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If the Slickrock Trail can be Sold, are any Trails Safe?

If the Slickrock Trail can be Sold, are any Trails Safe?

Oil and Gas Lease Threatens Legendary Moab Mountain Bike Trail

Posted: February 5, 2020

Update: On February 21st, 2020, the BLM announced it removed the Slickrock Trail area from this lease. While this is a relief, it doesn’t feel like a win. Read more about the lease changes here.


The Slickrock Trail—10.5 miles of rough and rolling sandstone through Utah’s vast desert landscape—put Moab on the map for mountain biking decades ago. Now, one of the most iconic trails in mountain bike history is threatened by oil and gas development.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has received an anonymous nomination from the oil and gas industry to open a lease auction on BLM land that covers two thirds of the trail and parts of the adjacent Sand Flats Recreation Area, which includes camp sites and OHRV trails. This land was nominated for auction in November 2019, and the lease sale is scheduled for June 2020. A public comment period prior to the lease sale will open February 20th.   

“This short-sighted approach that fails to consider recreation value in energy development would be devastating for Moab, and for mountain biking. Imagine oil rigs, access roads, and the sights, sounds, and smells that go along with extraction intruding on some of the best riding in the world. This is yet another threat to our cherished public lands and the places we love to ride that can only be stopped by mountain bikers staying engaged and speaking up. We’ll need every mountain biker on board to protect this iconic Moab trail,” said Dave Wiens, Executive Director of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

IMBA, our partners, and all mountain bikers need to be ready to stand up for the Slickrock Trail. If the administration is willing to sell off the Slickrock Trail, your favorite trail could be threatened in a heartbeat. Be ready to join us when the comment period opens February 20th and show the administration how strong the voice of mountain bikers can be.

About the author

Eleanor (she/her) was raised a two-wheeled advocate in the rolling hills of Wisconsin. From racing to riding to work and every trail in between, pedaling is her natural state of motion. Prior to joining the IMBA team she worked in journalism and nonprofit communications in Chicago while leading…

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