• March 2nd, 2010

    State legislators propose yet another unconstitutional gambit
    "Clashes between federal
    and local law enforcement in southern Utah — including the
    high-profile arrest of 16 residents accused of trafficking in American
    Indian artifacts — are driving an effort to put limits on federal
    officers' authority. Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, said there is concern about the 'gradual
    encroachment by federal law enforcement on what I believe are the
    authorities for the sheriff in the state of Utah.' Noel's son, Cameron, is the sheriff of Beaver County." Read more – Salt Lake Tribune

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  • March 1st, 2010

    National Monument(s) for Utah?

    You’ve probably heard news of possible national monument designations for Utah’s San Rafael Swell and Cedar Mesa, and of the ensuing furor from some Utah officials who don’t want federal protection for these special places.  The outcry comes despite the fact that over the last 100+ years, presidents from both political parties have designated national monuments
    Utah.  Many were initially controversial, though they resulted in the long-term protection of some of our most iconic and beloved landscapes, including Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef – all of them now national
    parks.  More recently, President Clinton designated the 1.9 million acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to the chagrin of powerful coal mining interests.  Many in the Escalante area now enjoy the benefits of the nearby
    monument, which draws visitors from around the world.

    Attempts by Utah’s Senator Bennett and Representative Bishop to exempt Utah from the Antiquities Act are misguided. The lands in question are already federal and lie under the clear authority of the BLM to administer in the national interest.

    Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.<br /> View of Muddy Creek WSA
    The San Rafael Swell is among a long DOI list of potential national monuments.  Photo credit: Ray

    Cedar Mesa and the San Rafael Swell are being considered for monument designation because their national significance been recognized for decades.  Both are included in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act and SUWA is working to provide them with the highest form of protection: wilderness designation.  We are doing this by continuing to push for passage of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act in Congress and through constructive dialogue with local leaders, the Utah congressional delegation, and congressional champions of redrock wilderness.  For example, over the last year in Emery County (which encompasses most of the San Rafael Swell), we have been meeting and taking field trips with county officials and other stakeholders, resulting in productive discussions about potential wilderness legislation.  If conservationists and county officials can reach an agreement over wilderness designation, we believe those
    lands would be taken out of consideration for national monument designation.
    Officials in San Juan County, where Cedar
    Mesa lies, have also indicated an interest in developing wilderness legislation.

    Please send Secretary Salazar a message today asking him to use his considerable authority under the law to protect Utah’s wild landscapes and help move wilderness designation forward.

  • February 26th, 2010

    Duh, it's not a land grab if you're already the landowner!
    "When a national monument is
    established, land is not "grabbed," as the headline asserts. The
    Antiquities Act authorizes presidents to establish national monuments
    only on land already owned by the federal government." Read more – Salt Lake Tribune

    Patience wears thin at UT pols statehouse hijinks
    despite the length of their
    to-do list, lawmakers are wasting time and threatening to waste
    precious taxpayer dollars on ridiculous efforts to tell the federal
    government to take a hike back to Washington, D.C., and leave Utah to
    their wisdom. Reps. Chris Herrod of Provo and Ken Sumsion of American
    Fork, both Republicans, are acting like banty roosters crowing over
    what is probably the most nonsensical idea yet, although competition
    for that honor this year is fierce."  Read more – Salt Lake Tribune

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