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Oil and gas drilling could spoil the Moab Slickrock cycling trail

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has proposed leasing two-thirds of Slickrock for oil and gas drilling, even though it has very low potential to produce.

The world-famous, nearly 11 mile-long, mountain-biking Slickrock trail near Moab, Utah, takes e-bike and non-e-bike riders over stunning petrified sand dunes and sea bed remnants.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

Under a plan to be opened for public comment on February 20, the agency would auction two parcels on Sand Flats, one of which is barely a mile form Arches National Park, and five others in Grand County.

The June offerings are puny, covering about 5,000 acres. Yet they will likely court controversy — as was the case a few years ago, when the BLM proposed offering parcels for leasing near Zion National Park. It withdrew those patches after taking heat from Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Washington County leaders.

Puny or not, the fact that the BLM would even propose this is ludicrous. Oil prices are down because there is a strong supply of oil — Donald Trump likes to announce that on a regular basis at his rallies — so why would you destroy any of the unique natural beauty in this gorgeous part of Utah that so many e-bike and non-e-bike enthusiasts enjoy?

The Slickrock Trail celebrated its 50th anniversary in September 2019.

To really get a sense of the beauty of the Slickrock trail, and what’s at stake for drilling for a fossil fuel that no one needs, watch this video:

Photo: Moab Sun News

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.