Red Rock Bill Reintroduced in the House!
Great news! America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, the bill to protect 9.2 million acres of Utah’s stunning Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wilderness lands, has been reintroduced in the House by Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47). The bill number is H.R. 2044. We expect the Senate companion bill will be introduced within a month.
Lowenthal was joined by 30 cosponsors from 17 states, underscoring how important it is to protect these lands on behalf of all Americans. The complete list is: Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13), Matt Cartwright (PA-17), John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Dwight Evans (PA-02), Bill Foster (IL-11), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Daniel Lipinski (IL-03), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Gwen Moore (WI-4), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Niki Tsongas (MA-03), Tim Walz (MN-01), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and John Yarmuth (KY-03).
If your representative is on this list, click here to thank them. You can also thank them on social media—just make sure to let them know you’re a constituent and where you’re from! If your representative is not on the list, please click here and ask them to cosponsor America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act!
Photo © Tom Till
SUWA and Partners Win Stay on Proposed ATV Route in Bears Ears
In mid-March, the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) issued an order granting a Petition for Stay in our recent appeal against new ATV trails in Indian Creek within Bears Ears National Monument. SUWA and our friends at Grand Canyon Trust, the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Great Old Broads for Wilderness filed the appeal in January.
This order is the first step in ensuring that the monument is protected from increasing motorized use and it prohibits the BLM from beginning trail construction until the IBLA has ruled on the merits of our appeal. This is an exciting victory for wilderness, and it’s the first time an administrative body or court has addressed the legal effect of the Bears Ears National Monument Proclamation, which calls for careful consideration and analysis when managing the spectacular and irreplaceable resources within its boundaries.
Photo © Ray Bloxham/SUWA
SUWA Files Motion in Defense of National Conservation Areas
In late March, SUWA filed a Motion to Intervene with the Interior Board of Land Appeals, asking to join the BLM in defending the recently approved Resource Management Plans for the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs National Conservation Areas (NCAs) in southwest Utah.
After the plans were approved, Washington County, the City of St. George, and the Washington County Water Conservancy District filed an appeal in hopes of increasing the amount of certain types of development that can occur within the conservation areas. Perhaps the most troubling of these potential developments, and probably the one project that would be the most harmful to desert tortoises, is a highway or transportation corridor running east to west through desert tortoise habitat in the Red Cliffs NCA.
If SUWA is allowed to intervene, we will fight to uphold the intended purpose of the NCA designations and protect the wildlife and wilderness-quality lands within these two remarkable landscapes.
Photo © Ray Bloxham/SUWA
Wild Utah Supporters Pack Rep. Stewart’s Town Hall
Rep. Chris Stewart (UT-02) held a rare in-person town hall meeting with 1,000 of his constituents on Friday, March 31st in Salt Lake City. Most were there to express their frustration with policies ranging from public lands, healthcare, immigration, and a host of other issues. The crowd was lit up with yellow signs calling for the protection of Utah’s wild lands and national monuments, and several people specifically asked Stewart to protect—not gut—special places like Bears Ears National Monument.
Faced with a crowd that overwhelmingly disagreed with his positions on public lands, Mr. Stewart stubbornly restated his opposition to Bears Ears National Monument and his support for turning federal lands over to state control. Though the meeting was generally civil, constituents couldn’t resist getting boisterous when their representative evaded some questions and seemed to not take their input seriously. When the hour-long meeting ended (rather abruptly), the exiting crowd gladly took home “Protect Wild Utah” and “Utah Stands with Bears Ears” lawn signs handed out by our friendly volunteers.
It can seem like our words fall on deaf ears, but showing up and taking a visible stand plays a crucial role in demonstrating to elected officials that the majority of Utahns support protecting Utah’s public lands. Standing together, we send a powerful message that can’t be ignored.
Photo © Terri Martin/SUWA
Utah Residents: Join Us for an Action-Packed April!
People’s Town Hall: Rep. Rob Bishop
Indivisible Ogden is hosting a People’s Town Hall on April 18th at 6:30pm for residents of Rep. Bishop’s congressional district (UT-01) and other concerned Utahns. Though the congressman will not be there (he declined to host a town hall of his own), this is a great opportunity for Utahns to show their support for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments and to call on Rep. Bishop to Keep Public Lands in Public Hands. A recording of the entire event will be delivered to Rep. Bishop’s office. Please attend, grab a sign from one of our volunteers (or bring your own), and sign up to make a statement. For more information contact Terri Martin at email@example.com.
Dessert for the Desert
If you live along Utah’s Wasatch Front/Back (or visit often), there’s a new and delicious way to support SUWA during the month of April. Enjoy a “Guilt-Free Dessert” at one of five Squatters and Wasatch Brew Pubs and all proceeds will be donated to our cause! Click here to learn more.
Utah March for Science
SUWA is proud to sponsor the March for Science in Salt Lake City, this Earth Day, Saturday, April 22nd at 3:00pm. March for Science is a diverse, nonpartisan group calling for science that upholds the common good, and for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest. Please mark your calendar and join us at this important event. We’ll be handing out Protect Wild Utah lawn signs to march with, or you can bring one from home. Event planners are currently seeking volunteers for a variety of tasks, so if you’re able to help please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Utah People’s Climate March
SUWA is also a proud sponsor of the upcoming Utah People’s Climate March in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 29th at 1:00pm. In Utah, we see the impacts of climate change every year in the form of red air days (worst in the nation), drought, wildfires, decreased snowpack, and dangerously low water supplies. Protecting wild places is a key part of minimizing these impacts and fostering resilient landscapes. Please mark your calendar and join us at this important event. We’ll be handing out Protect Wild Utah lawn signs to march with, or you can bring one from home. Event planners are currently seeking volunteers for a variety of tasks, so if you’re able to help please let us know by emailing email@example.com.