Redrock Report: July 2010

Here's what is happening this month with the redrock:
1.  SUWA and our partners work out an historic agreement.
  Let Interior Secretary Salazar know that you want him to protect Utah wilderness!
3.  Help spread the word on Facebook and win a SUWA hat!
4.  Congratulations to our photo contest winners!

5.  Calling all bloggers!
6.  Get involved in local action this summer.

Historic Agreement Will Protect Desolation Canyon

Desolation Canyon
Desolation Canyon. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

Today, we announce that
SUWA and our partners have reached an historic agreement with the Bill
Barrett Corporation that will ensure that the Desolation Canyon stretch
of the Green River will be protected from the sight and sound of
industrial development even during the development and extraction of
substantial natural gas reserves that Barrett currently has under lease.

In addition, the
agreement clears the way for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to
approve a final record of decision for the "West Tavaputs Full Field
Natural Gas Development Project" on July 30.  Both the agreement and the
record of decision are also supported by the state of Utah, the Utah
School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, and Carbon County.

The agreement resulted in a dramatically reduced surface footprint,
particularly in the Desolation Canyon and Jack Canyon proposed
wilderness areas, while permitting BBC to recover the considerable
natural gas resource in the area.  As originally conceived under the
Bush administration, the West Tavaputs project included over 225 surface locations in proposed wilderness areas.  Now, fewer than six locations would be developed.

The Desolation Canyon
proposed wilderness area in Utah is one of the most remarkable, remote
landscapes in the lower 48 states.  By working with the Bill Barrett
Corporation, we have been able to to protect and enhance this crown
jewel of the public lands while allowing the company to achieve its goal
of developing the natural gas resource.  This also serves as a powerful
example of the progress that is resulting from the constructive ongoing
discussions between advocates for Utah wilderness and county
commissioners, land managers, and energy companies.

Read the full press release here.


Tell Secretary Salazar to Protect Utah Wilderness!

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When Ken Salazar took over the reins as Secretary of Interior he proclaimed
that there's a “new sheriff in town.”  Now that Obama administration officials are about to head to Salt Lake City, let's hold Secretary Salazar to his word.

In 2003, the State of
Utah and the Department of Interior secretly negotiated a deal in which the
Interior Department abandoned its duty to identify and protect lands worthy of
wilderness designation.  Relying on that back-room deal, in the last days of the
Bush administration the BLM issued land use plans for 11 million acres in
eastern Utah which included only limited protection for wilderness-quality
lands.  Secretary Salazar has the authority to rescind the “no more wilderness”
deal and give wilderness-quality lands the protection they deserve.  He should
use it
before we lose these treasured landscapes.

Please send a message to Secretary Salazar asking him
to defend Utah’s magnificent natural treasure
s from off-road vehicle abuse, vandalism to
archaeological sites, and the drilling of new oil and gas wells until Congress
can protect these lands
capes permanently under the Wilderness

Spread the word on Facebook and win a SUWA hat!


Bush administration's "No More Wilderness Policy" continues to threaten
the future of Utah's redrock wilderness.  Help us rally up more support
for overturning this policy on Facebook, and you can win!  Just ask
your friends to sign our petition to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and BLM Director Bob Abbey
If you can make your way into the "top signature gatherers" by August
3, when these officials will be visiting Utah, you will win a SUWA hat. 


Congratulations to our "Wild About Utah" Photo Contest Winners!

By design, our bright yellow "Protect
Wild Utah" buttons and stickers are easy to spot from far away.  In
spring of 2010, we asked our members and activists to show us where they
have displayed their passion for protecting Utah wilderness or where
they have found a "Protect Wild Utah" button or sticker during their
travels for a chance to win some fantastic prizes.  We received entries from around Utah, throughout the United States, and from places on five different continents. 

Thank you to all who entered and to our prize donors, Ultralight Adventure Equipment, Black Diamond Equipment, and Joby!

All winning photos can be viewed on our website.

People's Choice/Most Creative Best in Utah Farthest from Utah

First Place
photo contest finalist 9
Dance Hall Rock, Grand Staircase-
Escalante National Monument. 
Entry by David Mowry.

First Place
photo contest finalist 6
Meadow, Utah.  Entry by James Ruda.

Second Place
Entry by Greta Hyland.

Third Place
Entry by Vicki Allen.

First Place
photo contest winner 1
Adelaide, Australia.  Entry by Julio Cesar Facelli.

Second Place
Entry by Mike and Jean Binyon.

Third Place
Entry by Dave Rubin.

People's Choice Finalists:  Entries by Bruce
Taterka, Chris Schiller, Eric Kuhn, Dave Rubin, Heather Carter-Young,
James Ruda, Sarah Grant, Gary Warren, Greta Hyland.

Calling all Bloggers!

Do you write an
environmental, political, or Utah focused blog? Want to stay informed about
the latest breaking news in the effort to preserve Utah wilderness? Sign up by filling out this form, and we'll send you occasional blogger-friendly alerts and media links on
the latest news affecting Utah wilderness.

Questions? Send an email to

Wild Utah Summer of Local Action 2010 is Underway

This summer, redrock activists from around the country
will be speaking to their members of Congress and Obama administration
officials about protecting Utah wilderness.  To get involved, please fill out this form or email

President Obama's "America's Great Outdoors Initiative" listening sessions have given Utah wilderness supporters a unique opportunity to talk
to administration officials about the threats to redrock country. 
During these events, attendees are divided into small groups to discuss
four conservation topics with a representative from the Department of
Interior, Department of Agriculture, or other federal agency (what
works, challenges, the federal government's role, and tools for
success).  Already, activists have spoken on behalf of Utah wilderness
in Montana, Maryland, Washington, California, Colorado, and New Mexico.  Future listening sessions will be held in Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Poughkeepsie, NY, with more to come.  If you are interested in attending one of these or future listening sessions, let us know and we will send you some talking points.  Thank you to everyone who has attended a listening session so far!

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