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Government Takes a Small Step in the Right Direction



October 09, 2009 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: UNG 

The Review Team looked at 15 leases totaling approximately 12,760 acres; 1,700 of these are private surface;

the 15 leases are in a total of 30 pieces. Two leases north of Nine Mile Creek are on land managed by the

Vernal Field Office; the remaining leases are within the Price Field Office. This group of leases can be

divided into three physiographic expressions. Those leases north of Nine Mile Creek are in the arid uplands

of this canyon just upstream from its confluence with the Green River; vegetation is sparse and views of the

eroded landscape are vast. The leases immediately south of Nine Mile Creek are in similarly eroded

landscapes, but the north-facing slopes on one side of Horse Bench and the steep south-facing ravines leading

into the Green River on the other side make for a landscape considerably more covered with piñon and

juniper. The southern leases are on predominantly sage- and grass-covered mesa fingers of the Tavaputs

Plateau. The northern leases are within a Special Recreation Management Area, an Area of Critical

Environmental Concern, or both. Several of the leases are contiguous with either the Desolation Canyon or

Jack Canyon Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs). Most of the leases are within areas proposed in the

“America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act” that the BLM found to have wilderness characteristics and chose not

to protect. Much of the surrounding area (including both WSAs) has authorized or State mineral leases, and

there is a narrow band of development trending northwest/southeast through the middle of this group.

John Wesley Powell names Desolation Canyon. (Thank you to Project Gutenberg and Google Books.

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