• January 2nd, 2018

    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.

    Interested applicants should send the following materials via e-mail to hiring@suwa.org by January 31, 2018: cover letter, resume, 5-10 page writing sample of original work, and 3 references.

    The staff attorney is a litigation position that will focus on national monument defense, energy development, Quiet Title Act/R.S. 2477, off-road vehicles, and vegetation management.  The staff attorney works closely with other program staff and is supervised by the legal director.  Job duties will include litigating a diverse existing docket of cases, developing cases and campaigns, media outreach, and engagement with SUWA members and the public.

    Qualifications include:

    • 5-10 years experience.
    • Admission to practice law in Utah, or admission to another state bar and the ability to transfer into the Utah bar or sit for the July 2018 Utah bar exam.
    • A demonstrated commitment to wilderness preservation.
    • Excellent time management, analytical and writing skills.
    • A strong work ethic, and the willingness to work long hours and weekends when necessary.
    • The ability to supervise and work collaboratively with other attorneys.

    SUWA offers a competitive salary—based on experience—and excellent benefits (health, dental, retirement plan, sabbatical).

    SUWA’s mission is the preservation of the outstanding wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau, and the management of these lands in their natural state for the benefit of all Americans.  SUWA promotes local and national recognition of the region’s unique character through research and public education; supports both administrative and legislative initiatives to permanently protect the Colorado Plateau wild places within the National Park and National Wilderness Preservation Systems, or by other protective designations where appropriate; builds support for such initiatives on both the local and national level; and provides leadership within the conservation movement through hard-hitting advocacy for wilderness preservation.

    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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  • December 21st, 2017

    Today, the Winter Solstice takes place in the northern hemisphere, which means we will pass through the longest night of the year. What most of us forget is that this darkness is not universal. In the southern hemisphere, December 21st is the longest DAY of the year. Shift the perspective from which you gaze and you move from huddling in dark to standing in blazing light.

    For anyone who loves southern Utah’s redrock, there is good reason to experience recent weeks as a descent into darkness.

    On December 4th, President Trump flew into Salt Lake City, and with the Utah delegation crowing with glee at his side, issued an illegal order gutting Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. Within hours, lawsuits were filed by Native American Tribes, SUWA, and many others, creating the possibility that these monuments could be restored through the courts. Then, Utah Representatives Chris Stewart and John Curtis introduced bills that that would make permanent Trump’s drastic reductions and worse. If these bills are passed by the U.S. Congress, the lawsuits are moot.

    Without question, the future of the redrock is in extreme jeopardy.

    But in this time of darkness, it is important to remember that light persists. It is also important to realize that YOU are the ones creating it—and it is powerful.

    Take a moment and shift your gaze to these events.

    Saturday, December 2nd, on the cusp of Trump’s visit to Utah

    Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA

    An enormous crowd of over 6,000 people gather at the Utah State Capitol, spilling down from its expansive stone steps to sprawl across the vast sweep of lawn that extends southward. They stand shoulder to shoulder, Native and non-Native, young and old, holding signs and banners that proclaim their message: “We stand with Bears Ears and Grand Staircase! We will fight for and defend these monuments until full protection is restored.”  A host of speakers—tribal leaders, elected officials, a scientist, the 11-year-old founder of Kids Speak for Parks, SUWA’s Latinx community organizer—speak their hearts to the crowd. Virgil Johnson, Chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute, pretty much sums it up when he closes his speech with “We will not be moved.”

    ​​Monday, December 4th, when Trump arrives in Utah

    Copyright Terri Martin/SUWA

    Temperatures have plummeted and snow has fallen the night before. Nevertheless, thousands of people crowd the sidewalk on this Monday morning for a street protest just south of the State Capitol where Trump is speaking. They show up in down coats and snow boots, roll up in wheelchairs, braced against the bitter cold by shared passion and commitment. A group of young Native American women walk the edge of the crowd, unifying voices into chants that reverberate to the Capitol: “Defend the Sacred.  Protect our Monuments.” When it is announced that Trump has acted, people drop to one knee and thump their hands against their chests, creating the sound of a single beating heart.

    Copyright Terri Martin/SUWA


    Tuesday, December 12th, two days before a hearing in Washington, DC on Representative Stewart’s Grand Staircase Giveaway bill

    Copyright Terri Martin/SUWA

    The weather has gotten even worse. It is bone chilling cold and one of those don’t-leave-the-house days in Salt Lake City when the smoggy inversion is so thick you can’t see the mountains that grace our skyline. SUWA is joining Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, and Grand Staircase-Escalante Partners to hold a press conference debunking and denouncing Rep. Stewart’s bill ratifying Trump’s repeal of Grand Staircase. We have asked citizens (who can spare time during a work day) to come stand behind the speakers with signs and banners in a show of support.

    Again, a large crowd shows up. Standing together over 200 strong, they create a powerful sweeping panorama of bright orange “Save Grand Staircase” signs, punctuated with messages like “The President Stole Your Lands” and “Stop Stewart’s Theft.”  As the speakers proclaim their shared commitment to stop Stewart’s bill, the crowd cheers and waves signs. Two days later, at the hearing in Washington, DC, 700 letters (half from Utahns, and many of those from folks in southern Utah) are submitted into the record. These letters were generated in a matter of days when word went out locally that they were needed.

    These events are only the most dramatic examples of the blazing light created recently by activists standing up for Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante and America’s public lands in general. There are many more points of light across the country.

    And here is why we believe the light of citizen activism will ultimately prevail over the dark acts threatening Utah’s redrock: that light is generated by love. And as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”

    Our national monuments are way more than the smallest piece of ground necessary to preserve a scientific or historic object, the stingy perspective of Trump and the Utah delegation.

    Our national monuments hold our values and tell our stories.

    They are places that preserve what our democracy can really look likefor our entire community of diverse people, plants, and animals.

    They honor our ancestors, protect our sacred sites and offer the chance to heal our history.

    They are gifts to our children that create hope for the future.

    Our national monuments were created out of vision, humility, and love. 

    When people show up to stand for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, it is an act of love—a loving devotion to these landscapes and what they stand for.

    This is the light in the political darkness, and it is brilliant. It is also way more powerful than the dark acts of Trump and the Utah delegation.

    So thank you to everyone everywhere who has showed up or spoken out in whatever way you have—coming to a rally or a protest, making a phone call, writing a letter to the editor, sending an email to your elected official.  You are the light in the darkness, and it is because of the power of your love that we will prevail.

    Copyright Jeff Foott

    Copyright Johathan Lykins

    Copyright Johathan Lykins

     

  • December 14th, 2017

    The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), Utah’s largest conservation organization, has an immediate opening in its Salt Lake City office for a legal fellow with 1-3 years of experience. This is a one-year litigation position that will focus on Quiet Title Act/R.S. 2477 litigation, energy development, state and federal open records laws, and BLM land use planning, among other public lands issues. The legal fellow works closely with other program staff in SUWA’s Salt Lake office and is supervised by the legal director. The position will at times require significant travel within Utah.

    Qualifications include:
    • Admission to practice law in Utah, or admission to another state bar and the ability to transfer into the Utah bar or sit for the July 2018 Utah bar exam.
    • A demonstrated commitment to wilderness preservation.
    • Excellent time management, analytical, and writing skills.
    • A strong work ethic, and the willingness to work long hours and weekends when necessary.

    Salary will depend on experience. SUWA offers a competitive non-profit salary and benefits, including health and dental insurance and retirement.

    Interested applicants should send the following materials via email to hiring@suwa.org: cover letter, resume, transcript, 3-5 page writing sample (original work), and three references. Please direct any questions to this email address as well. The deadline to submit an application is January 15, 2018.

    SUWA’s mission is the preservation of the outstanding wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau, and the management of these lands in their natural state for the benefit of all Americans. SUWA promotes local and national recognition of the region’s unique character through research and public education; supports both administrative and legislative initiatives to permanently protect Colorado Plateau wild places within the National Wilderness Preservation System, or by other protective designations where appropriate; builds support for such initiatives on both the local and national level; and provides leadership within the conservation movement through hard-hitting advocacy for wilderness preservation.

    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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  • December 12th, 2017

    As you know, last week President Trump issued an unlawful order to repeal the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and replace it with three smaller monuments—leaving nearly half of the original monument unprotected.

    The next day, Representative Chris Stewart (UT-02) introduced H.R. 4558, the “Grand Staircase-Escalante Enhancement Act” in the U.S. House of Representatives. This terrible bill would ratify Trump’s illegal repeal of the Grand Staircase-Escalante—and make his unlawful order permanent.

    Contact your members of Congress and tell them to oppose the Utah delegation’s efforts to permanently decimate Grand Staircase!

    Sunrise on Circle Cliffs, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Copyright James Kay

    Rep. Stewart’s bill seeks to create a management scheme for the monument that would be tilted towards grazing and mineral development—development that would be dictated by parochial local interests.

    And the bill includes a cynical bait-and-switch proposal to establish a so-called national park in a portion of the Escalante Canyons that would be managed not for conservation, but for grazing, hunting, and recreation. It is a national park in name only.

    To save Grand Staircase, we need to stop this bill. Please contact your members of Congress now!

    This atrocious bill is being given a hearing this Thursday, December 14th, and may move quickly through committee and onto the House floor. If it passes both chambers and becomes law, it will be even worse for Grand Staircase-Escalante than Trump’s executive order last week.

    Please contact your representative and senators and tell them to oppose this direct attack on Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument!

    Thank you!

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