The Salt Lake Tribune

Historic preservationists are fighting a decision by the Bureau of Land Management to issue new leases in southeast Utah for oil and gas — including, they say, a wealth of archaeological treasures embedded in the landscapes around Recapture and Montezuma canyons and Alkali Ridge.

None of the controversial public lands set for leasing are in or near the former boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument, but all are close enough to Hovenweep and Canyon of the Ancients national monuments that the U.S. National Park Service asked its sister agency to pull some parcels off the block.

At the BLM’s quarterly online auction Tuesday, the federal agency plans to seek bids on 29 of the 32 parcels— covering 40,897 acres— nominated by industry officials for leasing in San Juan and Grand counties.

Three years ago, the BLM planned to lease lands in the same area, but changed course after it was advised that leasing would result in “adverse effects” to historic properties it is obligated to safeguard…Read More at

The Salt Lake Tribune