UN SDG #15 Life on Land UN SDG #15

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Canyonlands National Park threatened by oil and gas development

Recent advances in drilling technology have brought renewed industry attention to aging oil and gas fields in southern Utah. Lease sales, drilling, light and air pollution, industrial traffic and climate change all pose real threats to the parks and visitor experience of this one-of-a-kind landscape found nowhere else on earth.

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Canyonlands National Park threatened by oil and gas development

Recent advances in drilling technology have brought renewed industry attention to aging oil and gas fields in southern Utah. Lease sales, drilling, light and air pollution, industrial traffic and climate change all pose real threats to the parks and visitor experience of this one-of-a-kind landscape found nowhere else on earth.
3.5M
people impacted
$44.7B
potential funding
the problem
Nature and Context

Preserving an immense desert wilderness sculpted by the Green and Colorado Rivers, Canyonlands National Park features hundreds of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches and spires. This landscape draws visitors from across the world to hike among the breathtaking rock formations. This administration halted an ongoing, stakeholder-driven process to create a Master Leasing Plan in the San Rafael Desert covering over 500,000 acres north of Canyonlands and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. This effort would have provided protections to the Horseshoe Canyon unit of Canyonlands, which contains some of the oldest and most important rock art in North America. The plan also would have protected the Orange Cliffs of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and sections of the Colorado River. Without a Master Leasing Plan, this land is now available for oil and gas leasing.

Symptoms and Causes
the impact
Negative Effects
Economic Impact

Canyonlands and nearby Arches National Park have turned the neighboring city of Moab into a thriving destination hub for tourists. Combined, these parks welcomed more than 2.4 million visitors in 2018 who spent $246 million in nearby communities, supported 3,725 local jobs and produced $317 million in cumulative benefit to the local economy.

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