Utah.com states that Nine Mile Canyon is an "outdoor art museum." Indeed, it is 40 miles of canyon displaying petroglyph's and pictographs numbering at 10,000. The most well known depiction is the Hunter Panel. The majority of the art work was done by the Fremont Indians.
It is covered for protection by the Antiquities Act, which says that no one may "appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruins or dwellings or other structures."
But archaeologist Pam Miller states that oil and gas development in this remote area will destroy these archaic petroglyphs and pictographs. The industrial trucks throw up dust that destroys the paintings and carvings and chemicals are sprayed on the roads to suppress dust but it harms the artwork.
The Bill Barrett Corporation made an application to the Bureau of Land Management requesting leases to drill 800 wells. The traffic in this "remote" area would go up by 416 %, if the leases are granted. This corporation has done exploratory work since 2004 and made their request in 2008.
But because of the efforts of conservations, an agreement was signed between the Bill Barrett Corporation, the Bureau of Land Management, the local government, and more than one preservation group.
The agreement states that the Bill Barrett Corporation has to supply monies for fieldwork concerning cultural resources and the Bureau of Land Management is required to perform studies regarding the possible damage that industrial dust could cause.
It is an outrage that companies want to destroy public lands for profit and that the laws were ever lose enough that such requests could be made.
After the agreement was reached, Ken Salazar, the interior secretary trumpeted harsher guidelines concerning drilling on government lands.
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Indian Rock Art of the Southwest (School of American Research Southwest Indian Arts Series)