May 2020 Redrock Report

Save the Redrock, Save the Planet: Latest Podcast Highlights “30 by 30” Campaign

30x30 Podcast GraphicIn our latest Wild Utah podcast, Michael Johnson, Senior Policy Advisor for Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), discusses the resolution Sen. Udall is sponsoring in the U.S. Senate to protect 30% of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030, known as the “30 by 30” campaign.

This urgent push represents America’s contribution to avert catastrophic collapse of the planet’s natural systems. Our conversation lays out some of the underlying science and need for such broad action, as well as current congressional efforts to lead the way. SUWA organizer Terri Martin also joins us to explain the role that America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act plays in the broader national and international “30 by 30” campaign. Click here to listen to the podcast now.

Since its debut in 2018, SUWA’s Wild Utah podcast has covered a number of issues facing redrock country. Please join our growing world of listeners by subscribing to Wild Utah through Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, or on our website.


Speculative Fossil Fuel Leasing Continues Apace as America Grapples with COVID-19

Hatch Point/Big Flat WellDespite the ongoing pandemic, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proceeding with plans to offer more than 110,000 acres of public lands for oil and gas leasing and development near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. The agency will open up this land for development in piecemeal fashion, selling a few lease parcels at its June 2020 lease sale, and many more at its September 2020 sale.

The rush to lease continues even as the world is awash in excess oil and gas, as evidenced by the fact that the price per barrel of oil recently dropped for the first time ever below zero. More importantly, future exploration and development of these lease parcels will exacerbate the ongoing climate crisis while marring one of the nation’s most iconic western landscapes. The BLM must put a halt to all new leasing of public lands if there is any chance of avoiding the most severe impacts of a changing climate.

SUWA is actively involved in both of these leasing proposals. Stay tuned for updates and opportunities to become involved.

Photo © Neal Clark/SUWA


Even a Pandemic Can’t Stop America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act

Behind the Rocks & La Sal Mountains (Tom Till)Though progress has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act continues to ratchet up cosponsors. With the recent addition of Reps. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), the bill is up to 77 cosponsors in the House of Representatives. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) hopped on to bring the Senate total to 17.

Members of Congress are understandably busy helping constituents get through this crisis, but if your members are not on the bill, make sure to remind them.

You can click here to see if your representative and senators are already cosponsors.

If any of them are not listed, please click here to ask them to endorse America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act today!

Photo © Tom Till


Help Us Grow the Utah Wilderness Coalition!

Protect Wild Utah Hiker (Peter Gatch)The Utah Wilderness Coalition (UWC) is a collective of organizations, community groups, and businesses that stand together in support of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act as the guiding vision for the future of Utah’s wild lands. The steering committee is formed by SUWA, Sierra Club, and Natural Resources Defense Council.

The UWC currently has over 100 member groups and businesses, but we want to grow the Coalition! If you belong to a group or own a business who would like to join, please contact Terri Martin at terri@suwa.org. Check out the UWC website and view the current list of members at protectwildutah.org.

Joining the UWC means that your group/business:

  • Endorses America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act as the accurate definition of what is wild and deserving of protection on BLM lands in Utah.
  • Supports legislative efforts consistent with America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act to attain protection for, and defend, the wild character of these lands.
  • Agrees to have organizational/business name listed on UWC letter asking members of Congress to cosponsor America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act.

>> Learn more at protectwildutah.org

Photo © Peter Gatch


Mark Maryboy and Terry Tempest Williams Headline Utah Earth Day Live Events

Climate Oranizers SLCIn case you missed our virtual Utah Earth Day Live events a few weeks back, recordings featuring longtime SUWA board members and Earth defenders Mark Maryboy and Terry Tempest Williams are available to watch on UtahEarthDay.org. Take a break with these videos and gain inspiration from current efforts to tackle the climate crisis and protect and restore our Earth through intergenerational action guided by the wisdom of elders and the creativity of youth.

>> Listen to Mark Maryboy’s storytelling

>> Hear the intergenerational conversation between acclaimed author Terry Tempest Williams and young climate activist Mishka Banuri


How Is COVID-19 Affecting SUWA and Our Work?

If you’re wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our work to protect the redrock—including what’s happening with our Stewardship Program, how our organizing team is adapting, and how the CARES Act affects charitable giving—we’ve created a handy FAQ page to address all your questions and concerns. And if you have any questions we haven’t covered, feel free to contact us at info@suwa.org.


Become a Mobile Activist: Text SUWA to 52886

Quick communication and online activism are more important than ever as threats to our public lands continue largely unabated despite the COVID-19 crisis. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to join our mobile action network in defense of Utah’s wild places! Simply text SUWA to 52886 and we’ll send text alerts to your phone so you can act fast when Utah’s wilderness or national monuments are threatened. Or you can follow this link to sign up now: https://p2a.co/jZEmCOy

Posted by