Utah Wilderness News, January 24, 2011

47 members of Congress defend “Wild Lands” policy

“In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar this week, Democrats led by House Natural Resources Committee ranking member Edward Markey (D-Mass.) say the wild lands’ policy restores balance to public lands management that was missing in the Bush era.”  Read more – The Hill’s Energy & Environment Blog

Creating an illegal ATV trail in Recapture Canyon has its costs: $35,000

“Brown and Felstead admitted in court Friday that they used picks, shovels and other tools to construct the trail through the canyon east of Blanding.”  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

Is there potential for compromise in Kane County?

“‘I think the RS 2477 issue is really a stand-in for every other federal public-land issue,’ says Heidi McIntosh, associate director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), which has battled Kane County in court over roads issues. ‘It’s not really about roads, and it’s not really about transportation, because the RS 2477s that are controversial are the dirt two-tracks and trails that are dangerous to drive and lead nowhere.'”  Read more – High Country News

Related essay: A dark moment, a glimmer of light

BLM holds strong amid critics’ jeers

“McIntosh of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, which lobbied hard to promote the new policy, said Interior is doing the right thing by pushing forward with the plan.  ‘I know that Bob Abbey and Interior will stick to this because they’re right,’ McIntosh said. ‘And they have a lot of support.'”  Read more – Greenwire/NYTimes