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BLM set to approve expanded coal mining near Bryce Canyon

KANE COUNTY — The Bureau of Land Management could allow the mining of large coal reserves near Bryce Canyon National Park. Politicians are thrilled, but environmentalists are not.

Alton Coal Development is a step closer to leasing 3,600 acres of land to pull up between 30.8 and 45 million tons of coal in Kane County, or up to eight times the current amount.

In a statement, Kane County Commissioner Dirk Clayson says the company “has done a good job with operations and reclamation activities.”

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, says Alton “provides good paying jobs that benefit the entire region.”

Environmental groups have fought the mining plans for years, calling coal a dying, dirty energy resource.