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  • August 13th, 2020

    Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) each recently sent separate letters to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt urging against the leasing of nearly 87,000 acres of redrock country near Canyonlands, Arches, and Capitol Reef National Parks, including significant landscapes that would be protected within America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act.

    Great news: it worked! The combined pressure from these members of Congress, conservation groups, and activists like you led the Bureau of Land Management this week to remove all parcels from the lease sale in San Juan and Grand Counties. The result is that no leases will be offered in the September sale that conflict with America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act!

    If your member(s) of Congress signed one of these letters, please click here to thank them.

    Joining Senator Durbin on his letter were 15 senators:

    Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Cory Booker (D-NJ) Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
    Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Patty Murray (D-WA)
    Edward Markey (D-MA) Tom Udall (D-NM)
    Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
    Ron Wyden (D-OR) Kamala Harris (D-CA)
    Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
    Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

    Representative Lowenthal was joined by 32 colleagues, who in the letter wrote, “Development of these parcels would threaten to ruin the stunning scenic beauty and visitors’ use and enjoyment of these iconic national parks, redrock canyons, and mesas with drill rigs, pipelines, and natural gas flaring. Further, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drive down demand for oil and gas leases on public lands while oil and gas wells are being shut-in or abandoned at unprecedented rates, providing little economic justification for this sale. We urge the Department of the Interior to cancel this lease sale.”

    Joining Rep. Lowenthal were the following representatives:

    Rep Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy (D-MA)
    Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)
    Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
    Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)
    Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
    Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
    Rep. Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL) Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)
    Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA)
    Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA) Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL)
    Rep. Nanette Barrigan (D-CA) Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)
    Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA)
    Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA)
    Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-VA) Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
    Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA)
    Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL) Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA)
    Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA) Rep. A Donald McEachin (D-VA)

    To read the Durbin letter, click here. To read the Lowenthal letter, click here.

    This kind of pressure from Congress helps us protect the redrock we all love! If any of these members represent you, please take time to thank them today!

  • July 22nd, 2020

    Our guest is Leah Thomas, activist, eco-communicator and founder of Intersectional Environmentalist, a new and growing community of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color environmental writers and content creators. Intersectional Environmentalism advocates for the protection of both people and the planet by identifying ways in which injustices happening to marginalized communities and to the earth are interconnected. In this episode, Thomas shares her perspective as a Black environmentalist and discusses her experiences as a person of color on public lands.

    Wild Utah is made possible by the contributing members of SUWA. Our theme music, “What’s Worth?” was written and performed in Moab by Haley Noel Austin. 

    Listen on your favorite app!

    wildutah.info/Stitcher
    wildutah.info/Apple
    wildutah.info/Spotify

  • 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.