon was not built for that kind of traffic, and the fragile rock art cannot survive the dust and chemical clouds it creates. The EPA must continue to monitor this project, protect the sites and refuse to knuckle under to the pressure of big developers.