October 2012


  • October 31st, 2012

    In a decision issued earlier this morning, the Utah Supreme Court upheld a state mining permit that allows Alton Coal Development to strip mine roughly 600 acres of private lands (the Coal Hollow Mine). The ruling sets the stage for a broader fight over the proposed expansion of the private mine onto 3,500 acres of publicly owned land within a dozen miles of Bryce Canyon National Park.

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  • October 26th, 2012

    We wrote on Wednesday about attempts by the Herbert administration to “soft sell” their radical, two front war on federal public lands. And sure enough, as if on cue, Lt. Governor Greg Bell appears today with an opinion piece at Utah Policy Daily that tries to paint Gov. Herbert’s radical agenda as a “balanced, win-win approach”:

    We believe the effort launched earlier this year in Utah represents a balanced approach. Our approach is based on the conviction that development and environmental stewardship are synergistic and not mutually exclusive. Governor Herbert signed HB148, the Public Lands Transfer Act, in an earnest and timely effort to generate cooperative, constructive dialogue with the federal government about gaining more say in how Utah’s public lands are managed.

    Utah’s public lands effort is based on a commitment to facilitating a balanced, federal-state win-win situation. Despite the media myths to the contrary, there is no multi-million-dollar lawsuit to take over all federal lands in Utah. Rather, Utah is investing the time, resources and effort required by the scope of such a Legislative decision surrounding State control of public lands within its borders.

    Lt. Gov. Bell writes that “there is no multi-million-dollar lawsuit to take over all federal lands in Utah.” The fact is, the state of Utah, at Governor Herbert’s direction, filed 22 lawsuits this spring against the United States Government seeking to gain control of tens of thousands of RS2477 claims, including those in National Parks, National Monuments, and Wilderness Study Areas. If a court were to accept Utah’s argument that these R.S. 2477 claims –many of which are no more than cow paths, old seismic lines, dry stream beds, ORV tracks and hiking trails – are actually “highways” under this antiquated law, it would nullify or diminish longstanding protection for national parks, wilderness areas and other scenic landscapes, and seriously disrupt the ability of professional land managers to manage federal lands in Utah.

    And the cost of these lawsuits? Surely they will be in the “multi-millions” of dollars, as San Juan County and the state of Utah have already spent more than a million dollars losing their battle to disrupt the ability of the National Park Service to manage off road vehicle use in Salt Creek in Canyonlands National Park. The Herbert administration is willing to argue their intention of opening up these federal lands to off-road vehicle use in front of a judge in federal court; the question is, why do they feel the need to obfuscate that same intention in the court of public opinion?

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  • October 24th, 2012

    We’re keeping the pressure on — and we’ve just released a new radio ad here in Utah.

    Featuring Black Diamond Equipment founder and CEO Peter Metcalf, the ad reminds Utahns about the high cost of Governor Gary Herbert’s radical plan to take over 30 million acres of public land in our state.

    Listen to the ad below:

    (Click here if you have trouble playing the ad.)

    Recently, Governor Herbert and his advisors have tried to soft-sell their support of the Transfer of Public Lands Act — the law that Governor Herbert signed in March that demands the federal government relinquish control of 30 million acres of public land in Utah, including Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and prized wilderness areas. And they’ve kept largely mum about their 22 lawsuits against the United States, which seek to gain control over tens of thousands of miles of so-called “roads” — many of which are stream bottoms and cattle trails.

    They’ve argued that these radical acts are a “balanced approach” — when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

    Though Governor Herbert and his advisors are toning down their rhetoric — in large part because of feedback they’ve heard from people like you — they aren’t changing course. They’re still dead-set on upending a century of public lands management, and getting their hands on the federal public lands in Utah that rightfully belong to all Americans.

    And as long as they’re pursuing their radical vision, we’ll be keeping the pressure on them. Please, consider making a contribution today to help fund our radio campaign and other ads in the state of Utah:

    Yes! I want to keep the pressure on Utah Governor Gary Herbert — and end his radical land grab.

    Please also take a moment to share this post with others who care our public lands and wilderness areas in Utah. The more pressure we’re able to put on Governor Herbert, the harder it will be for him to succeed in his land grab.

    Thank you for everything you do.

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  • October 9th, 2012

    In the past month, President Obama has demonstrated his willingness to use his authority under the Antiquities Act by designating two new national monuments, including Chimney Rock in southwestern Colorado.

    Don’t miss your chance to tell President Obama that Greater Canyonlands is worthy of protection too.

    Already, hundreds of activists throughout the country have created photo messages to the president like the ones shown below.  These, combined with with thousands of postcards, email messages, and petition signatures, are getting noticed by the Obama administration.

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    Make a photo message
    to President Obama
    , and be entered to win a
    custom backpack!

    Click here to see more photos
    and be inspired.

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    Protect Greater Canyonlands 8027831889_9c3052b89a.jpg 7930314500_f06b3c6b7c.jpg

    Add your voice (and your photo) to those calling for a Greater Canyonlands National Monument.

    As a bonus, if you upload your photo before the end of this week, you’ll be entered to win a custom backpack from Ultralight Adventure Equipment or bike accessories courtesy of Wasatch Touring.

    Let’s Protect Greater Canyonlands!

    P.S. Remember to “like” Protect Greater Canyonlands on Facebook by clicking here.

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