Drilling the North Slope of the Uintas. What a terrible idea!


Mar 1, 2012


Aug 9, 2007
EDIT: I didn't see that @uintafly had already started a thread about this so I just merged the two.

Oil company wants to drill in Utah’s popular Uinta Mountains


From what this article says, an exploratory well would be going in somewhere right around here, right by the wilderness boundary: 40.931012, -110.461417

The article says that the NFS is seeking public comment until Jan 21 but I haven't found where to do that yet. I did find this page though: http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=45108


Dec 2, 2013
I just saw this and came here to post it. Let us know when and where you find to submit public comments.


Ready For More
Jul 23, 2013
Booooo! What's the point of a wilderness boundary if any development is allowed inside of it? I hope it doesn't go through or that they don't find anything if they do get the permit, but if they do, would it be any worse than all the wells just north of Henry Fork? Of course, those particular wells lie outside of the boundary, and I don't remember being bothered by them when driving through that area on our way to the trailhead to hike Kings Peak.


Ready For More
Jul 23, 2013
And if the Federal government is leasing out land like that now, I guess that goes to show that even they cannot be trusted in the battle to protect our public lands from being desecrated with development. This seems to fall in line with the fears many have about the state government that would do the same with lands certain state reps have sought to take back, only now it's the federal government doing just the same. Will nothing remain pristine?


Ready For More
Jul 23, 2013
This well would be outside the boundary as well, but not by very far.

Ok, I see it now. I looked at your marker on the map you posted and then switched to a USGS map and eyeballed it and then thought that was a large part of the outcry I'm now seeing on my facebook feed too. I still hope it doesn't go through forreasons already stated in the article, but I won't be as upset if it's all to remain outside the wilderness boundary. Like I said, as long as it isn't any worse than what already exists by Henry Fork.


Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"
May 5, 2012
The issue here is not the wilderness, but the roadless area. Huge sections of the north slope are protected like wilderness, even though they're not, because of their designation as a roadless area.

The north slope is checkerboarded with private/state landholdings from the days when the federal government granted lumbered land to the railroads. The roadless rules have kept those tracts largely undeveloped, but roadless restrictions are much more easily overcome than Congressionally-designated wilderness.

If you want an idea of what a new well operation would look like, take a glance at Hell Hole Lake. There's a huge road cut right through what used to be the trail. It's gated to block vehicular access to the newer trailhead, meaning you have to walk their road just to reach the trail.

Another impact of oil/mineral development in the Uintas is the classification of the streams and rivers as "wild and scenic." The more roads or wells you have near those waterways, the less likely they'll be granted federal protection.


New Member
Jan 16, 2016
They have already drilled in the area. There are some wells by the entrance to Henry's fork. The one thing that I can see that is a bonus is that it allows for better access to trail heads during the winter. They have to keep the roads plowed for access to wells. Snowshoeing anyone?

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Feet on the ground, head in the clouds
Apr 11, 2012
Heck ya, think of all of the new trail heads we could have. Now if only we could get rid of all the damn trees and wildlife we could really increase efficiency and output. Plus the increase in huge trucks and strung out rig hands means we can make our local economy 100% dependent on the oil industry rather then the way we have survived for all these years.

Image from a post of Nicks on a old thread.


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