Utah Wilderness News, January 12, 2011

Utah politicians don't let the facts get in the way of a good rant

“'Choke-hold' sound bites are more about scoring political points than ensuring balance and fairness for all. Here’s to a little less drama and a little more thoughtful debate."  Op-ed – The Salt Lake Tribune

Another Vernal, UT resident refutes misguided editorial

"The new BLM policy does not arbitrarily designate any land as wilderness, as you claim. There are certain criteria that an area must meet to be considered for wilderness designation or a wilderness study area. Most of the lands administered by the BLM do not meet those criteria, therefore the majority of lands will still be open to extraction activities."  Letter-to-the-Editor – Vernal Express

In the face of climate change, think big to manage national parks

"Perhaps the best approach is for them to ponder instead the larger landscape in which their parks sit. Scaling up is reassuring. At the park level, climate change may extirpate a species. At the landscape level, climate change merely moves it. And scaling up is more effective. Ecologists and conservation biologists have known for decades that small isolated parks leak species. Smaller populations have smaller gene pools in which maladapted traits are more likely to become fixed. Smaller populations are more vulnerable to drought, pests, hard winters or simple bad luck."  Editorial – NATURE

Hats off to Secretary Salazar

"It was an ill-conceived and unpopular backdoor deal with a previous governor of Utah that had removed legal protections for these special areas. The spectacular red rock of Utah’s Greater Canyonlands region is one of many across the country deserving the protection that is once again possible."  Letter-to-the-Editor – Kansas City Star

Utah conservation donations spent wisely

"Most Utah groups met the 75 percent threshold. These included the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, which spends 85 percent of the money it collects on its mission; Great Salt Lake Audubon, which was at 90 percent; Friends of the Great Salt Lake, 85 percent; the Utah Rivers Council, 85 percent; and the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club, 84 percent. Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife came in at 67 percent, while Utah Open Lands was at 72 percent."  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

Conservation groups ruled to not have standing in Kane County case

"'The reason we went to court was because the [Bureau of Land Management] wasn’t doing anything to protect the monuments,' said Heidi McIntosh, SUWA’s associate director. 'Now, with this ruling, it’s really up to the BLM to step up to the plate.'"  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune