• October 20th, 2021

    Human-powered recreation is exploding on public lands throughout the west, with Southern Utah as the poster child for unsustainable growth and associated impacts to resources and user experiences. These problems are compounded by under-staffed and under-resourced federal land management agencies like the Bureau of Land Management.

    Join Professor of Recreation Resources Management Dr. Christopher Monz and SUWA Wildlands Director Neal Clark to learn about the impacts of human-powered recreation in Southern Utah, and how implementing more proactive land management strategies from the Bureau of Land Management will protect public lands, wildlife and wild places– all while providing a spectrum of high-quality, meaningful experiences for a diverse recreating public.

     

    About Dr. Christopher Monz:

    Dr. Christopher Monz, Professor of Recreation Resources Management in the Department of Environment and Society at Utah State University, currently focuses his professional study in recreation ecology. He’s conducted over 30 years of research on national parks and other protected areas worldwide, and is the primary author of this new report, prepared for SUWA, titled Outdoor Recreation and Ecological Disturbance.

     

    Resources:

    Full Report: Outdoor Recreation and Ecological Disturbance, A Review of Research and Implications for Management of the Colorado Plateau Province by Dr. Christopher Monz

    Sign the petition: ask the Utah Bureau of Land Management to create a working group for non-motorized recreation and visitation

    SUWA: Recreation Management on the Colorado Plateau

    SUWA Recreation Letter to BLM

     

    Thank you to our show supporters!

    Wild Utah is made possible by the contributing members of SUWA. Thank you for your support!

    Become a SUWA member today and support the Wild Utah Podcast

     

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    Theme music is by Haley Noel Austin, with interlude music by Larry Pattis.
    Dave Pacheco is the host of Wild Utah.
    Post studio production and editing is by Laura Borichevsky.
    A transcript of this episode can be found here.

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  • October 15th, 2021

    Want a say in how the Forest Service manages public lands and mountain ecosystems outside of Moab?

    The Manti-La Sal National Forest, which includes distinct forest units in the La Sal Mountains outside of Moab as well as the Abajo Mountains and a portion of Bears Ears National Monument in San Juan County, is revising its management plan for the first time in 35 years. Your input is vital to making sure this new plan includes smart, conservation-based management of these ecologically and culturally significant national forest lands.

    The Forest Service is accepting public comments through October 25, 2021. Click here to learn more and take action now.

    Abajo Mountains and the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Copyright Tim Peterson

    The Manti-La Sal is an incredibly diverse and spectacular region that includes aspen groves, mountain lakes, stands of giant ponderosa pine, and rocky crags perched high above Utah’s canyon country. It’s one of the few places where you can stand in a snowy forest of pine and spruce while looking out for hundreds of miles across valleys, canyons, and redrock desert fins.

    More importantly, the forest is a critical watershed of the Colorado Plateau, sustaining life in the surrounding redrock canyon county, including Bears Ears National Monument. As climate change and drought become our new reality in the West, protecting watersheds fed by mountain snowpack is more important than ever. The water, wilderness, native plants, and wildlife habitat of the Manti-La Sal need your help to survive and thrive!

    SUWA has been working with partners for many years on a comprehensive “Conservation Alternative” that we believe should be fully analyzed and considered in the Forest Service’s development of the new plan.

    Please tell the Manti-La Sal National Forest Supervisor to fully analyze the Conservation Alternative.

    Bears Ears National Monument / Manti-La Sal National Forest. Copyright Tim Peterson

    This comment period, known as “scoping,” is the first of many steps in a long process, but it is the time when the Forest Service is most open to new information, input, and ideas for management of a healthy forest over the next several decades. This is our chance to help shape the vision of how the Manti-La Sal National Forest should be managed for preservation of its incredible values for generations to come.

    Please speak up for the Manti-La Sal today and make your voice heard!

    You can also submit comments directly via this Forest Service comment portal or by emailing the Manti-La Sal Forest Supervisor at mlnfplanrevision@usda.gov

    Thank you!

  • October 8th, 2021

    Did you hear the big news? President Biden just restored Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments to their original boundaries, protecting more than 2 million acres of Utah’s redrock wilderness!

    At the signing ceremony at the White House, President Biden and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland reiterated the importance of protecting American wilderness in the face of climate change. And at a SUWA watch party in Salt Lake City, SUWA board member Mark Maryboy recalled the history of advocating for and establishing Bears Ears National Monument. “I feel very fortunate that we stand shoulder to shoulder in protecting the land,” he said to the activists who gathered in support of monuments restoration.

    Protecting large landscapes like Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears is essential to mitigating the impacts of climate change and protecting wildlife. And President Biden’s restoration of Bears Ears National Monument gives Tribes a critical and long-overdue voice in the management of public lands.

    You made this incredible win for the redrock possible.To demonstrate our collective support for this action by President Biden and Interior Secretary Haaland, we’re sending them a massive thank-you card and are giving you the opportunity to sign it!

    Click here to add your name to the thank-you card!

    Many Americans know about the lawsuits that the Tribes, SUWA, our conservation partners, and other organizations immediately filed to overturn President Trump’s unlawful executive order shrinking the monuments in 2017, but redrock advocates like you know the day-to-day work that went into safeguarding the lands cut out of these monuments and keeping them eligible for today’s restoration.

    Monument supporters rallying at the Utah State Capitol in 2017. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA

    The truth is that these landscapes should have never been left unprotected in the first place. For decades Utah leaders have been all too keen to kick around our precious desert wild lands just to score a few political points. But SUWA has been here fighting back all along, and every year our movement grows stronger thanks to supporters like you.

    Thank you for all you do to keep Utah wild!

    P.S. If you’re a SUWA member, please stay tuned for an email invitation to our special members-only virtual celebration of this monumental win for the redrock!

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  • October 8th, 2021

    “President Biden’s restoration of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments will be hailed by generations for protecting some of the nation’s wildest and most culturally significant public lands. It’s hard to describe the relief and joy our members are feeling right now knowing these places and their irreplaceable objects are on the path to healing after years of deliberate mismanagement and neglect under the prior administration. We’re grateful to President Biden and Interior Secretary Haaland for their leadership in making these places whole.”

    Scott Groene, Executive Director, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance


    Photos: Jack Dykinga; Todd Abbotts

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