Stay informed about Utah wilderness
Supporters and wilderness advocates like you play a critical role in the protection of Utah’s spectacular wild places.
Stay informed about Utah wilderness
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In 2012 the Utah legislature passed a bill demanding that the federal government turn over almost all public land in the state by the end of this year.
With that deadline less than a month away, SUWA has launched a new statewide television, radio and web campaign to educate Utahns about the cost of Utah’s land grab – and how all Americans would lose our redrock heritage while private interests gain.
Under Utah’s land grab scheme, the future of places like Greater Canyonlands, the San Rafael Swell and Cedar Mesa would be controlled by Utah politicians who favor development over conservation.
While the state’s effort will likely be found unconstitutional in the courts, we need to expose this for what it is: completely wrongheaded public policy — and we need to stop it now because it creates a political environment that makes it harder to protect Utah’s wild lands for all Americans.
Just today a team of economists from three Utah universities, hired by the legislature, released a report that shows that if Utah were to take public lands from the federal government it would have to privatize them or pursue heavy development in order to pay for their management.
This is a terrible idea that needs to be stopped now. Imagine the Book Cliffs strip-mined for tar sands; Arches National Park ringed with oil and gas wells; and a giant coal mine in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This is what some Utah politicians want to see happen.
Click here to stop Utah politicians from seizing America’s redrock wilderness.
Your contribution today will help us stop Utah’s land grab, and protect Utah’s redrock wilderness, now and forever.
(Click here to learn more about the economic report released today.)
The following short video (the 4th in a series of five short films created by young people on the importance of protecting Greater Canyonlands), features students from Colorado College on an “annual pilgrimage” to Greater Canyonlands as they grapple with the questions “How can we protect this awe-inspiring place for the future? How can we advocate for such natural beauty? How can we become stewards?”
In an effort to give back to the land, they spend four days building a new trail to minimize human-caused erosion in a popular climbing area.
But after viewing oil and gas drilling that is encroaching on the area, and learning about the threat of tar sands development from local residents, they conclude that larger actions are needed to protect the area for the future.
“What the group found was that regardless how it happens, local Utahns, conservationists, and members of the outdoor recreation industry all basically want the same future for Greater Canyonlands,” concludes one student, “one that acknowledges and protects the inherent value of this amazing natural space.”
In the following short video, (the third in a series of five short films created by young people on the importance of protecting Greater Canyonlands), Taylor Graham describes how he grew up exploring the deep wild canyons of southern Utah, venturing into their depths by foot and boat – an experience which left him invigorated with a “powerful love of life.”
In a very personal plea, he asks President Obama to protect Greater Canyonlands as a national monument so that his own children can someday find the same inspiration from “this amazing piece of our natural heritage.” Greater Canyonlands “is currently unprotected and vulnerable to degradation from dirty energy development and poorly regulated off-road vehicle use,” says Graham. “As a member of the next generation who will inherit these beautiful lands, I have seen firsthand what the mistreatment of our natural lands looks like.”
When Utah high school student Kelsey Oliver learned about the campaign to convince President Obama to protect Greater Canyonlands she leapt into action, organizing a student excursion to the area. In this short video (the second in a series of five short films on the importance of Greater Canyonlands to young people) Kelsey and her fellow Rowland Hall High School students reflect on what Greater Canyonlands means to them and what they hope for its future. “Anyone who sees how beautiful this land is will know it needs to be preserved,” reflects one student. “It offers so much awe and inspiration to every visitor.”