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Protection for Desolation Canyon

Desolation Canyon Green RiverEvery year, thousands of people travel to Utah’s Green River for White Water Rafting.  Desolation Canyon is the most remote and pristine of all the stretches that get rafted along the Green River.  Recently, the push to find more domestic sources of oil and natural gas have lead to proposals to drill wells in and around Desolation Canyon.

For those of us who have spent a great deal of our life in this beautiful canyon, the idea of drilling a well there seems ludicrous.  My first thought was that the wells would be somewhere close to the canyon but surely would not be in the canyon.  The fact is that the current proposal being championed by the drilling company and by the Bureau of Land Management places drilling rigs where they could be seen and heard from the river.  There are alternative plans that would place the wells farther away and the drilling would take place at an angle.  Hopefully, wise heads will prevail and we won’t be seeing the wells from the river.

Also recently, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar announced the protection of some of the last areas around the country that are eligible for wilderness designation.  One of these areas is the Upper Desolation Canyon area.  Hopefully this added layer of protection will help sway an appropriate decision.

Brian Merrill

Brian started his river career in 1984 and thought it would be a good summer job while in college. Along the way, he met his wife Dena, who also worked as a guide, tried a different career for a while, but came back to the river. His two older children have worked as river guides and his youngest is waiting his turn. Brian now serves as President and CEO of Western and is grateful, every day, for the wonderful people with whom he gets to work.

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