Here’s what is happening this month with the redrock:
1. Don’t let the BLM sacrifice Labyrinth Canyon for fertilizer!
2. Support in the Senate for protecting Utah wilderness is on the rise.
3. Educators tell Utah legislators they are chasing imaginary unicorns.
4. Moab residents discuss the Greater Canyonlands National Monument proposal.
5. Join us for SUWA’s annual Backyard Bash this July!
The Green River in Labyrinth Canyon. Copyright Tom Till.
The BLM is poised to approve American Potash LLC’s application to drill four core holes to explore for potash in the Labyrinth Canyon area. The company, a wholly owned subsidiary of a Canadian potash development company, has applied to explore for potash (an ingredient in commercial fertilizer) on the eastern flanks of the Green River as it flows through Labyrinth Canyon. Three of the proposed core drilling sites are within America’s redrock wilderness and the Greater Canyonlands region.
Labyrinth Canyon’s geological and archaeological wonders are internationally recognized, with artifacts dating back to the mammoth hunter era 10,000 years ago. Boaters treasure the long stretches of quiet that pervade this section of the Green River as they glide on the calm water and explore the winding side canyons. Labyrinth Canyon is a sparkling gem in Greater Canyonlands.
The proposed potash exploration will necessitate widening and upgrading existing vehicle routes, and constructing several new routes across the desert to allow access for drill rigs and other drilling equipment. Visitors to the area will encounter heavy equipment, truck traffic, noise, dust, night lighting, and sludge pits if the BLM approves the exploration. This should not happen!
Just 2 months after America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (S. 769, H.R. 1630) was reintroduced in the 113th Congress, we have surpassed the number of Senate cosponsors from the 112th! Currently, 16 U.S. Senators, along with 86 U.S. Representatives, have signed on in official support of the legislation that would protect over 9 million acres of spectacular redrock wilderness in Utah. Click here to read about how activists like you have stepped up to make this happen.
YOU can help make cosponsorship happen for your members of Congress too! If your Representative and/or Senators are not on the list of cosponsors for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act yet, please consider taking action this summer to help add to the growing list.
Here’s what you can do:
1) Volunteer to visit your Representative’s and/or Senators’ district office this summer. Click here to sign up, and SUWA’s grassroots staff will help you prepare for an in-district meeting or to drop by a district office.
2) Call your members of Congress and ask that they cosponsor America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (S. 769, H.R. 1630). Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with your Representative’s or Senators’ DC office. Remember to tell his/her staff why protecting Utah wilderness is important to you as a constituent.
Heather Bennett, a three-term Salt Lake City Board of Education member, spoke on behalf of For Kids and Lands, a new group calling for the protection of Utah’s public lands and realistic solutions to education funding. Bennett took land grab proponents to task for claiming that the effort to seize Utah’s lands could help fund education. “You are chasing an imaginary unicorn, rather than working on realistic solutions” she said, pointing out that the state’s own lawyers have said the land transfer bill has “high probability of being declared unconstitutional.”
In addition, Bennett emphasized that the state’s 30 lawsuits claiming title to 35,000 miles of dirt routes would cost the state millions, diverting money that could go to education, while harming the scenic values that “make Utah a fabulous place for family recreation and renewal.”
Panelists discuss Greater Canyonlands at Star
Hall in Moab on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
Earlier this month, more than 80 Moab locals turned out to Moab’s historic Star Hall to take part in a panel discussion about the proposed Greater Canyonlands National Monument and other issues affecting public lands in the region.
Following presentations by TrekWest adventurer and Wildlands Network co-founder John Davis and Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, a panel of experts and activists answered questions from the audience about the proposed Greater Canyonlands National Monument, tar sands mining, and hunting and vehicle access to public lands, among other topics.
To get involved in the campaign to protect Greater Canyonlands, visit greatercanyonlands.org.
It’s time for the annual SUWA Backyard Bash at our office in Salt Lake City! Enjoy live music by SYNKOFA and spend time with other redrock wilderness fans. Light appetizers and beverages will be provided.
When: Wednesday, July 17 from 6-9pm
Where: Wyss Wilderness House, 425 E 100 S, Salt Lake City
Please RSVP here: http://bit.ly/BackyardBash
Click here to invite friends on Facebook. Hope to see you there!