• May 13th, 2021

    SUWA and coalition partners across the country are calling on the Department of Interior to assert its long-held and ongoing authority to inventory and manage Wilderness Study Areas as a practical and secure means of achieving national conservation and restoration goals. We discuss the role BLM wilderness study areas, in Utah and across the western U.S., can play in helping to connect wildlife corridors, protect biodiversity, and mitigate the climate crisis.

    Wild Utah is made possible by the contributing members of SUWA. Wild Utah’s theme music, “What’s Worth?” is composed by Moab singer-songwriter Haley Noel Austin. Post studio production and editing is by Jerry Schmidt.

    Listen on your favorite app!

    wildutah.info/Stitcher
    wildutah.info/Apple
    wildutah.info/Spotify

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  • May 11th, 2021

    Yesterday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (S. 1535), the seminal legislation that would protect 8.4 million acres of wild public lands in Utah. This bill is more important than ever as we face the Climate Crisis and the Nature Crisis, as its passage would keep fossil fuels in the ground, preserve habitat connectivity and resiliency, and allow Utah’s desert lands to continue to sequester carbon—all while protecting the scenic and cultural resources contained on these lands for generations to come.

    Please ask your senators to join as a cosponsor of the Redrock Bill today!

    Signed on to the legislation as original cosponsors at introduction were Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

    If you are represented by any of these senators, please thank them for cosponsoring today!

    Circle Cliffs. Copyright James Kay

    “With the America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, we can protect America’s remaining wild places and reaffirm our nation’s commitment to the preservation of our national heritage,” said Senator Durbin. “Our public lands are under increasing pressure, both from development encroachment and from attacks by those who would prefer to see them sold off to the highest bidder. Congress needs to act to ensure that these lands remain in their natural condition for current and future generations of Americans to enjoy.”

    America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act was developed through citizen inventories that identified wilderness-quality Bureau of Land Management lands in Utah using the same criteria set forth by the agency. Utah lags all other Western states in wilderness designation, despite having some of the wildest roadless landscapes in the lower 48 states.

    Please ask your senators to cosponsor the legislation by clicking here. And if either (or both) of your senators already cosponsored, please thank them by clicking here.

  • May 11th, 2021

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact: Jen Ujifusa, Legislative Director,  jen@suwa.org 

    Washington, DC (May 11, 2021) –  Yesterday, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced S. 1535, America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, the seminal legislation that would protect 8.4 million acres of public lands in Utah as wilderness.

    The wild and expansive lands proposed for protection under America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act comprise a prime piece of what scientists say is needed today—protecting 30% of America’s lands and waters by the year 2030 in order to prevent catastrophic collapse of our natural systems. Centrally located in the Intermountain West, these lands are also a vital link in the interconnected chain of largely undisturbed ecosystems running from the Grand Canyon to Glacier National Park, providing important migration corridors for wildlife.

    In response to the Senate reintroduction, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) legislative director Jen Ujifusa issued the following statement: 

    “America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act is more important than ever as we face the Climate Crisis and the Nature Crisis, as its passage would keep fossil fuels in the ground, preserve habitat connectivity and resiliency, and allow the desert lands to continue to sequester carbon, all while protecting the visual and cultural resources contained on the land for generations to come. 

    “We are grateful for the leadership shown by Senator Durbin and Senate co-sponsors, and we look forward to beginning an earnest discussion with the Biden administration and Congressional leaders on how America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act can play a crucial role in achieving the administration’s goal of protecting 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030.”

    Signing onto the legislation as cosponsors were Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

    Recent peer-reviewed research shows that passage of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act would make a significant contribution to mitigating climate change. Protecting these wild landscapes would keep a significant amount of fossil fuels in the ground.

    All lands proposed for wilderness designation in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act are owned by the American public and administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 

    Additional resources:

    Statement from Sen. Dick Durbin.

    Report: The Role of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act in Protecting Biodiversity and Mitigating the Climate Crisis (PDF).

     

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  • May 6th, 2021

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Contact: Scott Groene, Executive Director, 801-712-5034, scott@suwa.org

    Moab, UT (May 6, 2021) – Today, the White House released the “America the Beautiful” initiative to reach the U.S. goal of conserving 30 percent of the country’s lands and waters by 2030. In response, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) executive director Scott Groene released the following statement:

    “SUWA applauds the Biden administration’s America the Beautiful plan for taking the first step towards addressing the twin crises of wildlife extinction and the climate emergency.

    “Much work remains to be done, and America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, which will soon be reintroduced in Congress, can play a crucial role in achieving the administration’s goal of protecting 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030. The Act would conserve five key wildlife corridors that are essential to biodiversity, not only in Utah but in ecosystems throughout western North America, and a 2020 scientific report shows that protecting the lands in the Act would permanently keep in the ground greenhouse gasses equivalent to 5.7% of the carbon budget necessary to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as called for by the Paris Agreement.

    “We look forward to working with the Biden administration and our champions in Congress to fully and permanently protect the 9 million acres of Utah public lands that are worthy of wilderness designation.”

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  • May 4th, 2021

    The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), Utah’s largest conservation organization, has an immediate opening in its Salt Lake City office for a staff attorney.

    SUWA’s mission is to defend and protect the wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau and in Utah’s West Desert. (Read more here).

    Interested applicants should send the following materials to Steve Bloch at hiring@suwa.org: a cover letter, resume, transcript, 3-5 page independent writing sample, and 3 references. Please direct questions to this email address as well. The deadline to submit an application is May 21, 2021.

    Job Description:

    The staff attorney is a litigation position with a docket that includes national monument defense, energy development, off-road vehicles, Quiet Title Act/R.S. 2477, and vegetation removal.  The staff attorney works closely with other program staff in SUWA’s Salt Lake, Moab and Washington, D.C. offices and is supervised by the legal director.  Qualifications include:

    • 5-10 years of litigation experience.
    • Admission to practice law in Utah, admission to another state bar and the ability to transfer into the Utah bar, or willingness to sit for the next available Utah bar exam.
    • Excellent analytical and writing skills.
    • A demonstrated commitment to the protection of public lands and familiarity with relevant federal environmental and public lands-themed laws and regulations.
    • An awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
    • Anticipated start date: July 2021.

    Salary range: DOE. SUWA provides vacation, holiday and sick leave; health insurance; retirement benefits; and disability. Relocation reimbursement provided.

    SUWA is committed to the idea that our commonalities greatly outweigh our differences, and that the redrock is for everyone. Our mission is to protect the redrock for the wonder and enjoyment of all future generations, both human and non-human alike.

    The lands we work to protect are the ancestral homelands of many Tribes, including those that were forcibly removed at the hands of the U.S. government in an effort to exterminate their cultures, languages, and ways of life. These injustices are still felt today, but the quest to erase the Tribes failed: indigenous communities continue their traditions and remain an integral part of the landscape and our community. We are committed to working toward understanding this history; to expanding present-day common ground, collaboration, and reconciliation with our Tribal neighbors; and to advocating that Tribes receive a seat at the table when others would exclude them.

    The environmental movement has a regrettable history of excluding and oppressing marginalized people. We know that the redrock, humanity, and the future of the planet itself depend on working together to solve our greatest common threat: the climate crisis. As we face the challenges of the 21st century head-on, we recognize we can only do so by including, involving, and elevating Tribes, communities of color, people of diverse economic backgrounds, faith communities, the LGBTQ+ community, and the tapestry of experience that weaves together our common humanity. We are committed to doing this both within our staff and through our daily work to protect the redrock.

    SUWA is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. SUWA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

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