Is Fracking Sand Mining the Best Future for Kanab?

Our mission is to keep Kanab from being spoiled by poor planning and development projects that negatively impact our quality of life, our economy, and the beautiful lands of Kane County.

The Southern Red Sands Proposed Frac-Sand Factory

Southern Red Sands LLC is planning a mining and sand washing operation for frac-sand proposed to be built in the beautiful hills north of Kanab at Red Knoll, the gateway to our community.

Here are the Risks Posed by this Frac-Sand Factory

  1. Depletion of Kanab’s Water Supply
  2. Destruction of a Major Recreation Area
  3. Negative Impact on Our Tourist Economy
  4. Damage to our Rural Quality of Life

Keep Kanab Unspoiled is informing local residents and our local government officials of the serious risks that outweigh any benefits that this large industrial project could possibly provide to our community.

We Need Your Help: If you would like to help us get the word out, and to take action to stop this risky and unwise project, please email us at We will provide you with opportunities to make a positive difference for our community.


The sand washing operation will require a large amount of water from Kanab’s aquifer. A 2016 study by the Utah Division of Water Resources projects that the Kane County Water Conservancy District will face a shortfall of reliable drinking water by 2035, only 15 years from now. These calculations were made WITHOUT the additional demands of this proposed mining operation. How much sooner would we face a water shortfall with a frac-sand factory taking large quantities of our water?

Southern Red Sands says that their sand washing plant will need 1200 acre feet of water taken from our Kanab aquifer each year. This is equivalent to a constant flow of 1.3 million gallons per day. This amount is 82 percent of the all the water used by the City of Kanab each year.


Red Knoll Public Recreation Area

The sand hills around Red Knoll has been a popular place to visit since the founding of Kanab in 1864. People go there for ATV’ing, hunting, hiking, picnicking, and to get away from the noise and activity of town. Southern Red Sands now owns approximately 48 square miles of mining claims in this area, including the areas of Peekaboo Canyon and the upper reaches of Kanab Creek. This region is public land (BLM and SITLA) but the areas where mining will take place will be fenced off. How much of our public land will no longer have public access? Are the people of Kanab going to lose this beautiful recreation area?

Noise and dust from the processing plant will travel for miles, ruining any experience of tranquility that generations of Kanab families have enjoyed in our red sand hills. These negative impacts will be present 24 hours per day.

And what about our wildlife? How will this facility affect the deer and other animal populations? How many springs will dry up? Will the forest and our relict ponderosa pine trees die from lack of water? To what degree will the landscape be contaminated by pollution? These are all risks that need to be included in any wise decision about the SRS project. Our elected officials need to seriously consider these risks.

Economic Impact

A mining and sand processing operation of this scale would impact our economy in important ways. Will these be positive or negative? Southern Red Sands says that it will create 80 jobs.

Current employment data indicate that one county in Wisconsin has three frac-sand operations, with an average of 19 jobs each. Why are the job numbers presented by Southern Red Sands so different?

How many jobs will go to local residents? How much will they pay? Will these jobs be mostly permanent or temporary jobs in the construction phase? What if the project goes bust?

Kanab has a reputation as being “Magically Unspoiled”. Visitors come here from all over the world to see the parks and beautiful landscape of Southwest Utah. Visitors spend millions of dollars in Kanab each year. Moreover, Kane County has a tourism tax of 10.5% on hotels and restaurants, which is an important source of income. A frac-sand operation at the gateway to our community may jeopardize Kanab’s reputation as a beautiful place to visit. Fewer tourists may visit. How many will stay away?

Our Quality of Life

The sand mined at Red Knoll will be transported by trucks to oil fracking areas. Two possible sites are the Uintah Basin in Northern Utah and San Juan Basin in New Mexico. This will result in hundreds of heavy trucks traveling northward and potentially through Kanab each day. These trucks would be traveling right through the heart of our tourist district. How will increased truck traffic affect Kanab’s air quality? How will this increased truck traffic affect the attractiveness of Kanab? How attractive will Kanab continue to be for visitors staying at local hotels and eating at local restaurants and enjoying local tourist attractions? How will this affect the quality of life of Kanab for we who live here?