Utah Wilderness News, January 31, 2011

Proposed wilderness in the Book Cliffs and Desolation Canyon threatened

“’For people who take the time to explore it, it’s quite a remarkable landscape,’ said Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance attorney Steve Bloch, noting he once spent the night with a stuck vehicle while exploring the East Tavaputs Plateau with friends. SUWA opposes intense energy development in the plateau’s remote areas and is especially interested in preserving Desolation Canyon, which includes an 89,000-acre roadless area, which the BLM so far has declined to protect for wilderness characteristics. The area is important to rafters, Bloch said, and offers archaeological wonders to those who get out of their boats and hike up side canyons.”  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune

More balanced public land measures labeled as a ‘War on The West’ by critics

“The rhetoric will be hot, but let’s hope Salazar and the administration resist the bullying. They need to send a strong message: Most Westerners see the War on the West for the trumped up media sound bite that it is. We just want our public resources — including wildlife and wilderness — managed with care.”  Read more – Summit Daily

Believe it or not: A cleaner environment is good for the economy too

“No one can make a credible case that the EPA does not care about American jobs. A cleaner environment is good for our health and our economy. What the EPA does appear to care about is enforcing the law of the land, which requires the BLM to consider all environmental impacts and maximize the benefits while minimizing the harms. We fully support EPA’s actions to protect our public lands, wildlife, and the health of nearby communities.”  Read more – Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog

Wilderness groups continue efforts to intervene in oil and gas lease lawsuit

“‘Those who speak for wildlife and wild places should have a seat at the table when industry is asking the courts for the right to develop public lands,’ said Robin Cooley, the lead attorney for Earthjustice, the law firm representing the groups. In Utah, places under contention for potential drilling include the San Rafael Desert, which the groups say are home to a ‘treasure trove of fragile archaeological resources,’ that includes rock art, ruins and artifacts.”  Read more – Deseret News

Same old ‘no more wilderness’ rhetoric

“Iron County commissioners say their area has enough wilderness. And they want the planning commission to amend the county’s general plan to reflect their opposition to any new policies that restrict development of resources in the county under the label of wild spaces.”  Read more – The Salt Lake Tribune