Originally Posted by dieselcruiserhead
Looking at Kev's map it looks like most are on or north of Cedar Mesa. Then a bunch north of Price (which I'm OK with personally). Oddly even though the article mentions it I don't see Eagle canyon on their graphic.
With gas leases they get sold but I believe something like 80% never get developed. Sort of like buying / purchasing a mining claim. You may or may not ever mine it. And then there are more restrictions on public land on top of that that make it harder to extract versus on private land. This is one more reason why its going off in the Uinta basin versus these areas because its hard and expensive to extract in these areas. Also, a lot of the natural gas in the Uinta Basin is being burned off right now because its too expensive to transport if not on a pipeline. I'd expect the same down there unless there is a pipeline, which I don't think there is. (would love to get Rymans thoughts on this). This means oil only, and I don't think there is a lot of oil down there versus gas.
So my take is this is basically a revenue generator for the state from companies who probably can't turn down the options to buy these leases, but they probably won't develop it and I don't expect it will change much. Maybe I'm wrong about it, but that's my take right now...
Edit: also, I'm pretty moderate and I'm even pro-wilderness in some cases, but that trib article was pretty biased and alarmist in my opinion on the side of the wilderness guys. Just the fact we're having this conversation is an example. Clearly our friends at SUWA got their hooks into him, which is unfortunate. It's also front page news for them today. It's true that these areas in some cases have "wilderness characteristics" (aka beautiful) but that is a pretty diluted term from them. The whole swell got completely carved up, worse than anything we've seen, in the 50's looking for uranium. Technically that violates the concept of wilderness because wilderness area are "untouched areas worthy of preserving" and it also shows how quickly and easily the desert heals itself up. Most of what we are riding are old exploratory and mining routes in these areas. Even in cases where its single track...
The negative side effect to off road users when this stuff happens, is that it puts some great riding areas onto SUWA's radar. SUWA wont be able to stop much of the big money energy companies, but it will draw them to the area, and when they see our single track trails they will switch to restricting off road use in the area so that they feel like at least they were able to do/save something.