Uncategorized - Page 3 of 18


  • July 15th, 2020

    The Land

    Between Price, Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado, Highway 6 and Interstate 70 cross 170 miles of barren and windswept terrain. The drive would be lonely but for a constant companion: the thousand-foot-high wall of the Book Cliffs that parallels the highway just to the north. Winding for 250 miles across Utah and Colorado, it is the longest continuous escarpment in the world.

    Near the town of Green River, Utah, a second escarpment, the Roan Cliffs, rises above the Book Cliffs, and together the two climb a vertical mile above the desert. From a distance the double rampart appears to be a smooth, unbroken wall, but on closer inspection it resolves into a complicated network of spurs, ridgelines, and canyons.

    The Book Cliffs-Desolation Canyon wilderness is a merging of three different worlds: the great rampart of the Roan and Book cliffs, the high alpine forests and meadows of the Tavaputs Plateau, and the inner world of Desolation Canyon.

    It is all marvelous wilderness. Abundant wildlife and rugged beauty have made the Book Cliffs wilderness one of Utah’s most popular backcountry destinations. Each year the region draws more than 6,000 hunters, and an equal number of river runners make the float trip through Desolation Canyon annually.


    The Work

    We are headed to the remote reaches of Washington County’s Canaan Mountain Wilderness to monitor, manage and restore wilderness boundary signage. Destroyed or damaged signs and fencing have led to motorized incursions into the wilderness. Our crew will work to define and demarcate protected areas to prevent future impacts of ORV travel in Short Creek and Squirrel Canyon. 8 spaces available.

    Work tasks will vary by need, and are slated to include:

    • monitoring hikes of wilderness boundary
    • installation of WSA boundary signs
    • remediation of additional travel and camping impacts

    Our Objective: To appropriately manage and improve existing wilderness boundaries with the intent to prevent all future non-permitted motorized travel in the Canaan Mountain Wilderness.


    Itinerary
    A comprehensive itinerary will be provided to registered volunteers.

    • Friday, Aug 28th: [Optional] Pre-Project Campout
    • Saturday, Aug 29th: Orientation + Workday
    • Sunday, Aug 30th: Free Day!

    Project Rating 

    Level 2 – Our most common trip incorporates mid- to heavy-lifting, work in remote landscapes at varying elevations, an increased diversity of tool use, and an emphasis on physical fitness.


    Camping & Meals

    Volunteers will camp on site. Specific location will be indicated in the Welcome Letter provided to registered volunteers.

    Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, SUWA has suspended our provision of food during projects. Volunteers are responsible for all of their water and meal needs through the duration of the project. SUWA will provide a water reserve for contingency use. (Please note: Potable water is not available on site.)


    Volunteer Responsibilities

    Participants are responsible for their own food, water and camping gear as well as transportation to and from the project site(s). Volunteers should plan to be away from camp all day each of the work days. A recommended pack list will be sent along with the project Welcome Letter two weeks prior to the start date.


    Registration

    A Volunteer Agreement is required for this project. 

    When we have received your form, you will receive a confirmation e-mail within 5 working days of submission. The confirmation e-mail will indicate whether you have been placed on the “project roster” or a “waiting list.”

    Three weeks before the start of the trip, you will receive an RSVP to confirm your participation. Individuals on the Waitlist will be contacted if spaces open due to cancellation.

    Two weeks before the project start date, registered and confirmed participants will receive a Welcome Letter, with a comprehensive itinerary, including: driving instructions, a Project Map (for mobile devices), a notification about carpools and/or caravans, and additional information in a Pre-Departure email.

    If you have any questions at any point throughout the process, please don’t hesitate to contact our program coordinator: volunteer@suwa.org  or  (435) 259-9151.

    APPLY NOW

  • July 1st, 2020

    For the Kids / Para los Niños

    Download the Desert Bighorn Sheep coloring sheet below and color it in to participate in our first summer art contest! To enter, post a photo of your kiddo’s creation (or your own if you are under 18) on social media and use #ProtectWildUtah in the caption so we can see your entry. Winners will earn SUWA swag, like one of our unique Nalgene water bottles or a hat. Happy coloring!

    ¡Descargue el carnero del desierto abajo para colorear y pintelo participar en nuestro primer concurso artístico verano! Para entrar, publicar un foto de la creación de su niño y usar el #ProtectWildUtah hashtag en la leyenda así que podemos ver su obra. Ganadores pueden escoger una botella Nalgene o una gorra para su premio. ¡Feliz coloreando!

    Rules

    • Contestants eligible to win SUWA SWAG must be 17 or younger.
    • To enter, post a photo of your kiddo’s creation (or your own if you are under 18) on social media and use #ProtectWildUtah in the caption so we can see your entry.
    • Entries can be posted on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, and should be set to public so we can see them.
    • Winners can choose a SUWA hat or Nalgene water bottle for their prize. We will select 5 winners.
    • Contest opens on July 2nd and ends on July 13th.

    Art by Alex Cochran. Click image to download.

     

    You can check out this film for some artistic inspiration!

    ¡Puede ver esta película para inspiración artística!

  • June 22nd, 2020

    At the doorstep of Bears Ears National Monument, the White Mesa Uranium Mill in southern Utah wants to acquire tons of new radioactive waste shipped all the way from Estonia.

    The mill’s owner, Energy Fuels Resources, lobbied the Trump administration to reduce Bears Ears National Monument in 2017. If the license application is approved by the Utah Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control, the White Mesa Uranium Mill would begin accepting 660 tons of radioactive waste to process in the first year alone.

    Click here to ask the state of Utah to reject the proposal to import radioactive waste to southern Utah.

    Bringing Estonia’s radioactive waste, which contains about 0.05% uranium ore, to the White Mesa Uranium Mill for processing would add millions of tons of toxic waste to the pits that lie just a few miles from the Ute Mountain Ute’s White Mesa community.

    White Mesa Uranium Mill, copyright EcoFlight

    The Ute Mountain Ute Tribe has voiced concerns about Energy Fuels Resources’ proposal and the threat of contamination to the Tribe’s drinking water. Scott Clow, the Environmental Programs Director for the Tribe, lamented to the Salt Lake Tribune how the White Mesa Uranium Mill is becoming “the world’s radioactive waste dump.” He added, “The Tribe does not want these materials to continue to be delivered to their neighborhood, their traditional lands, and stored there forever.”

    Energy Fuels Resources already has a questionable track record when it comes to handling toxic and radioactive materials. Within the last five years, trucks driving through southern Utah on their way to White Mesa have spilled radioactive waste twice, and the mill itself releases toxic and radioactive air pollutants, which residents of White Mesa have reported smelling.

    The public comment period on Energy Fuels Resources’ proposal is open through July 10, 2020.

    Click here to submit your comments to Utah regulators today.

    Thank you for taking action.

  • May 26th, 2020

    As you know, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been destroying native vegetation like sagebrush, pinyon pine, and juniper for decades. But in recent years, your voice and input has played a critical role in stopping or delaying many of the worst large-scale mechanical vegetation removal proposals on our public lands.

    In response, the BLM is now proposing to cut out a majority of both public oversight and scientific review of its vegetation removal activities across the West.

    Please keep the pressure up by submitting comments on the BLM’s latest attack on public lands and the public process.

    A pinyon-juniper forest chaining project on public lands in Utah.

    The agency just released a draft “Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Fuels Reduction and Rangeland Restoration in the Great Basin” (PEIS), which, in its current form, would serve as the only legally required review before the BLM can move ahead with a range of vegetation removal projects across 223 million acres, spanning six states, including Utah.

    Once this “programmatic” document is finalized, the BLM would be able to plan and execute massive vegetation removals anywhere within the 223 million-acre analysis area with little more than a checklist before pulling the trigger, and without any public review or input.

    Tell the BLM not to cut public input from its public land clearcutting plans. Click here to submit your comments by June 2nd!

    If this feels familiar, it is. Just one month ago, the BLM was busy making plans for a new “categorical exclusion” that would exempt pinyon pine and juniper clearcutting projects as large as 10,000 acres from environmental analysis and public accountability. Now the BLM is doubling down in its efforts to cut the public from its land-clearing decisions.

    The BLM’s PEIS for “Fuels Reduction and Rangeland Restoration in the Great Basin” is particularly inappropriate for several reasons:

    • Despite calling for removals in the “Great Basin,” the PEIS inexplicably encompasses nearly all of Utah, including most of the Colorado Plateau, a drastically different ecosystem. It even covers potential removals on more than 1.4 million acres proposed for wilderness in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act.
    • The BLM sets no desired conditions for what the areas should look like after projects are completed. In other words, there will be no actual criteria for the agency or the public to measure “progress” or “success.”
    • The PEIS does not discuss specific projects, including where they will occur, which actions they entail, or what site-specific resources may be affected, putting all cultural and historic resources, wilderness-quality lands, and rare (including federally-listed threatened and endangered) plant and animal species that can be found within the hundreds of millions of acres in the crosshairs.
    • The BLM does not discuss the efficacy (or lack thereof) of various treatment methods (including chaining, mastication, chain harrowing, herbicide, and prescribed fire) or disclose results of past removals using these heavy-handed tools, essentially providing no evidence that any of the methods proposed will actually work, when the best available science actually demonstrates otherwise.
    • The PEIS calls for the use of targeted grazing as a treatment method throughout the analysis area. This method is not only scientifically unproven, it will likely contribute to continued degradation and loss of sagebrush habitat.
    • There are no plans for long-term monitoring or maintenance of the treated landscapes to ensure that the removals are successful and are not causing significant, long-term damage by destroying biological soil crust or further spreading invasive species like cheatgrass.

    Click here to submit your comments to the BLM by June 2nd!

    Comments may also be emailed directly to BLM_PEIS_Questions@blm.gov.

    This is the second time in just over a month that the BLM has tried to cut the public out of decisions to chain, masticate, and clearcut our public lands.

    Your input has made a difference before—so please take action again today. Thank you!