Help save the most threatened places in Utah

Recently, we undertook a statewide review of Utah’s wild lands and the threats they face. We completed detailed inventories, studied the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) own documentation of the threats, and consulted with experts. The result is our new report Utah’s Ten Most Threatened Wilderness Treasures. The report highlights places that will be lost if we do not act now to protect them. Places such as the Glen Canyon-San Juan River region and Upper Desolation Canyon. Please help to save these places by making a contribution today!

Millions of acres of Utah’s iconic redrock wilderness are at risk, with certain types of landscapes bearing the brunt of the threat. Nine of the ten most threatened places highlighted in our report include streams and water-dependent wildlife habitat.

Although these ecological treasure troves make up just 1% of Utah’s landmass, they support about 80% of all wildlife. Yet these special places are under increasing threat, most commonly from uncontrolled off-road vehicle (ORV) use,
roads, and oil and gas development. Sadly, looting and vandalism of archaeological sites, often associated with roads and increased ORV access in these remote places, is all too common.

Will preserving these special places “lock up” Utah’s public lands? Not even close. If all the remaining wild country covered by the BLM’s land use plans were protected, 85% of the ORV routes would remain open, and 80% of the proposed oil and gas wells could still be drilled. The first step to solving this problem is for Interior Secretary Salazar
to rescind the Bush administration’s notorious “no more wilderness” policy and use its authority to protect these places now. The BLM must also fix the terrible land use plans it released in late 2008 to ensure lasting protection for future places. Your generous contribution to SUWA will help make this vision of a sustainable future for Utah’s wild lands possible.