Oil Company Gets Its Wish and Will Begin Seismic Activity on Proposed Wilderness

A federal judge Thursday denied a motion by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance to temporarily halt seismic activity on proposed wilderness near Canyonlands National Park.

After a four-hour hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Bruce Jenkins ruled SUWA failed to show that the Intrepid Oil and Gas Co. exploration project would irreparably harm the environment and denied SUWA's motion for injunctive relief.

SUWA attorneys argued that the Bureau of Land Management failed to adequately consider environmental impacts and alternatives to Intrepid's plan to run 50,000 pound "vibroseis" buggies in a grid pattern over a 36-square mile area north of the national park.

"The future is bleak for these and other special places in Utah," said SUWA attorney Steve Bloch following the decision. "As long as the BLM and extractive industries are in bed together, no landscape…no matter how spectacular…is safe from needless destruction."

The ruling opens the door for Veritas DGL Inc., contracted by Intrepid, to begin seismic activity as early as September 1. Buggies will traverse state route 313, a proposed "scenic byway" and the main entry into Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonland's Island in the Sky area.

 

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