Redrock Report Archives - Page 13 of 14

  • October 21st, 2010

    Here's what is happening this month with the redrock:
    1.  21 conservation groups and YOU ask the Obama administration to protect wilderness.
    2.  Take action to help save Sevier Lake!
    3.  Read a recap of the 2010 SUWA Roundup.
    4.  Remember to talk to candidates about Utah wilderness this election season!
    5.  See SUWA's Wild Utah slideshow this November.

    Join 21 Conservation Groups in Asking the Obama Administration to Protect Wilderness

    Fiddler Butte
    Fiddler Butte proposed wilderness is under threat from the "No More Wilderness" policy.  Photo copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

    Today, SUWA and 20 other national and western-based conservation groups delivered a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar renewing our request for new wilderness guidance that would lead to the protection of new wilderness study areas.  Please join us in asking the Obama administration to protect wilderness in the West!

    Even though President Obama proclaimed National Wilderness Month in September, the administration still has not overturned the "No More Wilderness" policy which leaves millions of acres of wilderness-quality lands in Utah and throughout the West threatened by energy development, mining, and off-road vehicle abuse.  Now, we have a new petition on which makes it easy for you to send a message to the Obama administration and to encourage your friends to do so as well.  Thank you for the messages you have sent to Secretary Salazar thus far on this issue — now please take a moment to help us spread the word!

    And a big thanks to's environment page for blogging about this topic today.


    Threatened Places: Sevier Lake

    View of Sevier Lake from the House Range
    View of Sevier Lake from the House Range. 
    Photo copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

    Despite its harsh surroundings and intermittent nature, the Sevier Lake is a key component of the Great Salt Lake migratory pathway for shorebirds.  Undeveloped and remote, it sits bookended by proposed wilderness on both the west and east.  Unfortunately, the Bureau of Land Management is now considering leasing this entire area for potash development, an industrial process requiring large dike networks and holding ponds.  Such development would ruin the natural beauty of this area and potentially compromise its important ecological function.  Please take a moment to let the BLM know that you oppose its current plan to lease the Sevier Lake bed for potash development by sending a message to George Cruz, Natural Resource Specialist in the Fillmore BLM Field Office.

    Link to the Sevier Lake leasing proposal:


    2010 SUWA Roundup Recap

    Roundup Voices YouTubeWe held our 2010 SUWA Roundup on the weekend of September 24-26 at Hidden Splendor in the San Rafael Swell.  Seventy redrock wilderness supporters from around the country joined SUWA staff for the event.  Attendees enjoyed fabulous weather, went on some fantastic hikes, and participated in discussions about Utah wilderness protection issues.  In honor of National Public Lands Day (Sept. 25) a team of 15 Roundup volunteers participated in a 6 hour long service project, signing and fencing areas closed to off-road vehicles along Muddy Creek.  Click here to view interviews with some of the Roundup participants.

    Remember the Redrock During This Campaign Season

    Leading up to Election Day on November 2, candidates for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate will be on the road and speaking to potential constituents near you.  If you attend an event with a candidate, this is a fantastic opportunity to ask him/her to support protecting Utah wilderness!  Please remember to thank current cosponsors of America's Red Rock Wilderness Act for their support, and to ask other candidates to cosponsor the red rock bill if elected.  Hearing straight from you about why people in your state/district care about protecting Utah wilderness is one of the most effective ways to convince members of Congress to become cosponsors.

    If you are able to speak to a candidate about Utah wilderness, please send an email to Jackie Feinberg, SUWA's National Grassroots Organizer at so that if the candidate is elected, our DC staff will be able to follow up with his/her office next year.  Thanks for all of your efforts to help protect the redrock!  


    Attend a Wild Utah Presentation in November

    SUWA's multi-media slideshow presentation, Wild Utah: America's Redrock Wilderness, will be traveling in Fall 2010!

    SUWA's Midwest Field Organizer, Clayton Daughenbaugh, will be presenting in Indiana and Iowa this November.  For more information or to schedule a slideshow in the Midwest, email Clayton at

    SUWA's National Grassroots Organizer, Jackie Feinberg, will be showing the slideshow in Maryland in November.  For more information or to schedule a slideshow along the East Coast, email at    


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  • August 27th, 2010

    August 2010

    Here’s what is happening this month with the redrock:
    The San Juan River wilderness is threatened by off-road vehicle abuse.
    2.  Secretary Salazar and other administration officials come to town.
    3.  Help protect wild Utah with your activism!
    4.  Join us for the 2010 SUWA Roundup!

    Help Us Protect the San Juan River from Excessive Off-Road Vehicle Use

    San Juan River proposed wilderness. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

    “After passing by River House ruin, the San Juan River winds its way past the jagged Comb Ridge and into the serpentine canyon of the San Juan River proposed wilderness.  A movement on river left catches my eye as a small clan of bighorn sheep scuffle up the steep limestone ledges.  Several river meanders later, we find a welcoming sandy beach upon which to camp for the night.  We fall asleep gazing at the brillant starry sky.”
    – Liz Thomas, SUWA Field Attorney

    Already under threat from excessive off-road vehicle use, the San Juan River proposed wilderness is one of the many spectacular areas that could be subject to permanent off-road abuse if a backroom deal for public lands in San Juan County, Utah goes through.

    Please ask the
    Obama administr
    ation to oppose the San Juan County Commissioners’ “pro-ORV,
    anti-wilderness” legislation should it get introduced and pushed
    through in the waning days of this Congress
    .  The magnificent landscapes of
    San Juan County, including the San Juan River, deserve meaningful protection.  Working together we can make
    certain they get it.

    Activists Tell Secretary Salazar to Protect Wild Utah

    Earlier this month, redrock activists in Salt Lake City had the opportunity to both hear Interior Secretary Ken Salazar speak at a downtown hotel and then pose for photos with a cardboard cutout of the Secretary as part of a SUWA outreach event at the Outdoor Retailer Show.

    On August 3, Secretary Salazar, BLM Director Bob Abbey, and other Obama administration officials came to Salt Lake for an America’s Great Outdoors listening session. Utah wilderness activists were everywhere, vastly outnumbering the small group of off-road vehicle enthusiasts who attended.  Secretary Salazar and Utah Governor Gary Herbert both gave a shout out to SUWA, citing our recent work to reach a deal with the Bill Barrett Corporation that would protect the wild lands of Desolation Canyon from the impacts of energy development.  However, we were disappointed to hear Secretary Salazar’s praise of Senator Bennett’s so-called process for public lands legislation in San Juan County,  We were also dismayed not to hear any specifics from administration officials about using the BLM’s authority to protect wilderness-quality lands.

    The next day, SUWA was graciously hosted by Osprey Packs at their booth at the Outdoor Retailer Show for the Conservation Alliance’s “Keep It Wild” Day.  We collected over 300 postcards asking the Obama administration to protect wild Utah, and participants posed for photos with “Flat Ken”, a likeness of Interior Secretary Salazar.

    Thank you to Osprey Packs, the Conservation Alliance, and all of the redrock activists who participated in these two events!  If you couldn’t attend, you can still do your part by sending a message to Secretary Salazar asking him to protect Utah’s magnificent natural treasures.

    Get Involved in Redrock Activism!

    Our dedicated members and activists have enabled us to make significant gains for Utah wilderness protection.  Currently, there are two major issues where you can really make a difference — convincing the Obama administration to overturn the “No More Wilderness” settlement and helping to stop a backroom deal that’s bad for the San Juan-Canyonlands wilderness.  Here’s what you can do:

    1)  Attend an America’s Great Outdoors listening session if one comes to a town near you and tell Obama administration officials to protect wilderness-quality lands in Utah.  Upcoming listening sessions will be held in Illinois, South Dakota, and Maine, with more to be scheduled.  You can fill out this form if you plan to attend and would like us to send you some talking points, or if you would like us to alert you about upcoming listening sessions.  If you can’t make it to a listening session, be sure to visit the America’s Great Outdoors website and vote for “ideas” to protect our wild places — especially the idea to “Protect Wilderness-Quality Public Lands.” You can also comment and submit some of your own ideas.

    2)  Volunteer to visit the local offices of your members of Congress and ask them to help protect Utah’s wilderness-quality lands.  Please fill out this form or email if you’re interested.

    Thanks for all that you do to help protect wild Utah!

    Join Us for SUWA’s Annual Roundup

    Mark your calendar for SUWA’s 2010 gathering at Hidden Splendor, September

    Enjoying a View of the Muddy Creek WSA
    Roundup hikers enjoying a view of the
    Muddy Creek WSA

    Held in the heart of the San Rafael Swell, the SUWA Roundup offers our supporters and staff the opportunity to meet one another and to enjoy the beautiful Indian summer of redrock country with fellow desert rats from Utah and other states.  Activities include a discussion of Utah wilderness issues with SUWA staff and board members, a potluck dinner, evening music around the campfire, and—best of all—guided day-hikes in our Muddy Creek proposed wilderness area.  Sunday morning you’ll awake to freshly brewed coffee followed by a deluxe continental breakfast prepared by the SUWA staff in thanks for all your support and dedication.  Also, this year, because the Roundup coincides with National Public Lands Day (on Saturday, September 25), we’re going to organize a service project for people who are interested in participating.

    If you plan to attend this year’s Roundup, here’s what you should bring: a potluck dish serving five people for Saturday evening (if you plan to eat with the group), your own food for Friday evening and Saturday breakfast and lunch, camping gear, plenty of drinking water (none is available on site), utensils, folding chairs, and, if you have them, lanterns and tables to share with the crowd.  Feel free to bring your own musical instruments and favorite libations,
    too.  Click here for more information. To RSVP, contact Deeda Seed at (801) 428-3971 or

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  • July 30th, 2010

    Here's what is happening this month with the redrock:
    1.  SUWA and our partners work out an historic agreement.
      Let Interior Secretary Salazar know that you want him to protect Utah wilderness!
    3.  Help spread the word on Facebook and win a SUWA hat!
    4.  Congratulations to our photo contest winners!

    5.  Calling all bloggers!
    6.  Get involved in local action this summer.

    Historic Agreement Will Protect Desolation Canyon

    Desolation Canyon
    Desolation Canyon. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

    Today, we announce that
    SUWA and our partners have reached an historic agreement with the Bill
    Barrett Corporation that will ensure that the Desolation Canyon stretch
    of the Green River will be protected from the sight and sound of
    industrial development even during the development and extraction of
    substantial natural gas reserves that Barrett currently has under lease.

    In addition, the
    agreement clears the way for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to
    approve a final record of decision for the "West Tavaputs Full Field
    Natural Gas Development Project" on July 30.  Both the agreement and the
    record of decision are also supported by the state of Utah, the Utah
    School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, and Carbon County.

    The agreement resulted in a dramatically reduced surface footprint,
    particularly in the Desolation Canyon and Jack Canyon proposed
    wilderness areas, while permitting BBC to recover the considerable
    natural gas resource in the area.  As originally conceived under the
    Bush administration, the West Tavaputs project included over 225 surface locations in proposed wilderness areas.  Now, fewer than six locations would be developed.

    The Desolation Canyon
    proposed wilderness area in Utah is one of the most remarkable, remote
    landscapes in the lower 48 states.  By working with the Bill Barrett
    Corporation, we have been able to to protect and enhance this crown
    jewel of the public lands while allowing the company to achieve its goal
    of developing the natural gas resource.  This also serves as a powerful
    example of the progress that is resulting from the constructive ongoing
    discussions between advocates for Utah wilderness and county
    commissioners, land managers, and energy companies.

    Read the full press release here.


    Tell Secretary Salazar to Protect Utah Wilderness!

     [object Object]
    When Ken Salazar took over the reins as Secretary of Interior he proclaimed
    that there's a “new sheriff in town.”  Now that Obama administration officials are about to head to Salt Lake City, let's hold Secretary Salazar to his word.

    In 2003, the State of
    Utah and the Department of Interior secretly negotiated a deal in which the
    Interior Department abandoned its duty to identify and protect lands worthy of
    wilderness designation.  Relying on that back-room deal, in the last days of the
    Bush administration the BLM issued land use plans for 11 million acres in
    eastern Utah which included only limited protection for wilderness-quality
    lands.  Secretary Salazar has the authority to rescind the “no more wilderness”
    deal and give wilderness-quality lands the protection they deserve.  He should
    use it
    before we lose these treasured landscapes.

    Please send a message to Secretary Salazar asking him
    to defend Utah’s magnificent natural treasure
    s from off-road vehicle abuse, vandalism to
    archaeological sites, and the drilling of new oil and gas wells until Congress
    can protect these lands
    capes permanently under the Wilderness

    Spread the word on Facebook and win a SUWA hat!


    Bush administration's "No More Wilderness Policy" continues to threaten
    the future of Utah's redrock wilderness.  Help us rally up more support
    for overturning this policy on Facebook, and you can win!  Just ask
    your friends to sign our petition to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey
    If you can make your way into the "top signature gatherers" by August
    3, when these officials will be visiting Utah, you will win a SUWA hat. 


    Congratulations to our "Wild About Utah" Photo Contest Winners!

    By design, our bright yellow "Protect
    Wild Utah" buttons and stickers are easy to spot from far away.  In
    spring of 2010, we asked our members and activists to show us where they
    have displayed their passion for protecting Utah wilderness or where
    they have found a "Protect Wild Utah" button or sticker during their
    travels for a chance to win some fantastic prizes.  We received entries from around Utah, throughout the United States, and from places on five different continents. 

    Thank you to all who entered and to our prize donors, Ultralight Adventure Equipment, Black Diamond Equipment, and Joby!

    All winning photos can be viewed on our website.

    People's Choice/Most Creative Best in Utah Farthest from Utah

    First Place
    photo contest finalist 9
    Dance Hall Rock, Grand Staircase-
    Escalante National Monument. 
    Entry by David Mowry.

    First Place
    photo contest finalist 6
    Meadow, Utah.  Entry by James Ruda.

    Second Place
    Entry by Greta Hyland.

    Third Place
    Entry by Vicki Allen.

    First Place
    photo contest winner 1
    Adelaide, Australia.  Entry by Julio Cesar Facelli.

    Second Place
    Entry by Mike and Jean Binyon.

    Third Place
    Entry by Dave Rubin.

    People's Choice Finalists:  Entries by Bruce
    Taterka, Chris Schiller, Eric Kuhn, Dave Rubin, Heather Carter-Young,
    James Ruda, Sarah Grant, Gary Warren, Greta Hyland.

    Calling all Bloggers!

    Do you write an
    environmental, political, or Utah focused blog? Want to stay informed about
    the latest breaking news in the effort to preserve Utah wilderness? Sign up by filling out this form, and we'll send you occasional blogger-friendly alerts and media links on
    the latest news affecting Utah wilderness.

    Questions? Send an email to

    Wild Utah Summer of Local Action 2010 is Underway

    This summer, redrock activists from around the country
    will be speaking to their members of Congress and Obama administration
    officials about protecting Utah wilderness.  To get involved, please fill out this form or email

    President Obama's "America's Great Outdoors Initiative" listening sessions have given Utah wilderness supporters a unique opportunity to talk
    to administration officials about the threats to redrock country. 
    During these events, attendees are divided into small groups to discuss
    four conservation topics with a representative from the Department of
    Interior, Department of Agriculture, or other federal agency (what
    works, challenges, the federal government's role, and tools for
    success).  Already, activists have spoken on behalf of Utah wilderness
    in Montana, Maryland, Washington, California, Colorado, and New Mexico.  Future listening sessions will be held in Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Poughkeepsie, NY, with more to come.  If you are interested in attending one of these or future listening sessions, let us know and we will send you some talking points.  Thank you to everyone who has attended a listening session so far!

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  • June 22nd, 2010

    June 2010

    Here’s what is happening this month with the redrock:
    1.  Final hearing held on proposed Alton coal mine.
    2.  Tell the Obama administration to protect Utah’s wild lands!
    3.  Activists share ideas at the SUWA grassroots retreat.
    4.  New redrock bill cosponsors include Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)

    Threatened Places: Update on the Proposed Coal Mine near Bryce Canyon 

    Friday, the Utah Board of Oil, Gas, and Mining held its final hearing on the
    proposed Alton
    coal mine near Bryce Canyon National Park.  SUWA, the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Natural
    Resources Defense Council, and the National Parks Conservation Association have
    been litigating to stop the mine in hearings before the Board since last
    December.  We feel confident that our lawyers and our experts in hydrology
    put forward a very strong case.  The Board is expected to rule on our case by the
    end of July.  No matter what happens, an appeal to the Utah Supreme Court
    is likely.

    The mining
    operations would have disastrous effects in southwestern Utah.  The mine and associated truck traffic
    would degrade the air quality and pristine night skies around Bryce.  They
    would launch a stream of coal trucks—one every five minutes
    along State
    Highway 89 through the historic town of Panguitch.  Some area residents
    wisely fear for their health and livelihoods.  “Ninety-five percent of my
    customers are tourists and I don’t want the truck traffic to drive them away or
    the mine to pollute the clean air and water we enjoy here,” says Bobbi Bryant,
    a small-business owner.

    existing proposal is to mine privately-owned coal on private land.  That
    may be just the beginning: the Bureau of Land Management is analyzing another
    proposal by Alton Coal to lease a much larger area of surrounding public land
    for development, compounding the environmental and human impacts and further
    contributing to climate change.

    There is
    one more official opportunity for you to express your opinion about the
    proposed mine.  The Utah Division of Air Quality is evaluating the coal
    company’s air pollution permit now and we’ll let you know when the public
    comment period opens.  We’ll also keep you
    updated on the litigation, the proposal to expand mining onto BLM land, and
    how you can make your voice heard.  Stay tuned.

    This Summer, Your Chance to Speak on Behalf of Utah Wilderness

    In conjuction with President Obama’s “America’s Great Outdoors” initiative, this summer administration officials are holding listening sessions throughout the country to hear what you have to say about land conservation in the United States.  This is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help elevate the issue of protecting Utah’s redrock wilderness in the eyes of the Obama administration. 

    On June 2, Utah wilderness activists attended one of the first listening sessions in Bozeman, MT.  You can read activist reports on the session by activists Carolyn Hopper and Ron Craighead on SUWA’s blog.  The next sessions are scheduled for Annapolis, MD (click here for more information), Charleston, SC, and Seattle, WA, and more are expected to be put on the calendar for the coming months. 

    If you are interested in attending a listening session on behalf of Utah wilderness if one is scheduled in your area, please fill out this form or email  Let’s show the Obama administration that people across the country want Utah’s wild lands protected!

    If you can’t wait for a listening session to be scheduled in your area, you can get involved in the America’s Great Outdoors initiative by visiting this website, sharing your ideas about land conservation, and “promoting” the other ideas that have been submitted.

    And rememberthe summer is also an excellent time to speak with your members of Congress about Utah wilderness.  If you are interested in dropping off information at your Senator’s or Representative’s district office, or would like to organize or attend an in-district meeting with one of your members of Congress, please fill out this form or email

    Activists Strategize at the SUWA Grassroots Leader Retreat

    Wild Utah grassroots leaders gathered at
    the Canyonlands Field Institute this May to
    strategize about the Utah wilderness campaign.

    In May, redrock activists from across the country assembled at the Canyonlands Field Institute outside of Moab, UT for the annual SUWA Grassroots Leader Retreat.  Hailing from places as far as Massachusetts, Michigan, and Washington, and as close as Moab and Bluff, the group of activists spent the weekend hearing updates from SUWA staff about current Utah wilderness issues and strategizing about how they could help advance protection for the redrock once they returned home.  The location was inspiringthe group was surrounded by redrock, with views of Fisher Towers and Castleton Tower, and quick access to the Mary Jane Canyon hiking trail.  The setting was a constant reminder of what is at stake, and all of the activists left with game plans that are now underway.  Click here for more on the retreat.

    *New Cosponsor Spotlight* 

    Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA)

    We are getting closer and closer to breaking the House cosponsor record for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act!  Those recently signing onto to the bill are Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL).  If you live in one of their districts, please thank your representative!

    For a full list of cosponsors, click here.  If your members of Congress are not on the list of cosponsors, please ask them to sign onto the bill by clicking here!



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  • May 21st, 2010

    May 2010

    Here’s what is happening this month with the redrock:
    1.  Find out what is happening with the San Juan County wilderness process.
    2.  TAKE ACTION – Ask the White House to address climate change in public lands decisions.
    3.  Send us photos or videos of your family exploring Utah’s wild lands!
    4.  New redrock bill cosponsors include Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL).

    San Juan County Wilderness Process Continues Despite Bennett Convention Loss 

    We want to update you
    about the future of the San Juan-Canyonlands wilderness.

    White Canyon
    The White Canyon proposed wilderness is found in San Juan County. Photo copyright Chris Case

    Sen. Bob Bennett is
    considering creating legislation to determine management for public lands in
    the southeast corner of Utah in the San Juan-Canyonlands region.  SUWA, with our partners in the Utah
    Wilderness Coalition — including the Sierra Club and Great Old Broads — and other
    conservation organizations including the Grand Canyon Trust have been active
    voices in the process.  Meetings have
    been held every other week since mid-April, at which SUWA has presented the
    UWC’s wilderness proposal. 

    At the beginning of this week’s meeting, Sen.
    Bennett’s staff assured us that, despite the Senator’s loss at the recent Utah
    Republican convention, Bennett remains committed to trying to move a San Juan
    County public lands bill this year.  If
    time ends up being a limiting factor, the Senator would work to “hand it off
    effectively” so the process could continue under the guidance and support of
    another member of the Utah delegation.

    For more detailed accounts of the San Juan County meetings, you can view the following posts:
    Dispatch from San Juan County – No. 1
    Dispatch from San Juan County – No. 2
    Dispatch from San Juan County – No. 3
    Dispatch from San Juan County – No. 4

    If you have
    not already done so, please contact your
    members of Congress today
    and ask that they monitor the process
    to help Sen. Bennett produce a bill for San Juan
    County that offers meaningful protections for Utah’s redrock
    wilderness.  If you live in
    Utah, please send a personalized message to Senator Bennett

    Tell the White
    House to address
    climate change in public lands decision

    Early in
    the Obama administration, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made clear that his
    department would be looking through the lens of climate change when making
    decisions affecting our public lands.  He
    even issued a Secretarial
    saying “the realities of climate change require us to change how we
    manage the land, water, fish and wildlife, and cultural heritage and tribal
    lands and resources we oversee.”  We
    hoped that this signaled a break from the Bush administration, which ignored climate change issues in decisions like the
    six controversial resource management plans for the Colorado Plateau.  Unfortunately, the BLM has still not fixed
    those plans or made any commitment to do so in the future.  Clearly, the Interior Department needs some

    The White
    House Council on Environmental Quality recently proposed  draft guidance on the incorporation of climate
    change in environmental analyses, but it also neglects to require an analysis of the impacts of
    climate change on public lands and natural resources.    

    climate change was supposed to be a priority for the Obama administration.  So far, we haven’t seen much follow through even
    as scientists warn that time is of the essence if we want to bolster the
    ability of native plants and animals to withstand a hotter, drier climate.  Please click here to tell CEQ chair Nancy
    Sutley about the importance of including climate change in all of the
    administration’s decisions
    – including those affecting Utah’s redrock wilderness.

    Photos and Videos of Families in Wilderness

    Do you have great photos and/or videos of you, your family or friends
    exploring Utah’s wild lands?  We’re looking for photos and videos of
    people enjoying Utah’s wild country for use in an upcoming promotional
    campaign.  Please send photos either as files or links (to Flickr,
    Picassa, or other web albums) and links to videos (on YouTube or other
    video hosting sites; please do not email actual video files) to

    *New Cosponsor Spotlight* 

    Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)

    The number of House cosponsors for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act continues to grow!  Those recently signing onto to the bill are Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL).  If you live in one of their districts, please thank your representative!

    For a full list of cosponsors, click here.  If your members of Congress are not on the list of cosponsors, please ask them to sign onto the bill by clicking here!



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