Deeda Seed, Author at Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance - Page 3 of 3

  • April 28th, 2010

    On April 26, U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar instructed Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and his “Balanced Resource Council” to “Be not afraid,” no new monuments would be designated without their involvement. We would almost certainly not have Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef National Parks — which first gained administrative protection — as well as the recently established Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, if past administrations had granted such extreme deference to local interests.

    Some of the American West’s most treasured landscapes were protected by Republican and Democratic administrations using authority under the Antiquities Act to establish national monuments, which later were often made national parks. By pandering to Utah politicians, Salazar puts this administration at odds with the great conservation legacy that dates back to Teddy Roosevelt.

    Salazar mtg
    Utah wilderness activists waiting for Sec. Salazar

    Secretary Salazar’s meeting at Utah’s state capitol was billed as the first stop of President Obama’s “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative” listening tour, supposedly a time when citizens have the opportunity to weigh in on conservation issues.  Instead, Salazar directed his comments to Governor Herbert’s “Balanced Resource Council,” which lacks a single representative from a local, regional or national environmental group.  In fact, the constituency includes some of Utah’s most radical anti-federal politicians.  Herbert himself recently signed legislation allowing Utah to condemn federal land for the state’s use (his unconstitutional action will fail in court).   Our thanks go to the many Utah citizens who filled the meeting room wearing “Protect Wild Utah” buttons; Salazar may not have listened to you, but he had to see you!

    Salazar’s actions are unprecedented and could be extraordinarily harmful to Utah’s redrock country. Please write to Nancy Sutley, Chair of President Obama’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to ask the Obama administration to re-assert its full authority under the Antiquities Act.

  • April 9th, 2010

    Tucked between the rivers slowed by Lake Powell, a wilder, more unpredictable
    set of wonders can be found.  Here, in the still unprotected Glen Canyon wilderness, sandstone domes and
    mesas rise beyond the reaches of the Colorado and San Juan rivers – reminders of
    the pristine beauty that once dominated this entire region.

    Upper Red Canyon (small)
    Upper Red Canyon, copyright
    Ray Bloxham/SUWA.  Click image for more

    Look up to see Mancos Mesa, the largest isolated slickrock mesa in southern
    Utah, a 180-square-mile table rising 1,500-feet high above the surrounding
    desert.  Here, one of Utah’s few relict plant communities of pinyon, juniper,
    blackbrush and yucca thrives undisturbed – save for the hoofbeats of bighorn
    sheep and mule deer.  Moqui and Red canyons meander below, but ORV use is
    eroding the delicate sand formations that provide access to them.

    Now peer around a bend in White Canyon, which carves cool, dark, labyrinthine
    slots so narrow that a human wingspan is enough to touch its sides, and see the
    upper walls adorned with the honeycomb, grottoes and alcoves of erosive art.
    Here, remnants of Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings remain mostly untouched,
    the difficulty of the terrain thus far safeguarding them from vandals and
    thieves.  Without wilderness designation, however, these prehistoric structures
    and artifacts may soon be accessed by looters with bigger and more powerful ORVs
    before they can be fully studied.

    Envision a future where the treasures of the Glen Canyon wilderness are
    protected for generations to come.  That’s what we’re working on at SUWA with
    our partners in the Utah Wilderness Coalition, and you can help.

    Have you been to any of these places in the Glen Canyon wilderness?  We would
    love to hear your story, see your pictures, and share them with those who can
    help us protect these treasures for good.

    Write us today!
    (Story and photo submissions will constitute permission for SUWA to post
    them on our website and online networks and use them in our written materials,
    unless the individual requests otherwise.)

  • March 26th, 2010

    It’s an exciting time for friends of redrock country!

    The San Juan-Canyonlands region of southeastern Utah contains some of the most iconic landscapes of the American West, including the ancient ruins of Cedar Mesa, the serpentine San Juan River, and the maze of canyons that comprise White Canyon in the citizen-proposed Glen Canyon Wilderness.  All told, 1.3 million acres in this region are citizen-proposed wilderness in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act.

    White Canyon

    Utah’s Sen. Bob Bennett recognizes the value of protecting these magnificent wild lands and has written to the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and other stakeholders asking for input so we can work together to craft a wilderness bill
    for the area.  This is an exciting opportunity to achieve lasting
    protection for some of Utah’s most significant wild lands.

    With our partners in the Utah Wilderness Coalition we are
    recommending ways to approach the complex landscape of the San Juan-Canyonlands region – looking at region-wide landscape and ecosystem protection, rather than focusing
    on disconnected individual units.  We are encouraging Sen. Bennett to engage in this landscape-based regional approach by taking field trips, meeting with constituents, and taking the time to discuss conflicts and ways to resolve them.  We want to make certain that we use this real opportunity to resolve
    wilderness issues in the region and that we do it right.

    However, the current proposed time period for input is extremely short.  So, to help ensure a transparent and inclusive process, we are asking you to write your members of Congress today to ask that the San Juan-Canyonlands
    wilderness gets the care and consideration it deserves.  It took thousands of years to shape these vistas, and we must be certain protection for them is as carefully crafted.