ARRWA Archives - Page 3 of 12


  • February 16th, 2016
    PLI Social Media Meme

    It’s all hands on deck!  If citizens don’t speak up, Utah wild lands could be lost forever.

    Utah Rep. Rob Bishop has unveiled his “Public Lands Initiative” and it is an utter disaster for Utah’s wild lands. The bill rolls back wilderness protection, creates vast fossil fuel development zones, sanctions a sprawling spiderweb of disputed roads, and gives away public lands for development.

    And no wonder – the public has been left out of the Public Lands Initiative. Despite requests, Rep. Bishop never held hearings along the Wasatch Front where most Utahns live. He only sought input from rural areas representing 5 percent of the state’s population (and 1/20th of 1 percent of the nation’s population).

    You deserve a voice! That’s why the Utah Wilderness Coalition is holding a “Citizens’ Hearing” in Salt Lake City.

    Citizens’ Hearing on Rep. Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative
    Wednesday, March 2

    6:30 – 9:30 PM
    Orson Spencer Hall Auditorium (Google Map)
    University of Utah campus, Salt Lake City
    (10 minutes north of South Campus Trax station)

    This is your chance to stand up for vigorous protection of Utah wildlands. 

    Show your support by simply showing up! Better yet, come and speak! Share your view on the Public Lands Initiative and the future of Utah’s wild places. All comments will be recorded and submitted to the U.S. Congress as well as the Utah delegation.

    Feel free to make a sign and bring it – we will also be handing out yellow “Protect Wild Utah” signs and buttons.

    This is a pivotal moment. We need to pack the room with wilderness advocates! Bring family and friends. Invite everyone you know who loves Utah’s redrock!

    RSVP appreciated (but not required). You can also invite your friends to this event on Facebook.

    Hope to see you there!

    P.S. Rep. Bishop is still accepting written comments on the Public Lands Initiative — if you haven’t yet submitted yours, please click here to comment before March 2nd.

  • February 4th, 2016

    Rep. Bishop’s long-awaited draft Public Lands Initiative (PLI), released on January 20th, is essentially a fossil fuel development bill that gives away public resources and fails to advance the conservation of public lands in eastern Utah.

    Read More »
  • January 11th, 2016

    Big news! A new poll shows that 2/3 of Utah residents support the creation of a Bears Ears National Monument.

    The highly-regarded Conservation in the West Poll, issued annually by the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project, found that 66% of Utahns support monument designation for nearly two million acres of existing public lands surrounding the Bears Ears Buttes.

    Click here to ask President Obama to protect Bears Ears.

    The Colorado College poll is not the only recent big news to come out of the Native American-led campaign to protect the Bears Ears.

    On New Year’s Eve, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition sent a formal letter to Utah Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz, telling them that the Tribes are stepping away from the Public Lands Initative (PLI) process and instead are asking President Obama to use the Antiquities Act to create a Bears Ears National Monument.

    Click here to ask President Obama to protect Bears Ears.

    The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition is a partnership between the Hopi, Zuni, Ute Mountain Ute, Navajo and Ute Indian Tribes. In October, they formally presented their proposal for a collaboratively-managed, 1.9 million acre Bears Ears National Monument to the President as well as to Bishop and Chaffetz.

    BeefBasinRuin_RayBloxham_1400x700_acf_cropped

    Cliff dwelling in the Bears Ears region. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

    Participating in the PLI process was “to no avail,” according to the Coalition’s letter. “Not once did anyone from the Utah delegation or the PLI make a single substantive comment, positively or negatively, on our proposal.”

    Furthermore, according to the letter, the delegation failed to make good on its “guarantee” to deliver a draft of the PLI to the Coalition by December 30th (as we write this, a draft of the PLI still has yet to be released).

    “Time is of the essence,” the letter concludes. “We don’t feel we can wait any longer before engaging with the Obama administration . . . in the hope that they will advance our proposal via the Antiquities Act.”

    Please send a message to Obama today asking him to protect Bears Ears.

    There’s no question that the Bears Ears region, with more than 100,000 cultural and archaeological sites, is worthy of protection via the Antiquities Act. Please, add your voice today, and be sure to follow the Coalition on Twitter and Facebook.

    Thank you for taking action.

  • November 20th, 2015

    We have two good pieces of news to share as this week comes to a close.

    First, BLM’s Utah state office decided to postpone the November 2015 oil and gas lease sale and the offering of 36 parcels (totaling more than 36,000 acres) in the Vernal, Price and Fillmore field offices, as well as the Fishlake National Forest. Local activists had planned to protest the sale – arguing that the federal government should stop all oil, gas and coal leasing on public lands – and that caught the BLM off guard. The agency has said that it plans to hold this sale sometime in the near future.

    Lost in the shuffle was the fact that the BLM deferred 14 parcels in the Mussentuchit Badlands just north of Capitol Reef National Park, as well as a handful of other parcels in the San Rafael Swell, Nine Mile Canyon, and on the banks of the Green River. These parcels will NOT be part of the “make-up” auction.

    Given the longstanding surplus of federal lands already under lease, there is no pressing need for this lease sale or really any sales for the foreseeable future. Check out SUWA’s oil and gas fact sheet for more information.

    Second, a federal judge denied the BLM’s request to delay long overdue cultural resource surveys in the Henry Mountains and other parts of the Richfield field office. The agency had complained that complying with the judge’s order would be expensive, time consuming, and ultimately not really that important because many of the cultural sites are, in BLM’s estimation, low value. The BLM has told us it plans to file a similar “stay” motion with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. We’ll keep you posted.

    The Richfield resource management and travel plan designated over 4,200 miles of dirt roads and trails for ORV use, threatening the solitude and wild character of places like the Henry Mountains proposed wilderness, above. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

    Henry Mountains proposed wilderness. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

  • October 23rd, 2015
    Inter-Tribal Coalition Bears Ears Press Conference in DC
    Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition Co-Chair
    Eric Descheenie at the National Press Club.

    Last week, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition traveled to Washington, D.C., to deliver their proposal to President Obama to protect 1.9 million acres of public land in southern Utah as a collaboratively managed national monument. A copy of the proposal was also delivered to Representatives Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz of Utah.

    “We are not stakeholders here,” said Eric Descheenie, Coalition Co-Chair and Advisor to the President of the Navajo Nation, at a press conference held at the National Press Club. “We are relatives to these lands, and we have something to say.”

    Click here to watch a five-minute video highlight of the Inter-Tribal Coalition’s press conference in D.C.

    The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition is a partnership of five Tribes: Ute Mountain Ute, Uintah Ouray Ute, Hopi, Zuni, and Navajo. With a new resolution of support from the National Congress of American Indians, nearly 300 Tribes stand behind the effort to Protect Bears Ears.

    SUWA fully supports the proposal to create a Bears Ears National Monument. We’re excited to see Tribes lead this effort to protect lands that SUWA has worked for decades to defend. (One of our very first campaigns, more than 30 years ago, was to prevent the BLM from chaining just below the Bears Ears themselves.)

    Click here to sign the Inter-Tribal Coalition’s petition to protect Bears Ears.

    At the press conference, tribal leaders emphasized that their proposal is about healing and bringing people together.

    “This is a humanistic endeavor for healing not just for Native people, but all people,” said Eric Descheenie.

    Please, take a moment to stand with the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition by signing their petition and liking the Coalition on Facebook and Twitter.

    Thank you for all that you do.

    Mathew Gross
    Matt Gross photo
    Media Director
    Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

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