By Wild Utah Project,
re-posted with permission
Help us speak out against the Alton coalmine expansion – comment period on EIS ends September 10.
Some bad ideas just don’t go away. In 2011 tens of thousands of Americans sent a clear message to the BLM to “just say no” to a proposed coal lease that will result in strip-mining on the western doorstep of Bryce Canyon National Park. So did the National Park Service. So did the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, who is worried about the impacts mine expansion, and the strip-mining, will have on the beleaguered sage-grouse. You would think the BLM would get the message. Yet here we are, in the summer of 2015, and the BLM has just released a supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) analyzing the potential coal lease at the behest of Alton Coal Development—a small, privately held, out-of-state company. The lease would expand the current, active Coal Hollow mine from private land onto adjacent public land, and either double or triple the mining foot print, depending on which alternative is followed.
The impact of the expansion of coal strip-mining on the local environment would be significant. It would pollute the air, flood Bryce Canyon’s world-famous dark night skies with light, degrade the habitat and health of wildlife such as the imperiled sage grouse, lower water quality, and mar one of the most majestic landscapes in the world. The expanded Coal Hollow strip mine would also allow up to 300 coal trucks to barrel through the historic town of Panguitch each day, threatening shops, restaurants, motels and small businesses that depend on tourists, and putting residents at risk for respiratory health problems related to toxic coal dust. We need your help again to tell the BLM, in no uncertain terms, “just say no!”
Please send a quick email to the BLM at email@example.com telling them why you oppose the expansion strip mining for dirty coal. Feel free to take this action alert to help craft your email. Wild Utah Project’s comments will be heavily focused on sage-grouse, who stand to lose the breeding grounds for the southern-most known greater sage-grouse population in North America (click HERE to see Allison Jones’s editorial the other weekend in the Salt Lake Tribune on this issue). Or, our friends at the Sierra Club have set up a website that helps you very quickly generate comments to the BLM. Thanks for helping us speak out against strip-mining on the doorstep of Bryce NP!
Wild Utah Project
Photo: Yathin S Krishnappa / Wikimedia Commons / “This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.” / A mule deer.