The threats remain – Redrock Report August 2011

Here’s what is happening this month with the redrock:
1. Bad legislation on hold for August recess, but remains a threat.
2. We’re over halfway to our goal of collecting 10,000 postcards for Greater Canyonlands!
3. Join fellow redrock activists at SUWA events this fall!
4. The list of redrock bill cosponsors continues to grow.

Post-August recess threats from the anti-conservation Congress

Fiddler Butte
Current protections would be removed for portions of the Fiddler Butte Wilderness Study Area if H.R. 1581 passed.  Photo copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

Last month we told you about the “Great Outdoors Giveaway Act,” a breathtakingly short-sighted handout to industry that would release nearly 60 million acres of protected land nationwide to development.  In Utah, portions of places like Cheesebox Canyon, Labyrinth Canyon, Fiddler Butte and the Dirty Devil would lose their current protections. This overreaching bill, numbered H.R. 1581, received a hearing in the House Subcommittee on National Forests, Parks and Public Lands on July 26, and was sternly denounced by Bob Abbey, the director of the Bureau of Land Management, and Bruce Babbitt, the former Secretary of Interior from the Clinton administration.  The next step for this bill would be to go to “markup,” the process by which members of the committee make amendments to the bill and decide whether to send it to the full House for a vote.  Until that happens, this bill is on the back burner, but we will monitor it and keep you up to date.

Also on hold for now is the 2012 Appropriations bill for the Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency and Forest Service.  Early versions of this bill contained dozens of bad policy riders that would have stripped protections for wild lands, clean air, clean water and endangered species.  Some of those riders remain a threat, but distracted by the debate on the debt ceiling, Congress decided to defer voting on the appropriations bill until after the August recess.  This means it’s likely Congress will take up all its appropriations duties at once in a large omnibus bill, instead of individual pieces of legislation.  Which of the bad riders will carry over to that omnibus remains to be seen, but we will be vigilant in our fight to oppose them.

Redrock activists step up to the plate for Greater Canyonlands

Thanks to the help of Utah wilderness supporters across the country, we are over halfway to our goal of  collecting 10,000 postcards to the Obama administration in support of protecting Greater Canyonlands.  Every week this summer, we have been delivering a stack of postcards to the Department of Interior in DC, and will continue this effort throughout the fall.

Want to help us reach our goal?

To get involved, send an email to the SUWA grassroots organizer in your region (contact information is below).  We will mail you the postcards and informational materials, and your role will be to collect signatures and mail them back to us.  Whether you think you can collect 5 postcards or 500, any help is greatly appreciated!

In Utah: Terri Martin,

In the Southwest: Terri Martin,

In the Northwest: Brooke Williams,

In the Midwest: Clayton Daughenbaugh,

In the East: Jackie Feinberg,

Connect with other Utah wilderness activists at SUWA fall events

Utah Wilderness Dialogues: Chris Noble

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 6:30 p.m.

Jane’s Home, 1229 E South Temple, Salt Lake City

Internationally renowned photographer Chris Noble will present a slideshow of redrock wilderness photographs and his thoughts about the importance of wilderness.

Chris Noble
Chris Noble

Chris Noble is a photographer, writer, and multi-media producer whose work celebrates the beauty of nature and inspires people to live healthier, more mindful, and sustainable lives. He is a veteran of over thirty expeditions to the most remote corners of the globe, ranging from Denali to Everest; the peaks of the Alps to the jungles of Borneo; from the Arctic to remote regions of Burma and Bhutan. His writing and photography have appeared in hundreds of publications, including Life, National Geographic, Newsweek, Orion, Outside, and Rolling Stone. Noble has served as a contributing photographer at Powder and Outdoor Photographer Magazines.

Please RSVP at
Invite friends using Facebook by clicking here.

Visit our website to see the full fall schedule for the Utah Wilderness Dialogues.

2011 SUWA Roundup

WHAT: Legendary annual gathering of Utah wilderness lovers in the San Rafael Swell

Roundup 2010
Hikers explore Mud
Canyon during the 2011
SUWA Roundup

WHEN: Starts at 7 PM September 23 through the morning of Sept 25

WHERE:  Hidden Splendor Mine area (map available at

To RSVP: Fill out this form or contact SUWA’s Membership Coordinator, Kathene Audette, at, (801) 236-3763

Click here to invite friends using Facebook.

Enjoy a weekend of fun, guided hikes, service projects, and informational wilderness talks. The Roundup offers wilderness lovers, SUWA members and staff the opportunity to get to know each other while relaxing in the beautiful San Rafael Swell.  Activities include a discussion of Utah wilderness issues with SUWA staff, a potluck dinner, evening music around the campfire, and—best of all—guided day-hikes in the Muddy Creek proposed wilderness.  Sunday morning you’ll awake to freshly brewed coffee and breakfast prepared by the SUWA staff in thanks for all your support and dedication.

Attend a Utah wilderness slideshow presentation!

SUWA’s popular multi-media slideshow, Wild Utah: America’s Redrock Wilderness features interviews, stunning photos and video, and compelling narration by longtime wilderness activist Robert Redford.  Audiences will walk away with a better understanding of the issues affecting Utah wilderness and what they can do to make a difference.

Click here for the fall slideshow schedule.

To host a slideshow, or to recommend a group or venue for a presentation, please contact:

Brooke Williams ( if you live in the NORTHWEST.

Terri Martin ( if you live in the SOUTHWEST.

Clayton Daughenbaugh ( if you live in the MIDWEST.

Jackie Feinberg ( if you live in the EAST.

We’re up to 100 House redrock bill cosponsors!

In July, support for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (H.R. 1916/S. 979) reached 100 cosponsors in the House and 12 in the Senate. Recently signed on members of Congress include Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), James McGovern (D-MA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), John Larson (D-CT), Steve Israel (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Brad Miller (D-NC), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Rob Andrews (D-NJ).  Please thank your members of Congress if they have cosponsored the bill!

If your members of Congress are not on the list of cosponsors, please ask them to cosponsor America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act today!

change.orgSign the petition to save Greater Canyonlands