September 2021 Redrock Report

Keep the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area Roadless!

Keep Red Cliffs Roadless GraphicThe Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA) near St. George, Utah—home to the densest population of threatened Mojave desert tortoise anywhere on earth—continues to be targeted for a major highway project.

The so-called Northern Corridor Highway was given the green light in the final days of the Trump administration despite major legal issues and broad public outcry. Now it’s time to put pressure on the Biden administration to overturn this terrible decision.

The Red Cliffs NCA was established to protect the imperiled tortoise and “to conserve, protect, and enhance . . . the ecological, scenic, wildlife, recreational, cultural, historical, natural, educational, and scientific resources” of public lands therein. A new highway does nothing to further the goals of the NCA and would undoubtedly harm the resources this area was specifically designated to protect.

>> Tell Biden’s Interior Department to rescind approval of the Northern Corridor Highway


SUWA Webinar to Reveal Key Findings of New Report on Impacts of Human-Powered Recreation

Mountain Biker at Gooseberry Mesa (Adobe Stock)The exploding growth of non-motorized recreation and visitation to the Colorado Plateau’s public lands is apparent to anyone who spends time there. Immediate action is needed to ensure that public lands recreation is sustainable over the long-term, for wildlife, wilderness, cultural and natural resources, and quality visitor experiences.

A new report by professor and recreation ecologist Dr. Christopher Monz of the USU Ecology Center and Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism synthesizes more than 60 years of published scientific research to identify the environmental impacts of rapidly expanding human-powered recreation on the Colorado Plateau.

Join us for a special webinar, Impacts of Human-Powered Recreation & Public Land Management, at 6pm on Tuesday, September 28th to learn more about the contents of the report and what it means for effective public land management in redrock country moving forward.

>> Click here to register for this virtual event


Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Turns 25!

GSENM 25th Anniversary GraphicThis Saturday, September 18th, marks the 25th anniversary of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument! Sometimes referred to as “the science monument,” Grand Staircase-Escalante was established to protect the objects of significant scientific value found in the area and has since yielded remarkable ecological and paleontological discoveries. After President Trump illegally halved the monument in 2017, monument supporters including SUWA and Grand Staircase-Escalante Partners have been working hard to get it back.

Learn more by listening to our latest podcast: Restoring the Science Monument. We speak with Sarah Bauman, Executive Director of Grand Staircase-Escalante Partners, about the effort to restore the monument and why this area is so deserving of protection.

And if you’d like to help put pressure on the Biden administration to fully restore all Trump-dismantled monuments (Grand Staircase-Escalante, Bears Ears, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts), you can take action here.


America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act Gains 15 New Cosponsors

Sept 2021 New CosponsorsWhen it comes to protecting the redrock, perseverance is the key. In recent months, the Delta surge and multiple legislative deadlines facing Congress have made it difficult to cultivate cosponsors of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act. Nevertheless, the persistent efforts of our staff and activists have secured 12 new House cosponsors and 3 new Senate cosponsors since mid-July. That brings our total cosponsorship numbers to 76 in the House and 17 in the Senate!

The newest House cosponsors are Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA-31), Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-2), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA-43), Rep. James Himes (D-CT-4), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI-2), Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN-2), Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN-3), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME-1), Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY-18), Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT-2), Rep. Jerry McNerny (D-CA-9), and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-7). The latest additions in the Senate are Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN).

You can find the complete list of cosponsors here. If you see your members of Congress on the list, please reach out and thank them for helping protect the wild landscapes of southern Utah. If any of your members are not on the list, please ask them to cosponsor America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act today!


Join Us for Two SUWA-Hosted Climate Week Events in Late September

ClimateStrikeSUWA is proud to be a presenting organization in Utah Climate Week 2021. Register here to attend The Role of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act in Protecting Biodiversity and Mitigating the Climate Crisis at 7pm on Wednesday, September 29th. SUWA Organizer Dave Pacheco will discuss the recent scientific review of the contribution that America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act plays in mitigating the climate crisis by keeping carbon in the ground and providing an important refuge for wildlife. We’ll explain how this visionary legislation protects biodiversity and the contribution that these Utah wild lands make to the global “30 by 30” initiative.

In partnership with Latino Behavioral Health Services, SUWA is also hosting a Facebook livestream on climate grief, eco-anxiety, and mental health in Latino communities. Join the discussion with us at www.facebook.com/latinobehavioral/ at 6pm on Thursday, September 30th.


Learn about Redrock Herencia y Querencia During Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month GraphicDid you know Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15th to October 15th? In Spanish, the word “herencia” is like gold for describing the significance of public lands to people. It’s a double entendre that means “inheritance” and “heritage.” As in, “wilderness is our inheritance from those before us,” or “my cultural heritage is preserved in public land.” La tierra pública es nuestra herencia.

Visit suwa.org/silvestre to learn about the past, present, and future of Hispanic herencia and querencia (stewardship) of America’s redrock wilderness. On social media, we’ll be highlighting more stories of Hispanic cultural heritage in canyon country throughout the month.

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