Write (soon) to Protect The Spiral Jetty in Utah

Pearl Montana Exploration and Production LTD, of Calgary, Alberta, seeks a permit to drill oil wells in the Great Salt Lake about five miles southwest of Rozel Point and the Spiral Jetty. Drilling activities will be based on floating barges anchored to the lake bottom.

The public may comment on the proposal through Feb. 13 through the state Resource Development Coordinating Committee, E-210 State Capitol Complex, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84114, or http://governor.utah.gov/planning/rdcc.htm.

The public may also express their concerns by sending emails to John Harja who runs the state’s public land policy coordinating office: johnharja@utah.gov


An oil company’s plan to begin exploratory drilling near the remote site of Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty” along the Great Salt Lake in Utah has stirred an impassioned response from artists and others who fear that the project could endanger that massive artwork. The jetty, a 1,500-foot-long curlicue of salt crystals, rocks and mud jutting into the lake, was completed by Smithson in 1970, three years before he died in a plane crash. The State of Utah, which must approve any plan for drilling in the area, decided recently to extend a period for public comment on the proposal until Feb. 13. John Harja, who runs the state’s public land policy coordinating office, said on Tuesday that the office had received 900 letters, e-mail messages and calls about the issue in the last several days. Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, issued a statement calling the jetty “a significant cultural site” and saying that the trust was “deeply concerned about the potential harm that energy development could bring” to it.