Utah Wilderness News, August 9, 2010

SUWA's Steve Bloch on the agreement to protect Desolation Canyon


"Now is the time to build upon the trust and
good will that the agreement between SUWA and Barrett generated to
accomplish lasting protection for this uniquely Utah treasure.

By ensuring that the Bill Barrett Corp. will
be able to access the substantial natural gas reserves in this area, the
agreement “clears the underbrush” that often stands in the way of such
bold action.

SUWA is ready to once again roll up its
sleeves and work with federal, state, and county leaders to finish the
job and protect this priceless Utah natural wonder.

There is also an important role for the
Department of Interior to play. Secretary Ken Salazar can direct the
BLM to consider designating this special place as a “wilderness study
area” to ensure that its wild character is not damaged while the
stakeholders address its future. The secretary clearly has the authority
to do so, and he should act on that without delay."  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

Fred Barrett says the agreement is good for business

"Most notably, BBC and the Southern Utah
Wilderness Alliance reached accord allowing protection of the incredible
Desolation Canyon landscape while maintaining access to the great
majority of the production reserves. From wildlife to wall etchings to
wilderness, the BLM and Department of Interior kept everyone focused on
their multiple-use mission, one that balances conservation, preservation
and development.

This effort on the part of our company is
simply good business. We gain the predictability and certainty needed to
make the significant capital investment necessary for implementing our
plan. We also recognize our responsibility to tread as lightly as
possible upon these public lands and are proud of a plan representing
what we contend is the most environmentally sensitive development in
Utah and perhaps the West."  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake resident applauds agreement

"SUWA and the Bill Barrett Corp. chose the more difficult and more
courageous path: They reached a reasonable resolution to one of the many
contentious environmental issues we face. For that, they should be
applauded."  Letter-to-the-Editor – The Salt Lake Tribune

Compromise on road claims deserves a try

"Signing on to the Iron County test case are the Interior Department and
the state of Utah, the Utah Association of Counties, the Southern Utah
Wilderness Alliance and others who want to find consensus on road claims
in that county, hoping to establish a model to resolve more contentious
arguments elsewhere. Officials in other counties should watch the
outcome. Expensive litigation to keep questionable roads open on
sensitive lands cannot continue to rob taxpayers."  Editorial – The Salt Lake Tribune

Two points of view on the America's Great Outdoors listening sessions

"The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance applauded the BLM on Friday for
looking to the future protection of wild lands and, through the 'listening sessions,' giving people 'ample opportunity to engage' on
public lands.

'There is no reason for anybody to be frightened,” Deeda Seed said of
the memo. “This is precisely the conversation we should be having before
our wild lands are lost forever.'"  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

Senate hopeful's idea would pose a significant hurdle to enacting wilderness legislation

“'Should Mr. Lee make it to the Senate,' said Scott Groene, executive
director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, 'we anticipate he may
reconsider this idea, as it would pose a significant hurdle to enacting

He said accommodating the Utah Legislature could add years to an
already-lengthy process, and he worries that a county lands bill could
become embroiled in extraneous conflicts between lawmakers.  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

New Utah BLM Director looks forward to making progress on public lands issues

"Palma points to the late-July announcement of the Tavputs Plateau
natural gas drilling project as an example of a 'balanced' approach that
allows resource extraction but mandates environmental protections.

Called an unprecedented arrangement that forged cooperation between
environmental groups such as the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and
the Bill Barrett Corp., the 'programmatic agreement' formalized
concessions made by both sides to move forward.

that, we are not really getting at what we need to do to arrive where
we need to be,' he said. 'What gives me optimism is not innocent or
naive optimism but rather is based on the physical and tangible things I
can see.'"  Read more – Deseret News