The agency found that the parcel’s high visibility can be adequately addressed by imposing “best standard best management practices” when actual drilling is reviewed for permitting.

“Strategic siting, color camouflaging, and vegetative screening of facilities would also decrease the likelihood that any future development would attract the attention of the casual observer recreating within or on the rim of Recapture Canyon,” the study states.

Most of land proposed for leasing is east of the new Bears Ears National Monument. Under the BLM’s 2008 resource management plan, the area is open to oil and gas leasing without many special conditions protecting cultural resources. But they do bar disturbance on steep canyon walls and riparian areas on canyon floors, making development inside Recapture and other canyons very unlikely.

The environmental assessment indicates 1,346 sites have been recorded within parcels slated for leasing, with 984 eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Two parcels are near the Alkali Ridge National Historic Landmark.

Some of the historic sites are not that ancient. Two parcels overlap the Pershing launch area where missiles were shot into New Mexico’s White Sands Missile Range in the 1960s.