Redrock Report: April 2010

April 2010

Here's what is happening this month with the redrock: 
1. No more slick oil and gas permits from BLM due to a SUWA settlement.
2. Share your photos and stories from visits to White Canyon in southeastern Utah.
3. Remember to submit your entries for SUWA's photo contest!
4. SW Coloradans: attend "dust on snow" organizing meetings in Durango in May!

SUWA and Partners Achieve BLM Oil and Gas Reforms through Settlement

Nine Mile Canyon
An archaeological site in Nine Mile Canyon. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

Thanks to a successful
partnership of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, The Wilderness
and the Nine Mile Canyon Coalition, it was announced on March 31 that oil
companies will no longer be able to skip needed environmental
assessments in
sensitive areas, cinching up a Bush-era loophole that allowed the messy
of drilling permits.  The settlement with the Bureau of Land
Management (BLM)
means “categorical exclusions,” which allowed new drilling to be
approved without
first conducting a thorough environmental analysis, will no longer be
in cases
where there are cultural resources, wetlands, wilderness and
highly sensitive factors.

This is something to
celebrate, and SUWA, along with our partners in the settlement, is pleased the
oil and
gas reforms promised by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
to make progress.  No objection has been made by the Bill Barrett
Corporation, which
held the 30 wells in Nine
Mile Canyon
that triggered the suit.

For the full press release, click here.

Threatened Places: White Canyon and its Side Canyons

White Canyon
White Canyon proposed wilderness.
copyright James W. Kay

North of Natural Bridges National Monument, White Canyon and its
side canyons carve cool, dark, labyrinthine
slots so narrow that a human wingspan is enough to bridge their sides.  These canyons' upper walls are adorned with the honeycomb, grottoes and alcoves of
erosive art, and remnants of Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings
remain mostly untouched, the difficulty of the terrain thus far
safeguarding them from vandals and thieves.  Without wilderness
designation, however, these prehistoric structures and artifacts may
soon be accessed by looters with bigger and more powerful ORVs before
they can be fully studied.

How you can help:

Have you been to White Canyon, Cheesebox Canyon or another side canyon in this complex, or to any other places in the Glen Canyon wilderness? 
would love to hear your story, see your pictures, and share them with
those who can help us protect these treasures for good. 

us to
  Just send your stories and photos to  (Story and photo submissions will constitute permission
SUWA to post them on our website and online networks and use them in our
materials, unless the individual requests otherwise.)


Time is Running Out for the "Wild About Utah" Photo Contest!

is your chance to win great prizes for displaying your passion for
protecting Utah wilderness in your hometown or in places you've
traveled.  Just take a photo of yourself wearing a "Protect Wild Utah"
button or sticker, or take a photo of a button or sticker on your
backpack, on your car bumper, etc.  Don't have a button or sticker?  We
will continue to accept requests via our online form  through the end of next week.  If we have already sent you a button or sticker, remember to send your photo contest entries to before May 1!

To view all entries, be sure to check out SUWA's Flickr page.

Calling All Southwest Coloradans!

SUWA's Western Regional Organizer, Terri Martin, will be speaking about "Redrock Wilderness or Red Dust Melting Colorado Snow?" in Durango, Colorado this May.  For more information or to schedule a presentation in Colorado, email Terri at

Read more about SUWA's "Dust on Snow" work in The Aspen Times.


Facebook Icon   YouTube logo   Typepad Logo    Twitter Logo   Causes logo  Flickr logo