Stop Strip Mining at Bryce Canyon National Park

Target: Director of the Bureau of Land Management Bob Abbey

Goal: To block the planned massive coal mining project intended for the outskirts of Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah has been termed both a ‘cave with no ceiling’ and a ‘forest of stone’ for its massive geologic structures unique to the park.  It is a sight to behold that deserves a maximum effort at protection.

Yet the natural wonder of the park is being threatened.  The Bureau of Land Management is on the cusp of approving an enormous 3,500 acre strip coal mine just along the outer border of what is officially deemed park-land.

Should it be allowed, this strip mine would operate twenty-four hours a day, six days a week.  Because of this mine’s location, the entirety of the mine’s pollutive output would flow directly into the park.  The harm this would cause is no different then had they put the mine within actual National Park boundaries.

The Bureau of Land Management’s own study has already identified more than a dozen negative environmental impacts this proposed mine would carry with it.  These include such dangers as air, water, and noise pollution.   Along with that pollution comes threats from loss of wildlife habitat and the risk of solid waste spills.  Most notable for its non-localized impact would be the increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

Allowing plans for this mine to continue would be reckless and set a terrible example, essentially declaring that our National Parks are a series of boundaries and borders to be skirted around instead of natural wonders to be protected and preserved.

This project cannot be allowed to continue.  The 3,500 acre coal mine along Bryce Canyon National Park’s borders must be thwarted before that pristine environment can be harmed.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Director Abbey,

The planned mining project just outside the official boundaries of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah cannot be allowed to come to fruition.  National Parks are treasures to be protected, not simple boundaries to be skirted around.

The harm that would come from the intended 3,500 acre strip coal mine is inexcusable.  Over a dozen different negative environmental impacts have been identified by the Bureau of Land Management itself.  These include harmful pollution in the forms of air, water, and noise.  There is also a concern over the loss of wildlife habitat as well as the dangers from solid waste spills.  These would all be tremendous reasons not to continue with the intended mine project regardless of location.

Unfortunately that aforementioned location is the most compelling factor as to why this project cannot come to pass.  The mine itself may skirt the outer edges of the National Park border, but the resulting pollution will still flow directly into the park itself.

This park holds more than 400 different species within three separate life zones inside the park (based upon elevation).  Most threatened by this project would be the lowest altitude life zone that is dominated by dwarf forests of pinyon pines and scrub-brush.

Three of the native species to this park reside atop the endangered species list as well; the California Condor, Utah Prairie Dog, and Southwestern Willow Flycatcher.

These species and their habitat must be protected.  This means the outlying areas surrounding the National Park, not merely the arbitrary border that denotes official park-land.

I urge you to stop this project and protect our natural wonders before they are forever gone.  End plans for the Bryce Canyon National Park strip coal mine today.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Will Go Here]

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