September 2016 Redrock Report

Sep 30th, 2016 Written by suwa

YOU Can Help Make a Bears Ears National Monument Happen!

Bears Ears Public Meeting (Bluff)As President Obama’s time in office winds down, your help is needed more than ever to turn up the heat for a Bears Ears National Monument. One of the most effective things you can do—from all corners of the country—is to call on Obama to act in your local or regional newspaper.

The Opinion page is frequently the first place Washington, D.C. decision makers look to sense the pulse of the nation. By expressing your voice through a letter-to-the-editor (usually limited to about 200 words) or a guest editorial (longer format, usually up to 600 words) you are literally sending a message to the president that millions of people will potentially see.

Please take some time from your busy day to write and submit a letter to your area newspaper—no matter where you live (and send us a copy). Click here for a list of suggested talking points or visit for further information.

PLI’s Last Stand

PLI GraphicLast week, the House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee “marked up” Rep. Rob Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative (PLI)—disastrous legislation containing a laundry list of provisions that would roll back existing protections on federal lands, advance the State of Utah’s land grab, drastically exacerbate carbon emissions from fossil fuel development, and fail to adequately protect the innumerable cultural and natural treasures of the Bears Ears region.

A “mark up” is a congressional procedure in which members are supposed to take the information they learned from witnesses at the preceding hearing and use it to improve the bill via amendments. Unfortunately, due to the lopsided nature of the House Natural Resources Committee, none of the amendments intended to improve the bill passed, and the PLI was ultimately approved by a party line vote. But don’t worry. From here on out, the Public Lands Initiative has no chance. As pointed out by Reps. Grijalva, Tsongas, and Lowenthal, the bill simply will not advance in the Senate. It contains too many poison pills, too many egregious violations of bedrock environmental law, too little wilderness, and too little compromise for that body to approve.

>> Find out if your representative stood up against the PLI and thank them if they did!

SUWA Welcomes New Associate Director and Field Advocate

SUWA welcomes two new staff members to our Salt Lake City office: Associate Director Karin Duncker and Field Advocate Luke Henry.

Karin DunckerKarin first fell in love with southern Utah’s redrock country during a family cross-country camping trip in 1976 (complete with VW camper), but it was the week in a raft on the San Juan River in 2007 that sealed the deal. Born and raised in and around NYC, Karin has a B.A. in Biology and Graduate Fellowship in Marine Biology from Hofstra University. Her career path veers from high school biology teacher, to non-profit executive director, business development executive for a law firm, pastry chef, and happily back to the nonprofit world as SUWA’s new associate director. She brings to SUWA the passion of a lover of the redrock, with the tenacity and accent of a life-long New Yorker.

Luke HenryLukewas born and mostly grew up in northern Idaho. He earned a B.S. from the University of Idaho, double majoring in Biology and Philosophy, and later attended law school in New Orleans at Tulane University. In law school, Luke focused on environmental law courses while also serving as the editor in chief of the Tulane Environmental Law Journal and working as a student attorney in the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic. After law school he spent a little over a year living and working on the Navajo Nation where he provided legal services to people living in the rural areas around Monument Valley. He is excited to be back at SUWA, where he interned during law school.

Welcome Karin and Luke!

Join a Service Project in Redrock Country this October

Horn Spring Service Project 2016SUWA offers the opportunity for volunteers to join public land managers for hands-on work trips in various backcountry locations. For our next two service projects we’re heading to the San Rafael Desert (Oct 15) and Moab area (Corona Arch, Oct 29). Please consider joining us for one (or both) of these outings. Get your hands dirty and enjoy spectacular scenery while learning more about the issues affecting Utah’s public lands.

>> Click here for more information

Own a Business? Show Your Support by Becoming a SUWA Business Member

SUWA’s Business Membership Program is a great way for your small business or company to support the protection of Utah’s redrock country. If you own a business and care deeply about protecting Utah’s magnificent wilderness lands for future generations, please consider joining today. For an annual donation of $150 or more, we’ll highlight your support in our newsletter once a year and on our website at At higher levels of support we offer additional benefits, such as a featured spot in our Redrock Report e-newsletter, or we can tailor benefits to your company’s specific interests.

For more information, visit our business member page or contact Michelle Farnsworth at (801) 236-3763 or

Another Fantastic Roundup Weekend in the Swell

Roundup 2016Redrock advocates from near and far enjoyed another gorgeous weekend in the San Rafael Swell at the recent SUWA Roundup (Sept. 16-18), our biennial member/activist gathering and campout. This year’s roughly 75 attendees hailed from Utah, Colorado, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Oregon, Minnesota, and even as far away as Maryland! In addition to the beautiful sunny weather, wonderful hikes, delicious potluck dishes, and great comradery, we were treated each night to a spectacular full moon illuminating the canyon walls of Muddy Creek (and some stunningly bright meteors for added drama).

Thanks to all who made the trip to Hidden Splendor this year. We enjoyed getting to meet new folks, reconnect with old friends, and appreciate the many wonders of the Muddy Creek proposed wilderness together. The SUWA Roundup is held every other year, so if you missed this one we hope to see you next time!

>> Click here to view our Roundup photo album on Facebook