Blog Archives - Page 3 of 119

  • Bear's Ears - Cedar Mesa
    June 23rd, 2016

    Big news! This Past Saturday, as President Obama toured Yosemite to celebrate the upcoming centennial of America’s national parks, the editorial board of the New York Times endorsed the President’s use of the Antiquities Act to proclaim a Bears Ears National Monument, writing:

    A monument designation would earn Mr. Obama the admiration of conservationists and the many Indian tribes that support the idea. It would also arouse the fury of the political establishment in a state where . . . powerful interests would resent the restrictions on off-road vehicles, oil and gas drilling, and other development that the designation would bring. But so what? Mr. Obama has nothing to lose politically, and everything to gain in terms of the environmental accomplishment.

    The editorial follows up on a front page story in the Washington Post on Bears Ears, as well as the second editorial in as many months from the Salt Lake Tribune calling on the President to designate Bears Ears as a national monument.

    Click here to add your voice and ask President Obama to #ProtectBearsEarsNow!

    Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has publicly said that she will come to Utah this summer to discuss the Bears Ears proposal. That means that this is the time when it is critical that everyone who supports the tribally-led effort to protect this sacred landscape speak up and spread the word.

    Please start by sending a message to President Obama if you haven’t done so already.

    If you want to get more involved, join our Online Advocacy Team and we’ll contact you once or twice a week with sharable information and stories for social media. Your sharing on social media is critical to keeping up the drum beat and amplifing the call for President Obama to act to protect Bears Ears.

    To join, simply click here and fill out the form.

    Thank you!

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  • San Rafeal River, SR Desert (Ray Bloxham
    May 17th, 2016

    With the hopes of striking a balance between oil and gas development and the conservation of archaeological sites, redrock canyons, and Utah’s richest bee habitat, the Utah State Office for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) kicked-off the San Rafael Desert Master Leasing Plan (MLP) process today.

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  • White Canyon (Scott Braden)
    May 16th, 2016

    Four months ago, the Utah congressional delegation released a draft of their Public Lands Initiative (PLI), a proposal for 18 million acres of eastern Utah’s public lands.

    This draft is the worst wilderness bill ever proposed by the Utah congressional delegation. It has been universally condemned by conservationists and Native American Tribes.

    The Utah politicians have since refused to discuss their proposal with us. There is no small irony in this given that the delegation insists it is “seeking” public comment on this proposal.

    As Representatives Bishop and Chaffetz blew by introduction deadlines, the PLI began to slouch from sight. One might have assumed the representatives were passively acknowledging that they had loaded this legislation with so many bad provisions it would never fly. The PLI seemed dead.

    Utah politicians then shifted their focus from the PLI to attacking a coalition of Tribes for proposing the Bears Ears National Monument (which we endorse). Their new focus has become stopping this visionary proposal.

    Now, Utah’s politicians threaten to pull the PLI from the grave in an effort to enlist it in their anti-Bears Ears efforts. Clearly, they are hoping to distract the White House from taking action on a new national monument.

    But this zombie bill will fail for the same reasons as the original proposal and it should not serve as an excuse not to protect Bears Ears now.

    White Canyon (Scott Braden)

    Most of White Canyon, a central part of the Bears Ears National Monument Proposal, is left out of the PLI altogether. © Scott Braden/SUWA


    We know that the PLI will not protect a significant number of the 5 million acres of wilderness-quality public lands in eastern Utah. In fact, it is likely to reduce already meager wilderness protections for public lands. We also know that the PLI will condemn hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands to energy zones and will further the State of Utah’s land grab by giving the State and its counties thousands of miles two-tracks, dirt trails, and cow paths as “highways” across public lands.

    And now we know that the PLI will be used as an excuse to justify Utah politicians’ refusal to work with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition to protect Bears Ears.

    Any one of these elements makes the PLI nothing more than a Plundered Lands Initiative, fully deserving of reburial. Utah’s public lands simply deserve better. President Obama needs to act now to protect the Bears Ears—as requested by the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition—from looting and other ongoing threats to the region.

    Please send a message to President Obama today asking him to designate a Bears Ears National Monument.

    Thank you.

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