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Our favorite stories about public lands and opportunities for you to get involved in protecting your outdoor experiences.


BLM Finalizes Plans for Managing the Greater Moab Region

Tania Lown-Hecht

Photo credit: Jason Keith

Photo credit: Jason Keith

Today, the Bureau of Land Management announced big news about the future management of the Moab, Utah region.

Over the last few years, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has worked to develop a plan for how to manage the Moab region in Utah. This plan, called a Master Leasing Plan (MLP) outlines how the BLM will manage oil, gas and postash development, while also protecting recreation opportunities on public lands that include two of the nation’s most iconic national parks—Arches and Canyonlands—which attract millions of visitors each year. We’ve written before about the Master Leasing Plan and how pleased we are with how the BLM is taking outdoor recreation and user data into account.

Today, the BLM finalized its Master Leasing Plan for the Moab region. At Outdoor Alliance, we are thrilled to see the Department of Interior and the BLM working to protect Moab’s world-class recreation resources while also planning for responsible energy development. Outdoor recreation in Moab attracts millions of visitors every year, but the incredible mountain biking, climbing, and paddling is also valuable to residents and local businesses.

Outdoor Alliance particularly appreciates the MLP’s more sophisticated acknowledgement of the economic contribution of recreation, which goes beyond tourist spending to include the role protected public lands play in attracting high-skill workers and employers. In fact, the plan indicates that recreation will generate more than twice the economic output of oil and gas development. Recreation is a valuable and quantifiable asset to Grand and San Juan counties, and human-powered recreation will continue to be a key piece of the Moab area’s economic engine over the MLP’s fifteen-year lifespan.

The region is also rich in natural resources, including oil, gas, and potash. The final plan does a great job of balancing energy development and potash mining with the areas robust recreation economy. The Master Leasing Plan has strong support from local businesses in Moab and throughout Utah.

Outdoor recreation, travel, and tourism support 47 percent of all jobs in Grand County, Utah and accounts for more than $200 million in local economic activity – including more than $70 million on BLM lands alone and nearly $150 million from the iconic Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.