This Wednesday, August 22nd, the “Not-so-Swell” bill proposed by Utah’s Sen. Hatch and Rep. Curtis will receive a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The Emery County Public Land Management Act, which affects places like Desolation Canyon, Labyrinth Canyon, and the San Rafael Swell, is crammed into a hearing with a massive slate of 13 other bills, and no opposition witness will be called.
We’ve been working for months to try to improve this bill, but it remains a take-it-or-leave-it proposal. It’s the brainchild of a tiny county political body whose members openly admit their goal is to prevent meaningful wilderness protections for some of Utah’s most spectacular and remote public lands. Just for starters, this bill:
- Leaves more than 900,000 acres of proposed wilderness out of the running for protection, including much of the iconic Muddy Creek and Labyrinth Canyon areas
- Seeks to codify an illegal travel plan that we’ve already settled in court
- Turns federal lands over to the State of Utah
- Releases a Wilderness Study Area to facilitate a coal mine expansion
- Fails to protect significant priceless cultural resources in the San Rafael Badlands
This is the biggest legislative fight we’ve had in years. The good news is we have many allies in Congress, they just need to hear from you!
Thank you for taking action.