October 2015 Redrock Report

Comments Needed on Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam Wash NCA Management Plan

Red Cliffs NCAThe St. George BLM recently released its draft management plan for the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs National Conservation Areas (NCAs) – both located in a unique corner of Utah where the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert ecosystems meet. As you may recall, the 2009 Washington County public lands bill (i.e., the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009) created these two NCAs in southwestern Utah to “conserve, protect, and enhance . . . the ecological, scenic, wildlife, recreational, cultural, historical, natural, educational, and scientific resources” of the designated lands.

The BLM is now developing a comprehensive Resource Management Plan (RMP) to provide management guidelines for meeting the above-stated purpose of the NCAs. SUWA is advocating for the strongest protections for wilderness-quality lands and wildlife, including long-term conservation of the Mojave desert tortoise (a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act) by preventing a highway corridor through critical tortoise habitat in the Red Cliffs NCA.

You can make your voice heard too. If you’re concerned about the Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs NCAs and want to see them properly managed to protect wildlife and wilderness values, click here to send a message to the BLM by November 16th (extended deadline).

Photo: Red Cliffs NCA, copyright Bob Wick/BLM

New Cosponsors Join Chorus of Support for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act

Fisher TowersSince America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act was reintroduced in Congress this spring it has garnered the support of 94 cosponsors in the House and 18 in the Senate. Among the most recent representatives to endorse this visionary legislation are Jose Serrano (D-NY), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Bill Foster (D-IL), Joseph Kennedy (D-MA), Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA). The newest Senate cosponsors are Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Cory Booker (D-NJ).

If you’re represented by any of the above members of Congress, please send a quick email thanking them for their support. If your representative and/or senators have not cosponsored Amercia’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, please ask them to do so!

>> For a list of all current cosponsors, click here.

Photo: Fisher Towers, copyright Tom Till

San Rafael Swell Under Attack Once Again

Molen ReefMore than 35,000 acres – all of them identified by BLM as possessing wilderness value – have been placed on the auction block in BLM’s upcoming November 2015 oil and gas lease sale, including the Limestone Cliffs, Molen Reef, Mussentuchit (pronounced “musn’t-touch-it”) Badlands, Rock Canyon, and Upper Muddy Creek areas.

Oil and gas development in this region of the Swell is entirely speculative and unnecessary due to its remote location and the large amount of BLM-managed land in Utah already under lease (much of which is not being developed). These leases open the door for industry to step in and permanently scar the Swell, destroying its remarkable values.

SUWA has submitted a formal challenge to the inclusion of these lease parcels in the November sale. We’ll let you know what happens.

>> Read more on our blog.

Photo: Molen Reef, copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA

Wild Utah Slideshow Hits the Road

Wild Utah Video ScreenshotWe’re well into autumn now, and that means SUWA’s grassroots team is once again travelling the country with our Wild Utah slideshow.  Presentations are currently scheduled for UT, MN, WI, IL, MI, NH, ME, NY, NJ and DC.

Wild Utah: America’s Redrock Wilderness, features interviews, stunning photos and video, and compelling narration by longtime wilderness activist Robert Redford.  Audiences will walk away with a better understanding of the issues affecting Utah wilderness and what they can do to make a difference.

>> Click here to see the current schedule and find out if our slideshow is coming to a town near you!