山巒俱樂部(Sierra Club)主席Myke Bybee表示：「我們非常高興沙拉薩部長了解到如拱門國家公園和九哩峽谷等國寶的珍貴價值，我們期待與沙拉薩部長和歐巴瑪政府一起努力投資於能源效率以及能為在地社區帶來經濟效益的乾淨能源，又同時能夠保護美國的野生環境資產。」國家史跡保存基金會(NTHP)主席Richard Moe也表示：「沙拉薩部長的決定表露出歐巴瑪政府施政上保育美國公有地的強烈訊息。這是非常好的決定，也表示出沙拉薩部長與歐巴馬總統認為他們作為國家土地之公僕須身負重任。」
荒野協會（Wilderness Society）的Nada Culver表示：「內政部的決策十分令人愉快，然而我們仍必須著重土地使用計畫上的顯著缺失，否則可預見下次猶他州在2009年3月的租賃拍賣時有更多的出租決定。」
Sales of oil and gas leases on 77 parcels of land near national parks and monuments in Utah were halted today by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The parcels were auctioned by the Bureau of Land Management in December 2008.
"I have directed the BLM not to accept the bids on these 77 parcels," Salazar said at a news conference. "The environmental review process followed, in our view, was not complete."
Covering 132,000 acres, the lease parcels are located near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Dinosaur National Monument, and Nine Mile Canyon.
Salazar said he has directed the BLM to return the approximately $6 million collected for the leases after the December 19 lease sale.
He explained that this decision is in compliance with existing processes and authorities of the Secretary of the Interior, adding that government lease sale contracts are not complete until the BLM formally accepts the bids, "which it has not done with these bids."
In addition, Salazar noted, on January 17 a federal district court in Washington, DC granted a motion for a temporary restraining order on these leases in a case brought by a coalition of Utah and national environmental groups representing more than one million Americans.
"That doesn't mean that at some point in time there won't be additional leases with respect with these 77 parcels," the secretary said today. "It may be there is a portion or even a large part of it that will be subject to a new lease sale in the future," he said.
"I see this announcement as a sign that after eight long years of rapacious greed and backdoor dealings, our government is returning a sense of balance to the way it manages our lands," said Robert Redford, a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a group within the suing coalition.
"This bold action by Secretary Salazar reaffirms the priceless value of America's wilderness and signals a new day for Washington," said Sharon Buccino, senior attorney for NRDC. "The development of these lands would not have had any real impact on our energy security and we don't need to sacrifice the West's last wild places at the hands of the oil industry."
"Secretary Salazar isn't just sparing some remarkable Western lands from destruction - he's bringing common sense back into wilderness management," said Robin Cooley, an Earthjustice attorney who represented the conservation groups with NRDC and SUWA. "At best these lands will produce only 1.5 hours of the oil we use in a whole year."
"We're pleased that Secretary Salazar recognizes the value of national treasures like Arches National Park and Nine Mile Canyon," said Sierra Club representative Myke Bybee. "We are looking forward to working with Secretary Salazar and the Obama administration to invest in efficiency and the kind of clean energy that will bring economic benefits to local communities, while protecting America's wilderness legacy."
"Secretary Salazar's decision sends a strong message about the Obama administration's approach to preserving America's public lands," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "This is a great decision, and indicates that Secretary Salazar and President Obama take very seriously their responsibility as stewards of our public lands."
The December Utah lease sale followed the BLM's equally controversial issuance in October of six management plans for public lands across eastern and southern Utah, which opened up much of red rock country to oil and gas drilling and off-road vehicles.
"The secretary's action is very gratifying," said Nada Culver of The Wilderness Society. "However, the underlying deficiencies of the land use plans still must be addressed, or we could continue to see more bad leasing decisions when the BLM has its next Utah lease sale in March."