Desolation Canyon and the Dinosaur Area Need Your Help!
Recently, three counties in Utah have made proposals for Representative Rob Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative—an effort to resolve longstanding public lands issues. Unfortunately, Utah’s wild landscapes could lose big, particularly the Desolation Canyon wilderness complex and the wild lands surrounding Dinosaur National Monument. We remain optimistic that this lands initiative could still result in the best opportunity for protection of our public lands in decades, but only if you help push it in the right direction. Representatives Bishop and Chaffetz—who are both driving this process—need to hear from you if these places are to be saved.
Wilderness Week Volunteers Drum Up Support for ARRWA — Please Add Your Voice!
This February, 38 dedicated activists came to Washington, D.C. to pave the way for the introduction of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (ARRWA). Many of them had to travel through a snowstorm, but they all found a way to get here—and we were so glad they did! After a full-day training session in which they got all the details on ARRWA and a few other current issues, they hit the Hill, meeting with members of Congress and their staff to advocate for the redrock. Our teams were passionate and knowledgeable, and in just two days they met with roughly 41% of Congress. Big thanks go out to this year’s Wilderness Week participants! Please join them in asking your members of Congress to cosponsor!
Hundreds Protest Land Grab at Utah State Capitol
Despite a spring snowstorm, nearly 300 people rallied at the Utah State Capitol in March to protest the state’s campaign to seize Utah’s public lands. The enthusiastic crowd chanted its opposition to the scheme to steal public lands from their rightful owners—the American people—and sell them off for private profit and near-certain industrial development.
Emcee Dan McCool, University of Utah political science professor, urged the crowd to send a clear message to Gov. Herbert asking him to distance himself from state legislators who “cooked up this mess” and reminding him that collaboration is the best way to solve our problems. Peter Metcalf, head of leading outdoor recreation company Black Diamond Equipment, reminded the crowd that “Non-consumptive industries like ours would be adversely impacted and marginalized in favor of heavy development, should the state assume management.” And Heather Bennett, founder of For Kids and Lands said, “Our schools are not the place to roll the economic dice.”
City Council Resolution Strongly Opposes Land Grab
Not all politics in Utah is loco. On March 24, the Salt Lake City Council unanimously passed a resolution strongly opposing the State of Utah’s efforts to take control of federal lands. SLC Mayor Ralph Becker signed the resolution along with the seven members of the council.
Pictured left to right: David Everitt, Chief of Staff for Mayor Ralph Becker; James Rogers, Vice Chair, SLC Council District 1; Alex Schmidt, Campaign Coordinator for Save Our Canyons; Dave Pacheco, SUWA’s Utah Grassroots Organizer; Luke Garrott, Chair, SLC Council District 4.
BLM Authorizes New ATV Trail in Scenic Indian Creek Area
The BLM’s Monticello Field Office recently caved to the demands of San Juan County by authorizing the construction of a new all-terrain vehicle (ATV) trail and three associated parking areas in the heart of Indian Creek. The ATV trail will bisect an area determined by the BLM as possessing wilderness characteristics and included in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act. The trail will also provide off-roaders with ready access into Lavender Canyon, Davis Canyon, and the Bridger Jack Mesa area—all world-class landscapes that currently see little motorized use but are valued the world over for their abundance of cultural resources and quiet recreation opportunities. We are currently considering a legal challenge to this irresponsible and shortsighted decision.