February Redrock Report

Tell Us Your Redrock Love Story

Redrock ValentineAll of us who love the redrock have a story about that time when we first experienced redrock wilderness. With Valentine’s Day coming up, we want to hear your story. That’s why we’re hosting our “Share Your Redrock Love Story” raffle on Facebook. To participate, simply post to SUWA’s Facebook page a 50-100 word story about how you discovered and fell in love with redrock wilderness.

You could win some cool prizes including packs from Osprey and Cotopaxi, free kayak rentals from Canyon Voyages in Moab, or a guided hike of the Fiery Furnace. Add a photo to your story and you’ll get two entries. Not on Facebook? Just send us an email at valentines@suwa.org with your story and you’ll be entered to win!

Entries are due by midnight mountain time, Saturday February 14th. Winners will be announced on Tuesday February 17th. Be sure to like us on Facebook to see the stories others are posting.

So what’s your story?

Former Secretary of Interior Calls Out Governor Herbert

Babbitt at OR Show 2015During a recent speech in Salt Lake City, former Secretary of the Interior and Governor of Arizona Bruce Babbitt blasted Utah Governor Gary Herbert for leading the charge to seize control of your public lands.

Speaking to a packed audience of outdoor recreation industry representatives from across the county at the Outdoor Retailer trade show, Babbitt noted that “Governor Herbert has proclaimed his personal enthusiasm for casting off federal environmental regulation” and warned that “the disappearance of outdoor spaces is an existential threat to your industry.”

It’s also an existential threat to our way of life here in Utah. Like Babbitt, we can’t imagine the West “as a landscape of locked gates, fences festooned with “NO TRESPASSING” signs, streams blocked off to fishermen, and campgrounds and hunting lands put on the auction block.”

Please ask your representatives to take a stand in defense of Utah’s redrock country by cosponsoring America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act today.

>> Read more on our blog.

Photo: Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt speaks at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City. © Deeda Seed/SUWA.

Calling All Utahns: Join Us on March 2nd for the “Great Public Lands Gamble” Rally in SLC

Land Grab Press Conference

Join us at Utah’s State Capitol to rally against the Land Grab! The State of Utah is spending your tax dollars in an unconstitutional attempt to seize America’s public lands. If the state were to succeed, it would likely mean an end to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, restricted access to prime public hunting and fishing habitat across Utah, and a renewed push for coal development on the Kaiparowits Plateau. In fact, heavy industrial development of public lands would almost certainly be necessary in order to fund the enormous land management costs incurred by the state.

Don’t let this law stand! Join our coalition of business, education, outdoor and conservation groups in opposition to the Land Grab and rally with us on March 2nd inside the State Capitol Rotunda at 4:30pm.

University of Utah: Land Grab “A Misguided Effort”

Land Grab AdFollowing up on an earlier study that concluded Utah has “no legal basis to demand title to federal public lands,” the University of Utah’s College of Law has released a new white paper that further undermines Utah’s arguments on why the state should be allowed to seize your federal public lands. The paper,  titled “The Transfer of Public Lands Movement: Taking the ‘Public’ Out of Public Lands,”  determines that “if Utah succeeds in taking over federal public lands, the public would have less . . . input into land management, and all who utilize what are now public lands . . . would see the cost of access increase substantially.”

>> Read more on our blog.

Utah Senators Compete for Worst Keystone Bill Amendment Award

The Senate launched the new session in fine form in January, making priority number one, you guessed it, a bill to approve the Keystone Pipeline. The debate on that bill became an amendment tug-of-war, and Utah’s senators joined the fun with a terrible trio. From Sen. Lee, an amendment to fast-track drilling permits and short-circuit NEPA review. From Sen. Hatch, two amendments: one to prioritize grazing in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and one to waive NEPA when agencies want to destroy Pinyon-Juniper forests in the name of “habitat improvement,” (generally for cows, not wildlife).

Fortunately, President Obama threatened to veto the underlying legislation so it was all for show. Hold your nose, we still have two more years.

Rep. Stewart Makes His Feelings about Wilderness Crystal Clear

Rep Chris StewartAs reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT) recently told state legislators: “The fact that you are a sovereign state, I recognize and respect that. The last thing I want is a single additional acre of federal land. . . . We don’t want any more wilderness. Not a single acre of wilderness.”