With leases being sold for gas and oil exploration and development on public lands, it seemed that author Edward Abbey saw it all coming. In his 1968 book “Desert Solitaire,” he wrote:
“Until a few years ago, a simple, quiet, primitive place on the shores of the Colorado, Lee’s Ferry has now fallen under the protection of the Park Service. And who can protect it from the Park Service?”
Of course when he wrote this, he was railing against what he termed “industrial tourism” and infrastructure development at national parks and forests. But it rings very relevant with the public lands sell-off taking place under William Perry Pendley, who, unfortunately, was reappointed by the interior secretary on Sept. 30 to oversee the Bureau of Land Management.
In my state (Nevada) alone, 140,371 public land acres were leased to oil/gas companies from January-April 2017, according to a report by The Wilderness Society. Another 550,000 acres will be up for auction for oil and gas exploration on Nov. 12.