Update: Utah Lands Protected by Omnibus Public Land Package 2009

Posted on March 31, 2009


March 2009 Update on the December 2008 post.

Tim DeChristopher’s actions and the actions of others have paid off. Some of the land is now protected. See below for more information. Also there is a bill going through Congress now, America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, that will protect even more land. If you’ve got the time to write your congressional rep.s and help get the ball rolling — please do!
More information at http://www.suwa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=work_arwa

You can contact your representatives from this website. Go to the ACTIVATE GOVERMENT PAGE AT THE TOP OF THIS SITE.

March 30, 2009
Omnibus Public Land Package of 2009 Signed by President Obama

180,000 acres of the Zion-Mojave region’s unique landscape — including Canaan Mountain, Black Ridge, Beaver Dam Wash, and Doc’s Pass are now protected.

Bill passes to punish fake bids at land auctions

Tim DeChristopher’s website
Information about parcels http://www.bidder70.org/topics/view/16747/

Feb. 5, 2009
Interior Dept. Cancels Utah Wilderness Selloff
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has canceled a controversial last-minute Bush administration attempt to auction off nearly 150,000 acres of wilderness in southern Utah. On Wednesday, Salazar said he had canceled the leases to drill for gas and oil on the seventy-seven parcels of public land. The sale was initially delayed after university student Tim DeChristopher posed as a bidder and bought up thousands of acres.

MORE FROM—Salt Lake Tribune *Download Article pdf
The parcels were included in a sale of oil and gas leases held by the Bureau of Land Management in December. The sale was disrupted when monkey-wrencher Tim DeChristopher, a University of Utah student, successfully bid on a number of the leases he had no intention of buying. Ruling in a lawsuit filed against the sale, a federal judge ordered the leases put on hold until after Obama’s inauguration.

More: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/2/5/utah_student_who_thwarted_auction_of

More Information

LA Times Article

By the time BLM officials caught on, DeChristopher had bid $1.79 million he did not have to acquire the rights to 12 parcels totaling 22,000 acres.

The land in question is rich in oil and gas. The land is also near some of Utah’s most popular and scenic parks, such as Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dinosaur National Monument. DeChristopher bid on 22,000 acres of land. The cost: $1.7 million dollars. The good news: He only had to come up with $45,000 as a downpayment by December 29th. The Better News: He set up a website and successfully raised the amount that was needed.

The auction was engineered in the 11th hour to take place towards the end of the Bush Administration’s time in office. The land in question lies on the Colorado River. While this land is rich in oil and gas, extracting those reserves is very water-intensive. The water that would be used would come from the Colorado River.

Read more: “College Student Puts Down Payment On Public Land: Tim DeChristopher “Monkey Wrenches” Oil and Gas Land Sale” – http://americanaffairs.suite101.com/article.cfm/college_student_puts_down_payment_on_public_land#ixzz0BM2g6TR0

BLM Pulls Drilling Leases from Utah Wilderness


UP NEXT: America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act
America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act seeks to serve the public interest by permanently protecting more than 9 million acres of wilderness-quality land in Utah.