• February 16th, 2021

    Two conservation organizations filed suit today in federal district court in Utah challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s highly destructive motorized vehicle travel plan for the San Rafael Desert

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  • February 16th, 2021
    Our 2021 Stewardship Season begins mid-March and registration is now open for all posted projects. Whether you’ve joined us before or this is the first you’ve heard of our program, visit our Stewardship Program online to learn more and to apply!

    Transform Your Recreation into Stewardship
    We have several opportunities for Utahns and nearby residents of the Colorado Plateau this spring, summer, and fall—from hands-on ORV restoration work near Moab, to archaeological surveys in Bears Ears National Monument, to monitoring excursions in the wilderness study areas west of the Wasatch. Check out our “Upcoming Projects” schedule for the latest information. Then, check back regularly for new project postings throughout the season. Submit a general application to receive monthly updates on new opportunities.

    Become a Wilderness Steward
    In addition to recruiting volunteers for our traditional stewardship projects, we are seeking Utah residents to join county-based volunteer crews. Our regional Wilderness Stewardship groups monitor on-the-ground conditions of protected public lands. We identify, document, and report on a range of impacts, including those caused by ORV travel, dispersed camping, and other forms of frontcountry and backcountry travel. Stewards receive trainings in wilderness study area (WSA) monitoring and drylands restoration from SUWA staff. Periodic group monitoring excursions are hosted by SUWA on public lands across the state. Work with us as we broaden our reach and cover more ground protecting wild Utah. For more information, and to sign up, contact volunteer@suwa.org. Open to Utah residents only.

    Pandemic Protocols
    As was the case in 2020, we will continue to limit project participation to volunteers from a local or relatively nearby point of origin through early 2021. Each project posting will specify recruitment parameters. This—along with our custom pandemic protocols—aims to create the safest environment possible for our volunteers. We appreciate your understanding as we all continue to navigate stewardship safely.

    Get inspired by our 2021 “You Are a Steward” video:

    StewardshipVideoScreenshot(2).jpg

    If you have any questions for us, please do not hesitate to write (volunteer@suwa.org) or call (435) 259-9151.

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  • February 5th, 2021

    What role can America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act play in achieving the Biden administrations goals of mitigating the climate crisis and protecting 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030? We dive deep into two recent scientific reports that provide an answer.

    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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  • January 29th, 2021

    The Earth and all its inhabitants face the dire threats of climate change and the loss of nature, including extinctions. And in its first ten days the Biden administration has already taken meaningful steps to address those threats. It isn’t our job at SUWA to cheerlead for a particular administration, it’s our job to push them to go further. But we are very encouraged–even excited–by the Biden administration’s start.

    This administration has set a 60-day target for review of Trump’s illegal evisceration of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, with the clear intention of undoing those historic wrongs–and perhaps going a step further, with the larger boundaries originally proposed by the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition.

    It has hit the pause button on new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and offshore waters to consider the climate impacts.

    It will review the Trump administration’s misdeeds, including the illegal elimination of environmental analysis and public involvement in controversial vegetation removal projects.

    It will hold for 60 days a raft of last-minute Trump malfeasance including: issuance of oil/gas leases and drilling permits, mining plans of operation, decisions regarding RS 2477 claims, and approval of land exchanges.

    And the Biden administration has set as a goal protecting 30 percent of our land and waters by the year 2030. This visionary goal will slow the loss of biodiversity and ameliorate the impacts of climate change.

    Getting to 30×30 is essential, and the goal can only be reached by protecting lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), our nation’s largest land manager. America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act is an important part of getting there.

    This will take a multipronged effort, and on the executive branch side, 30×30 goals can best be reached through the establishment of new wilderness study areas. This could bring real protection to tens of millions of acres of BLM lands across the American West, including millions of acres here in Utah.

    The predictable and disappointing response from Utah’s governor and congressional delegation was denouncement of Biden’s efforts to confront the existential threat of climate change. Their persistence in clinging to past economies threatens our children’s future and the wellbeing of the planet.

    There are big challenges ahead. Many of the administration’s goals will be difficult to implement in these divided States of America. The Utah politicians and those like them will fight for the status quo that seems favored by the rigid base they face in primaries. But the Biden administration clearly intends to manage public lands in a new way, following the guiding principle of addressing the climate and nature crises.

    Amen.