Redrock Report: March 2010

March 2010

Here’s what is happening this month with the redrock:
1.  Help protect Utah’s magnificent Arch Canyon from off-road vehicle damage.
2.  Show us how “wild” you are about Utah!
3.  Faith communities urge Utah leaders to support wilderness stewardship.
4.  New redrock bill cosponsors include Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA).
5.  See a SUWA slideshow this April, including new “dust on snow” presentations in Colorado! 

Threatened Places: BLM Considering Commercial Jeep Event in Arch Canyon

Jeep in Arch Canyon
A jeep plows through Arch Canyon.  Photo copyright Liz Thomas/SUWA.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is currently
considering an application by Jeep Jamboree USA to hold an off-road vehicle (ORV) event in Arch

at the end of April, during which large groups of Jeeps would be driven
up and
down the canyon.  Located in
southeastern Utah, Arch Canyon is a place of magnificent natural beauty and solitude, and
is rich in archaeological sites, including rock art and structures, some of them 2,000
years old.  Although the BLM has not inventoried or recorded the vast majority of
the archaeological sites in Arch Canyon, the federal agency has allowed ORV use to
occur in this proposed wilderness area, causing impacts to prehistoric and historic cultural resources.  The free-flowing creek in Arch Canyon is a
rare desert gem; streams amount to merely 1% of Utah’s public lands yet
support nearly 80% of Utah’ wildlife. 
ORVs cross the stream in Arch Canyon 120 times in the round trip up and
down the canyon, causing significant damage to the streambed and degradation
of water quality and habitat of sensitive fish species.

SUWA has filed a lawsuit challenging BLM’s decision to deny our petition
to protect Arch Canyon from ORV damage.  In the meantime, ORV use continues to
threaten the resources of Arch Canyon.

send an email to the Utah BLM State Director requesting that:

1)      BLM prohibit ORV use in Arch
Canyon, and
2)      BLM deny Jeep’s application
for a Jeep Jamboree in Arch Canyon in April.

can send your concerns to:
Sierra, Utah State BLM Director


Enter SUWA’s “Wild About Utah” Photo Contest! 

 Is your “Protect Wild Utah” button pinned to your backpack?  Have you
been someplace far from Utah and seen a “Protect Wild Utah” sticker on a
building, sign or car bumper?  By design, our bright yellow buttons and
stickers are easy to spot from far away.  Now, you can win a prize for
displaying your love of Utah’s redrock country and being a good
photographer.  Just send a photo of yourself or a friend wearing a
“Protect Wild Utah” button or sticker OR submit a photo of a button or
sticker in an interesting location (let’s keep it clean, please!).

For full contest details or to request a button or sticker, be sure to visit the SUWA’s photo contest webpage.

All contest entries will be posted on SUWA’s Flickr page — add SUWA as one of your Flickr contacts to keep updated on new entries! 



Faith and the Land: A Call for Wilderness Stewardship at Utah’s State Capitol


Faith & the Land Event at Utah Capitol
God isn’t making any more wilderness,” said Reverend Erin
Gilmore of the Holladay United Church of Christ.  “It’s up to us to
protect what remains.”

In an historic event that has the power to shift the
conversation about wilderness in Utah, members of 11 different faith traditions
stood together in the rotunda of the State Capitol in February
and called on
state lawmakers to recognize the spiritual importance of Utah’s wilderness
heritage and to support meaningful protection for the state’s remaining wild
lands.  Reinforcing their call for
wilderness stewardship was an impressive exhibit of 24 posters featuring over
250 handwritten personal statements about why Utah’s wild lands matter spiritually.  The posters were created at “Wilderness
Stewardship” events held last fall and winter within the Roman Catholic,
Episcopal, Islamic, Jewish, Latter-day Saint, Lutheran, Methodist,
Presbyterian, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, and United Church of Christ faith
communities and one interfaith event.


*New Cosponsor Spotlight* 

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)

In this, the 111th Congress, we have surpassed the number of House cosponsors for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act in the 110th Congress!  Those recently signing onto to the bill are Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA).  If you live in any of the above districts, please thank your representative!

For a full list of cosponsors, click here.  If your members of Congress are not on the list of cosponsors, please ask them to sign onto the bill by clicking here!


Watch Out for a Wild Utah Slideshow this April

SUWA’s multi-media slideshow presentation, Wild Utah: America’s Redrock Wilderness, will be on the road in April!

SUWA’s Midwest Field Organizer, Clayton Daughenbaugh, will be presenting in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota this April.  For more information or to schedule a slideshow in the Midwest, email Clayton at

SUWA’s National Grassroots Organizer, Jackie Feinberg, will be traveling to Virginia and Florida in April.  For more information or to schedule a slideshow along the East Coast, email Jackie at   

SUWA’s Western Regional Organizer, Terri Martin, will be showing our new “Redrock Wilderness or Red Dust Melting Colorado Snow?” presentation in Colorado this April.  For more information or to schedule a slideshow in Colorado, email Terri at

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