San Rafael Swell Protected by the U.S. House!

We’re delighted to tell you that the Emery County Public Land Management Act just passed the U.S. House of Representatives and now heads to the president’s desk for his signature. (Yes, he’s expected to sign.)

Take a moment to appreciate just how historic this victory is.

For more than twenty years, the Utah delegation has put forward lousy bills that would have sold the San Rafael Swell short. SUWA opposed all those bills. And now, after a year-long fight, what began again as terrible legislation will instead extend much-needed protection to some of Utah’s most beloved redrock landscapes—places like Muddy Creek and parts of Desolation and Labyrinth Canyons.

Muddy Creek wilderness in the San Rafael Swell. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA

This happened because of people like you. Your emails, phone calls, and contributions made the difference—showing our congressional allies and opponents alike that the American people care about protecting Utah wilderness.

Thanks to you and our Utah Wilderness Coalition allies—the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council—we’ve made this legislation deserving of the places protected.

The result? 663,000 acres of wilderness will now be protected in Emery County! (Click here to view our story map showing what the bill protects.)

We’re grateful to our congressional champions, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA 47), who each challenged an earlier, flawed version of the bill—flaws that have now been largely addressed.

These lands belong to all Americans, and wilderness bills like this one can only succeed if Utah politicians recognize the national significance of their protection.

To be sure, there are still lands in Emery County and elsewhere deserving of protection, and we will continue to work every day to protect all of Utah’s magnificent redrock wilderness.

But today, it’s time to celebrate.

Thank you for being a critical part of the movement to protect Utah wilderness.

If you live in Utah, please call Representative John Curtis’ office at 202-225-7751, and Sen. Mitt Romney at (202) 224-5251 and thank them for seeing this legislation through.

If you live in California, please call Representative Lowenthal’s’ office at 202-225-7924 and thank him for his hard work to enact this legislation.