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The Spiral Jetty is in need of your help. Here’s what’s happening by way of Tyler Green’s excellent blog, Modern Art Notes:

Nancy Holt, Robert Smithson’s widow, recently sent an email out detailing specific threats to Smithson’s masterpiece, Spiral Jetty.

Yesterday I received an urgent email from Lynn DeFreitas, Director of Friends of the Great Salt Lake, telling me of plans for drilling oil in the Salt Lake near Spiral Jetty…I have been told by Lynn that the oil wells will not be above the water, but that means some kind of industrial complex of pipes and pumps beneath the water and on the shore. The operation would require roads for oil tank trucks, cranes, pumps etc. which produce noise and will severely alter the wild, natural place.

If you want to send a letter of protest to save the beautiful, natural Utah environment around the Spiral Jetty from oil drilling, the emails or calls of protest go to Jonathan Jemming 801-537-9023 jjemming@utah.gov. Please refer to Application # 8853. Every letter makes a big difference, they do take a lot of notice and know that publicity may follow. Since the Spiral Jetty has global significance, emails from foreign countries would be of special value.

They try to slip these drilling contracts under the radar, that’s why we found out so late, not through notification, but from a watchdog lawyer at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the group that alerted me to the land leasing for oil and gas near Sun Tunnels last May.

The comment period has been extended to February 13th. According to Green’s blog today, the State of Utah has received over 1000 comments. The acting director of the Salt Lake City Art Center Leslie Peterson said, “I think they were impressed to be taking calls from Europe and Japan about an artwork in Utah.”

Please write or call. If you have been to the site, you understand. If you haven’t, trust me that it deserves preservation.