April 2024 Redrock Report

Apr 17th, 2024 Written by suwa

Attend an Upcoming Public Meeting on the Bears Ears Draft Management Plan

Bears Ears Buttes (Tim Peterson)The draft Bears Ears National Monument Management Plan has been released for public comment and we encourage you to attend one of several upcoming public meetings hosted by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. If you live in Utah, please consider attending the public meeting in Salt Lake City TODAY (Thursday, April 18th) from 6-8 pm at the University Park Marriott. We’ll gather with folks beforehand to answer questions and walk to the meeting together. Please contact Utah Organizer Nicole Milavetz at for more details.

If you live outside of the states where in-person meetings are being held (or simply can’t attend), you’ll still have the opportunity to join a virtual meeting on Thursday, May 2nd.

The release of the Bears Ears plan is a major milestone toward ensuring that this spectacular landscape is managed to conserve its extraordinary values in collaboration with the Five Tribal Nations that comprise the Bears Ears Commission. The agencies’ public “open house” meetings are designed to provide information and address questions about the draft plan prior to the public comment deadline on Tuesday, June 11th.

You’ll be hearing more from us about the plan soon, including how to submit effective public comments.

>> Click here for more information on the draft management plan and to view the complete public meeting schedule

Photo © Tim Peterson

Western Solar Plan Comments Due Today

Price River-Lost Spring WashThe Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting public input on the proposed Western Utility-Scale Solar Energy Development Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement through TODAY (Thursday, April 18th). The Western Solar Plan, as it’s commonly called, is intended to update and expand utility-scale solar energy development on BLM-managed lands in eleven western states, including Utah.

SUWA knows that public lands have an important role to play in the urgent and necessary transition to renewable energy, but adoption of the Western Solar Plan doesn’t need to come at the expense of Utah’s wildest lands. Fortunately, there are common-sense adjustments to the proposed project that will protect these wild places.

Please urge the BLM to select a modified version of Alternative 5 that excludes all lands proposed for wilderness designation in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act while still leaving over 1.5 million acres available for responsible solar energy development in Utah.

Photo © Ray Bloxham/SUWA

Help Protect the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area!

Red Cliffs NCA (Bob Wick)Just this week, it was announced that the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands is holding a Field Hearing in Hurricane, Utah on Monday, April 22nd. During this hearing, Republican members of the subcommittee will likely focus on the Northern Corridor Highway, a proposed four-lane highway through Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA).

This partisan hearing is out of touch with local and national support for protecting public lands; it is key that community members attend and make clear the overwhelming local opposition to the proposed Northern Corridor Highway and support for protecting the Red Cliffs NCA. The hearing will take place on Monday, April 22nd at 12:00 pm at The Rock Bowl at Sand Hollow Resort (5662 West Clubhouse Drive, Hurricane). Please see our Facebook post for additional important information (suggested arrival time, parking, etc.) if you are able to attend.

For years, residents and concerned individuals across the country have voiced their opposition to a highway that would contradict the act of Congress that established the NCA, bulldoze critical habitat for the Mojave desert tortoise, and damage a landscape renowned for its scenic views, recreation, and wildlife. Conservation groups, including SUWA, litigated and in November 2023 the BLM announced it would reconsider the right-of-way for the proposed highway.
If you live in Southwest Utah, please join us on Monday to help protect Red Cliffs NCA!

Photo © Bob Wick/BLM

Good News! Conservation Groups Secure Settlement to Protect Glen Canyon

Glen Canyon NRASUWA and the National Parks Conservation Association have successfully settled and dismissed their lawsuits against the National Park Service (NPS) over off-road vehicle management at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA). The agreement commits NPS to propose a revised rule that better protects the ecological integrity and visitor experience of Glen Canyon NRA, limiting ORVs and street-legal ATVs in the park’s most delicate areas.

“We’re pleased to reach this settlement with the National Park Service and start the process to bring a more balanced approach to where motorized vehicles can operate in the NRA,” said SUWA Staff Attorney Hanna Larsen.  “In particular, as lake levels at Lake Powell continue to fluctuate—and concerning activities such as the spread of invasive species and illegal cross country motorized vehicle use increase—NPS must clearly manage where motorized vehicles can and cannot drive on an ever-changing and exposed shoreline. The settlement commits the Park Service to do that work.”

The greater Glen Canyon landscape is sacred to a number of Tribal Nations and encompasses several world-renowned protected areas, including Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments, and Capitol Reef and Canyonlands National Parks. The Park Service will hold a sixty-day public comment period on the proposed rule in the first half of 2024.

>> Read our full press release

Photo © Ray Bloxham/SUWA

Stewardship Projects Filling Fast, but a Few Choice Slots Remain!

Stewardship Crew Spring 2024Our 2024 Stewardship Project Calendar is filling up quickly, but we still have openings on several great volunteer trips. In particular, we’re looking for folks to join our West Desert WSAs I project from June 13-16. This is a prime opportunity to explore—and help protect—Utah’s slice of the remarkable Basin and Range Province, where a series of island mountain ranges rise abruptly from the desert floor, offering astounding vistas in all directions.

SUWA’s Stewardship Program provides service-learning opportunities that allow supporters and members to experience firsthand the lands we’re all working to protect. Check out the remaining opportunities on our 2024 calendar and apply today!

>> View Project Calendar now

Photo © SUWA