BLM: Keep Historic Red Bull Rampage Venue Free From Oil & Gas DrillingI am writing to ask you, the Bureau of Land Management, to forego offering oil & gas leasing rights on the Dry Creek area in and around the town of Virgin. The area in question is a piece of mountain bike history, having hosted the legendary Red Bull Rampage contest – known for its gravity-defying runs and jumps – for many years and inviting devoted mountain bikers to the area ever since to challenge themselves on desert terrain that has almost no comparison anywhere else on the planet, seeking to excel in their passion on the same hallowed grounds as their heroes.
With 2 million acres of BLM land already under lease by oil & gas companies in the state of Utah, and drilling of new oil & gas wells hitting a 30-year low in 2016, there is hardly a need to offer up yet more public lands for fossil fuel extraction – least of all public land that’s cherished nationwide for its recreation opportunities. Not to mention that, being less than two miles from Zion National Park, the 4 million annual visitors to the park, and the many townspeople nearby that make their living off the area’s pristine natural resources, would have their experience tarnished by the sight, sound, smells, and pollution of pump jacks and well flares if this area were exploited in the way the BLM proposes. Local residents rightly fear about pollution in the North Creek drainage and its impact on the Virgin River, which supplies loads of communities with fresh water.
There could hardly be a less appropriate venue and time for oil & gas extraction, and as a member of the broader mountain bike community, I ask you to forego the opportunity to lease these parcels of land for fossil fuel infrastructure and respect the land’s current value to its residents, visitors, and those who journey to live out their mountain biking dreams on the land’s incomparable terrain.