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BLM pulls controversial San Rafael Swell parcels

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Bureau of Land Management in Utah announced Friday it was pulling nearly 100,000 acres of land off the table for potential oil and gas development, much to the relief of conservation groups and the ire of Utah’s Republican congressmen.

As a result of the action, groups such as the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance are withdrawing their protest that was filed over the Nov. 19 auction, which proposed to offer tracts of land in the San Rafael Swell at the oil and gas lease sale. The acreage that will be offered to industry has now been reduced to 44,021 acres.

“This is wonderful news for Utah’s outdoor industry,” said Peter Metcalf, CEO and president of Black Diamond Inc., a Utah-based manufacturer of outdoor equipment. “This decision makes good sense.” (…)

Read more at the Deseret News