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Animal Advocacy Group Purchases Potential Frac Sand Deposit

Best Friends Animal Society is the new owner of roughly 1,600 acres of former state trust lands outside of Kanab, Utah, according to KUER.

In a $6.3 million deal inked on April 24, the Kane County-based animal sanctuary and animal rights organization purchased three parcels of land from the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, or SITLA.

One of the parcels contains the site where mining start-up Southern Red Sands sought to build a controversial sand mine. That project aimed to haul 700,000 tons of sand per year from Kane County to fracking operations in the Uintah Basin and stoked intense division and mistrust among residents of this Southern Utah community for the better part of 2019.

The land sale comes three months after the mining company announced it would be walking away from the project and working to preserve the area with Best Friends, which had previously described the mine as an existential threat to its Southern Utah sanctuary.

“If another mining operation came by in another five or 10 years, we wanted to make sure that we were protected,” said Best Friends CEO Julie C