A diverse group of luminaries spanning three generations has written a book advocating for the preservation of redrock wilderness.  It is meant to help persuade D.C. lawmakers who have not yet grasped the significance of protecting unspoiled places and to fortify those who have.

Red Rock TestimonyThe book is titled “Red Rock Testimony: Three Generations of Writers Speak on Behalf of Utah’s Public Lands.”  Publisher Kirsten Allen (Torrey House Press), author Stephen Trimble, and Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, co-chair of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, unveiled it at a press conference in June at the National Press Club in Washington.

Included are pieces from Trimble and Lopez-Whiteskunk, as well as former Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, Navajo Poet Laureate Luci Tapahonso, Utah’s first poet laureate, David Lee, and many more.  All contributors and the designers of the book donated their time and talent.

Copies of the gorgeous limited edition chapbook will be delivered to every member of Congress and to many decision makers at the Interior Department, the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and the White House.  A trade version will later be available to the public.  Proceeds from its sale will benefit the Utah Wilderness Coalition.

Trimble and naturalist Terry Tempest Williams created a similar book, “Testimony,” about 20 years ago.  It proved instrumental in the fight against a terrible Utah delegation-sponsored wilderness bill of that era.  Redrock champion Sen. Bill Bradley read from it on the Senate floor while he filibustered the attempt to grossly shortchange Utah wilderness.

With the Utah delegation’s latest overreach, the Public Lands Initiative, we find ourselves in déjà vu.  Let’s hope these new works are again wielded well and that they lead to the ultimate protection of the Bears Ears.

­—Jen Ujifusa

(From Redrock Wilderness newsletter, summer 2016 issue)