SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) At the urging of Gov. Gary Herbert and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, exploratory drilling for oil and natural gas in a roadless section of eastern Utah known for its wildlife has been put on hold until 2016.
Sportsmen's groups hailed an agreement announced Friday between state-lands managers and Anadarko Petroleum that delays exploration in the 18,000-acre Bogart Canyon area of the southern Book Cliffs in Grand County.
The Texas-based company still can drill in the rest of the 96,000 acres it leased last month from the Utah Trust Lands Administration, which manages trust lands remaining from a statehood grant for the benefit of schools.
The agreement was reached after representatives from Herbert and Bishop's offices, the land-trust agency and Anadarko met in private on Thursday.
The scenic, unspoiled area put off limits for the next 27 months features big game, and Utah sportsmen hope it can be conserved as part of a future land exchange.