Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bryce Canyon's Clear Air—Threatened

         Would you like to travel to Bryce Canyon National Park and see those impossibly blue skies—featured in last week’s post—for yourself?  If so, you had better visit soon because Bryce’s azure skies are threatened by a proposed expansion to the Alton Coal Mine, a mere 10 miles from the park.  
Currently the mine operates on 635 acres of private land but mine owners are seeking permission from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to expand their operation to 3500 acres of public land—land owned by you and me.  Alton Coal is the only strip mine in Utah; consequences to the area will be increased air pollution, noise and truck traffic, all of which will negatively impact Bryce Canyon’s transcendent views and serenity.  

Bryce Canyon's clear skies, as well as area wildlife, are threatened
by a proposed coal mine expansion.

I know the facts: coal generates over 50% of our nation’s electricity and we’re all using more and more of it (that goes for those of us sitting at our computers). And yes, all that coal has to come from somewhere—but I hope you’ll agree with me that the BLM should proceed with caution before approving a large strip mine on the boundaries of an incomparably beautiful national park.
Read more reactions to Alton Coal’s proposed mine expansion on these websites:
Find out how you can register your disapproval by visiting this website:
The National Park Service Retirees is a group of individuals working to ensure that the national parks stay true to their mission of protecting resources for future generations of Americans.  This is a worthwhile goal from a respectable organization.  Visit their website:


  1. Gheez! It's always so unsettling to learn of things such as this. "When will they ever learn?" (as asked in the song "Where Have all the Flowers Gone")

    We also have an environmental issue here in the White Mountain region of New Hampshire which has a lot of folks concerned.


  2. I agree John. When will they ever learn? I'm afraid that all over America we have "paved paradise and put up a parking lot". I looked at Forests Society's website and am going to join Trees Not Towers. 1100 towers over 180 miles in the New Hampshire mountains. What are they thinking?? I can't imagine the beautiful vistas in your photographs marred by hundreds of towers.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about both of these proposals: 1) because I've always wanted to visit Bryce and enjoy the unusual natural beauty of the place, and 2) because that Northern Pass corridor is directly in the view line of the White Mountain range I see from my NH house. Both of these projects take up an extraordinary amount of acreage, so I imagine there will be plenty of people - not to mention the land, animals and native species - affected. Thanks to you both for these links to additional information.

  4. You're welcome, Vickie.
    I'm so sorry to hear that the proposed White Mountain towers are directly in your viewshed. And it's true that people, land, animals and plants will all be affected by these short-sighted proposals. It seems we're selling out the long-term health of our ecosystems and sacred places for short-term gains and get-rich-quick schemes. I sincerely hope that both these projects can be stopped.