"Interior Department Offers Oil Leases Near Utah's Wilderness Monuments"

"WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Interior on Tuesday will auction off more than 51,000 acres (21,000 hectares) in southeastern Utah for oil and gas development, over objections from conservationists, who say the move threatens sensitive archaeological and wilderness sites.

The auction comes as the administration of President Donald Trump seeks to boost domestic energy production by expanding federal leasing and rolling back land protections – an agenda that has cheered industry but outraged environmentalists.

The Utah lease sale will include terrain near the boundaries of the former Bears Ears National Monument, whose size was scaled back by the Trump administration last year, as well as the Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients monuments, according to the department."

Valerie Volcovici reports for Reuters March 20, 2018.

Source: Reuters, 03/20/2018