In defense of Desolation Canyon – Redrock Report September 2011

Here’s what is happening this month with the redrock:
1. Desolation Canyon is threatened by proposed natural gas development.
2. Take action for Greater Canyonlands!
3. Redrock events are happening across the country.
4. We have 6 new cosponsors of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act!

*Want to volunteer for the redrock wilderness?  Click here to tell us how you would like to be involved.*

Outdoor Industry asks Secretary Salazar to protect Desolation Canyon

Desolation Canyon
Desolation Canyon proposed wilderness.  Photo copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

Last week, over 30 national outdoor brands, led by Black Diamond CEO
Peter Metcalf, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
in defense of the Desolation Canyon proposed wilderness.  Click here to read Black Diamond’s press release.

The letter to Secretary Salazar comes as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering approving the Gasco Natural Gas Development Project.  This ill-conceived proposal that would authorize over 125 new well pads in the Desolation Canyon proposed wilderness and along the main access roads leading to the river put-in.  The outdoor companies asked that the BLM instead consider an alternative plan that would not destroy the Desolation Canyon wilderness, but would instead allow for a balance between wilderness protection and energy development.  This is the same alternative plan that the Environmental Protection Agency urged BLM to adopt in its comments on the company’s draft proposal.  Over 70,000 conservationists from around the country have urged the EPA and Interior Department to do the right thing and continue pressing for a development plan that protects Desolation Canyon while allowing the company to access the overwhelming majority of its existing oil and gas leases.

Want to add your voice to those opposed to natural gas development in the Desolation Canyon proposed wilderness?  Please email BLM Director Bob Abbey at, or send him a letter at:

BLM Washington Office
1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
Washington DC 20240

Tell Obama to stop defending the Bush plans for Greater Canyonlands

A few weeks ago, the Obama administration refused to host a public discussion on the future of the Greater Canyonlands region.  Even worse, it claims the management plans written by the Bush
administration already provide adequate protection.  These are the same
Bush plans that designated more than 3,000 miles of off-road vehicle
trails in proposed redrock wilderness.

Click here to tell President Obama to stop defending Bush’s environmental record and start protecting Greater Canyonlands.

Redrock supporters step up for Greater Canyonlands

Over the summer, redrock activists across the country have been collecting postcards asking the Obama administration to finally provide Greater Canyonlands with the protection deserving of such a unique and wild landscape.  With over 7,000 postcards already, we are well on our way to our goal of collecting 10,000 postcards by the end of fall.  You can view a map depicting the geographical distribution of Greater Canyonlands supporters on our website.  Thank you to all of you who have participated!

Google map
Over 7,000 people across the country have signed
postcards in support of protecting Greater
Canyonlands thus far.

If you have collected signatures, please remember to return the postcards to your SUWA regional organizer (see below for contact information).  We have been delivering stacks of postcards every week to the Department of Interior and will continue to do so throughout the fall.

Want to help us collect even more postcards?

To get involved, send an email to the SUWA grassroots
organizer in your region (contact information is below).  We will mail you the postcards and informational materials, and your role will be to collect signatures and mail them back to us.  Whether you think you can collect 5 postcards or 500, any help is greatly appreciated!

In Utah: Terri Martin,

In the Southwest and in California: Terri Martin,

In the Northwest: Brooke Williams,

In the Midwest: Clayton Daughenbaugh,

In the East: Jackie Feinberg,

Redrock events are happening in Utah and across the country

The 2011 SUWA Roundup is this weekend!

Don’t forget: The 2011 SUWA Roundup takes place this weekend, Sept. 23-25.  Please RSVP if you’re planning to come.  Visit the Roundup 2011 page of our website for more information, including hike descriptions, driving instructions and last-minute updates.  Hope to see you there!

Utah Wilderness Dialogues: George Handley

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12, at Jane’s Home,
1229 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, for this free presentation.

George Handley
George Handley

George Handley is the author of the recent environmental memoir, Home
Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River, a book that is the
culmination of over a decade of thinking about and working on improving
the dialogue about the environment in the state of Utah. He has taught
at BYU since moving back to his state of birth in 1998 and has written
extensively on the intersections between literature, religion, and the
environment. He has also been active in several environmental
initiatives, including Faith and the Land, Utah Valley Earth Forum, LDS
Earth Stewardship, and Utah Interfaith Power and Light, where he serves
as Chair of the Executive Board. Appetizers for the event have been generously donated by Fresco Italian Café.

Please RSVP at
Invite friends using Facebook by clicking here.

Visit our website to see the full fall schedule for the Utah Wilderness Dialogues.

Not in Utah? See a slideshow, volunteer, or attend an event near you!

In the east:

Volunteer for wilderness if you live in New England and plan to attend the Common Ground Fair in Maine!  Email for more details on how you can help out.

If you live in the New York City region, on September 27 SUWA’s National Grassroots Organizer Jackie Feinberg and Legislative Director Richard Peterson-Cremer will be attending a gathering of Utah wilderness supporters in Manhattan.  Click here to RSVP.

In the midwest:

SUWA’s popular multi-media slideshow, Wild Utah: America’s Redrock Wilderness will be coming to Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan in the coming weeks.  Click here for the fall slideshow schedule.

In the west:

In October, attend a Utah wilderness presentation in Grand Junction and Aspen, Colorado.  Click here for the full schedule.

To host a slideshow, or to recommend a group or venue for a presentation, please contact:

Brooke Williams ( if you live in the NORTHWEST.

Terri Martin ( if you live in the SOUTHWEST.

Clayton Daughenbaugh ( if you live in the MIDWEST.

Jackie Feinberg ( if you live in the EAST.

New cosponsor spotlight

America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (H.R. 1916/S. 979) has now reached 106 cosponsors in the House and 12 in the Senate in the 112th Congress. Newly signed on Representatives include Richard Neal (D-MA), Tim Johnson (R-IL), Bill Keating (D-MA), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), and Gregorio Sablan (I-MP).  Please thank your members of Congress if they have cosponsored the bill!

If your members of Congress are not on the list of cosponsors, please ask them to cosponsor America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act today!

change.orgSign the petition to save Greater Canyonlands