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Conservationists rip large USBLM O&G lease sale in Utah; some parcels near NPs and NMons

The Trump administration’s “energy dominance” agenda reasserted itself in Utah on Tuesday with yet another near-record oil and gas lease auction that offered 154,000 acres to the highest bidder, drawing jeers from environmentalists who contend the Bureau of Land Management is sacrificing the state’s natural heritage.

“This enormous sell-off of public lands has opened the door to destructive oil and gas development on and near some of Utah’s most remarkable public lands, including Canyonlands National Park, Bears Ears, Hovenweep and Dinosaur national monuments, culturally rich areas such as Alkali Ridge, the Molen Reef region of the San Rafael Swell, Nine Mile Canyon,” Landon Newell, a staff attorney with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, told activists gathered inside the Utah Capitol. Other lands have strong wilderness characteristics and contain important wildlife habitat.

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