FAQ: How is COVID-19 Affecting SUWA and our Work?

Membership/Donations

Have member events been canceled or postponed?
In keeping with CDC guidelines and local restrictions, SUWA has postponed our planned member event originally scheduled for the spring. Summer and fall event plans are currently on hold, pending additional guidance from health and government authorities. As event plans are finalized, they will be shared on our Events Calendar.

What’s the best way for me to support SUWA at this time?
If you are able, please consider signing up for our monthly giving program. Monthly giving of any amount is easy and secure; includes all the benefits of membership; and provides SUWA with reliable, year-round funding. If you are already a sustaining supporter of SUWA, please consider giving an additional $5 or $10 a month to protect the redrock. To sign up, change your monthly giving amount, or for more details, please visit our Monthly Giving page.

What impact does recent federal stimulus legislation have on my charitable giving?
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which Congress passed on March 27, 2020, includes several provisions—such as new above-the-line tax deductions for donations to charities—that may change your charitable giving in 2020. Please see our blog post on the CARES Act to learn more.


Legal Work

How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the courts?
The federal and state courts remain open, are issuing decisions, and SUWA attorneys continue to file briefs, respond to motions, etc. To date we have had one scheduled hearing before the Utah Supreme Court postponed and there may be other instances where courts and judges issue decisions without first holding oral argument.

Is the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) still open—and making bad decisions—during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes! Though many BLM employees are working from home and dealing with the same struggles many of us are facing, the fact of the matter is that the Trump administration is driving agencies like the BLM to do as much as they can while the public is distracted. To that end, the BLM is still holding public comment periods, still pushing ahead controversial (bad) proposals, and still signing decisions. And SUWA’s legal and wildlands teams are still here doing our work to watch and protect Utah’s redrock country.


Stewardship Program (Volunteering in the Field)

How is SUWA’s Stewardship Program responding to the pandemic and current social distancing guidelines?
Our Stewardship Program is working to ensure a measured resumption of field-based volunteer programming in the coming months. We are currently drafting a comprehensive COVID Response Plan to ensure the safety and comfort of all of our volunteers as we transition into a new paradigm of hands-on wilderness protection. Visit our Stewardship Program web page to read more about how we are adapting during the pandemic while planning for long-term stewardship resilience.


Grassroots Activism

Are SUWA organizers still at work?
Yes! We are currently facilitating meetings and events for the public online when possible and working with activists to protect wild Utah.

Can I still contact my member of Congress?
Emphatically, yes! But Congress, like the rest of America, has had to significantly shift the way things are done. Many of the staffers who would normally answer the phones, add members to legislation, and complete other day-to-day business now find themselves working from home and less able to accomplish these tasks. In a randomized SUWA experiment, we found about one third of offices are still answering phones. Emailing your members using the forms on their website (or through the SUWA action alert system) is the best way to get in touch with them right now. And when you do, please be patient with them.

What can I do while I am staying at home?
One thing you can do right now to help is to contact your member of Congress about cosponsoring America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act. You can also schedule an online presentation about the Protect Wild Utah campaign to a group you belong to. For ideas and assistance, contact the organizer for your geographic region or community:

Northwest
Jenny Holmes
waor@suwa.org
503-309-0973
Utah
Dave Pacheco
dave@suwa.org
801-949-3099
Intermountain West/Utah
Terri Martin
terri@suwa.org
801-631-1384
Midwest
Clayton Daughenbaugh
clayton@suwa.org
708-795-0514
East
Travis Hammill
travis@suwa.org
703-725-8348
Latinx Community Organizer
Olivia Juarez
olivia@suwa.org
435-228-8063
Faith Community Organizer
Madison Daniels
madison@suwa.org
801-735-4708
   

 

Are there other actions I can take while at home?

Certainly! Here are some suggestions:

 

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