Blog Archives - Page 3 of 128


  • April 7th, 2017

    Great news! America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, the bill to protect 9.2 million acres of Utah’s stunning BLM wilderness lands, has been reintroduced in the House by Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47). The bill number is H.R. 2044. We expect the Senate companion bill will be introduced within a month.

    Please click here to ask your member of Congress to cosponsor it!

    Lowenthal was joined by 30 cosponsors from 17 states, underscoring how important it is to protect these lands on behalf of all Americans. The complete list is:

    Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13), Matt Cartwright (PA-17), John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Dwight Evans (PA-02), Bill Foster (IL-11), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Daniel Lipinski (IL-03), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Gwen Moore (WI-4), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Jan Schakowsky (IL-9), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), Niki Tsongas (MA-03), Tim Walz (MN-01), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and John Yarmuth (KY-03).

    If your representative is on this list, click here to thank them. You can also thank them on social media—just make sure to let them know you’re a constituent and where you’re from!

    “These national treasures are our birthright as Americans, and are a bedrock part of who we are as a people,” Lowenthal said. “My bill will safeguard these wild and precious lands, as well as the waters, flora, and fauna within them. This is in keeping with the powerful American ethos of conservation as embodied by John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Olaus and Mardy Murie, Aldo Leopold and so many other champions of our great wild places.”

    We are glad to have a champion like Lowenthal join their ranks. Please help us build cosponsors by acting now.

    Thank you!

  • March 31st, 2017

    If you live along Utah’s Wasatch Front/Back (or visit often), there’s a new and delicious way to support SUWA during the month of April. Enjoy a “Guilt-Free Dessert” at one of five Squatters and Wasatch Brew Pubs and all proceeds will be donated to our cause!

    From the press release:

    Squatters and Wasatch Brew Pubs, as well as the Utah Brewers Cooperative, will again be teaming up for their 2017 “Guilt-Free Dessert” campaign, which will run during the entire month of April.

    “Guilt Free Dessert” is an annual sales contest where all five pubs, as well as the Beer Store, join forces in a friendly rivalry to raise money for a chosen non-profit.  During this year’s contest, 100% of the proceeds from the sale of “Guilt Free Desserts” will go to the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance to support the defense and preservation of Utah’s remaining wilderness quality lands.  And in homage to the southwestern roots of SUWA, this year’s featured $5 dessert will be a Southwest Brownie with a Chipotle Chocolate Sauce.

    “Given the potential loss of the Outdoor Retailer conventions over land use in Utah, Squatters and Wasatch want to show solidarity with those who love and are working to protect our incredible public lands.  We can think of no better recipient for this year’s campaign than SUWA,” says Doug Hofeling, Chief Operating Officer.  “Last year’s promotion raised over $20,000,” notes Hofeling, “and with the help of Nicholas and Company, who have again generously agreed to donate all of the ingredients to make the desserts, we are hoping to increase that amount this year.”

    “SUWA is honored to be the recipient of this year’s “Guilt Free Dessert” fundraiser, and excited to have the opportunity to work with Squatters and Wasatch Brew Pubs to spread the message about protecting Utah’s public wildlands,” said Karin Duncker, SUWA’s Associate Director.  “Now more than ever we need to band together to defend our red rock wilderness from oil and gas development, unnecessary road construction, rampant off-road vehicle use and other threats to Utah’s lands, so that these amazing resources remain intact for all to enjoy for generations to come.”

    >> Click here to read the press release in full.

     

     

     

  • March 28th, 2017

    Yesterday, SUWA filed a Motion to Intervene with the Interior Board of Land Appeals, asking to join the BLM in defending the recently approved Resource Management Plans for the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs National Conservation Areas (NCAs).

    Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Photo by Ray Bloxham/SUWA

    These two NCAs—both located in Utah’s southwestern corner where the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert ecosystems meet—were created to “conserve, protect, and enhance . . . the ecological, scenic, wildlife, recreational, cultural, historical, natural, educational, and scientific resources” of the designated lands. Additionally, the Red Cliffs NCA was established to protect threatened and endangered species like the desert tortoise. The BLM was required to develop management plans to accomplish these purposes, which were released on December 21, 2016.

    Missing the point of the NCAs entirely, Washington County, the City of St. George, and the Washington County Water Conservancy District filed an appeal in hopes of increasing the amount of certain types of development that can occur within the conservation areas. Perhaps the most troubling of these potential developments, and probably the one project that would be the most harmful to desert tortoises, is a highway or transportation corridor running east to west through desert tortoise habitat in the Red Cliffs NCA.

    If SUWA is allowed to intervene, we will fight to uphold the intended purpose of the NCA designations and protect the wildlife and wilderness-quality lands within these two remarkable landscapes.

    Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Photo by Creed Murdock

  • March 14th, 2017

    Great news in the fight for Bears Ears!

    Indian Creek (c) Tim Peterson, flown by Lighthawk.

    Indian Creek (c) Tim Peterson, flown by Lighthawk.

    In mid-March, the Department of the Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) issued an order granting SUWA’s Petition for Stay in our recent appeal fighting new ATV trails in Indian Creek, inside Bears Ears National Monument.

    Finding that SUWA and our partners Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Grand Canyon Trust, and the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club would be irreparably harmed by allowing construction of new motorized trails in Indian Creek, the IBLA concluded that the public interest would be best served by immediately staying the construction of the trails “to prevent harm to the environment and preserve the status quo.”

    This order is the first step in ensuring the monument is protected from increasing motorized use and it prohibits BLM from beginning construction until the IBLA has ruled on the merits of our appeal, for which they have already said we have a high likelihood of success when they granted our petition for stay.

    This is an exciting victory for wilderness, and is the first time an administrative body or court has addressed the legal effect of the Bears Ears National Monument Proclamation, which calls for careful consideration and analysis when managing the spectacular and irreplaceable resources within its boundaries. See a report on our appeal here, and read the IBLA’s order granting our Petition for Stay here.

  • March 6th, 2017

    The Bureau of Land Management’s Saint George field office is preparing to lease for oil and gas development approximately 4,730 acres of federal public land at its upcoming lease sale. Two of the parcels are located less than two miles from Zion National Park along the Kolob Terrace Road, a popular tourist route. Oil and gas development in this area will be visible from the gateway community of Virgin as well as from inside the park, threatening pristine night skies, air quality, and tourism.

    Tell the BLM that Zion’s backdrop is no place for pumpjacks and drill rigs.

    Zion Lease Sale Parcels (Luke Henry)
    View across lease parcels 42 and 43 at the outskirts of Zion National Park. Copyright Luke Henry/SUWA

    The proposal to lease for oil and gas development on the doorstep of Utah’s most popular national park has been met, unsurprisingly, by strong opposition. Local residents packed the Virgin Community Center to express their concerns during a public meeting with BLM officials, and both the Washington County Commission and the Town of Springdale (gateway to Zion National Park) have passed resolutions in opposition to the lease sale.

    Add your voice by sending a message to the BLM today.

    The agency needs to know that it is unacceptable to auction off for private development the views, experiences, and heritage of one of Utah’s crown jewels. The more than four million annual visitors to the park come to be inspired by its beauty and grandeur, not to see views spoiled by pumpjacks, drill rigs, and wastewater pits.

    The BLM is accepting public comments through this Thursday, March 9th. Click here to submit your comments now.

    Thank you!

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