Drilling for Oil under Moab’s Slickrock Trail? (Ep.16)


  • What exactly is going on here? (5:22)
  • Is there precedence for this? (8:17)
  • What’s the Trump administration’s case? (11:19)
  • What would you propose happens? (13:38)
  • What can residents of Moab and / or residents of Utah do? (18:24)
  • What can the rest of us do? (21:24)
  • Breaking news re: Slickrock (23:49)
  • What is the future of this debate? (28:30)
  • What we need to know re: energy issues (31:04)
  • Public Land Solutions (33:03)

Moab’s Slickrock Trail is one of the best-known and most iconic mountain biking trails in the world. And yet, a preliminary proposal from the Bureau of Land Management was put forward to auction the right to drill for oil and natural gas under the trail, and I hope that last sentence just got your attention.

Now, the good news here is that, just as I was speaking last Friday to our guest, Ashley Korenblat, a preliminary hold was put in place by the Bureau of Land Management to stop the sale for the right to drill for oil and gas under Slickrock Trail, and the two parcels that the Slickrock Trail sits on will not be included in the upcoming oil and gas lease sale that will take place this June.

So this is definitely a bit of good news, but this should very much ought to get our attention, first, because if this could happen to a trail as famous as Slickrock, we all ought to realize that this same thing could happen to many of our favorite trails around the US.

And so the important thing for all of us in the bike community is to understand how the current energy system works in the US; how fragile and susceptible our trail systems truly are; why we all need to get educated about the energy policies of our local areas and be contacting our local representatives, and more.

And our guest today, Ashley Korenblat, is one of the best people out there to help us understand the current system, and what each of us needs to be doing to protect the places where we love to ride and recreate.

Ashley is the owner of Western Spirits Cycling and Outerbike, and she is the founder and managing director of Public Lands Solutions, and I would strongly encourage you to check out the important work they’re doing.

Ashley has also served as the chair of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, and she created IMBA’s Public Lands Initiative. She has also testified before Congress on the recreation economy, and, if all of that wasn’t enough, she was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2003.

Ashley was also a guest at our Blister Speaker Series at Western Colorado University last year, and you can listen to my Speaker Series conversation with Ashley over on our BLISTER Podcast channel, episode 86, to learn more about her own extremely interesting background, and to get more of a general background on the specific topic she and I will be discussing today.

1 comment on “Drilling for Oil under Moab’s Slickrock Trail? (Ep.16)”

  1. Stop it. Quit demonizing the industry that puts food on plates, technology in your hands, high tech gear in your SUVs, and makes lives better in immeasurable ways. You can work WITH companies to responsibly drill, but this insane NIMBYism demonstrates a lack of awareness of your first-world privilege that is beyond the pale.

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