Utah Wilderness News, May 12, 2011

Sen. Durbin and Rep. Hinchey Reintroduce America’s Redrock Wilderness Act
Measure is endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance in Utah, and more than 240 local and national conservation groups with the Utah Wilderness Coalition

“In an effort to preserve 9.1 million acres of Utah’s spectacular red rock country as wilderness, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today introduced legislation in the Senate and House that would ensure the public land remains in its natural, undeveloped state. Durbin and Hinchey’s bipartisan America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, which was introduced with 66 cosponsors in the House and three in the Senate, would protect the land from commercial development, motorized vehicles, road building, as well as oil and gas drilling. Currently, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) owns the 9.1 million acres, but the agency is not prohibited from selling part of the land for development or developing parts itself.

“The legislation Congressman Hinchey and I are introducing today will designate as wilderness some of our nation’s most remarkable, but currently unprotected public lands,” said Durbin. “This land was chosen based on meticulous research and surveying of thousands of square miles to determine which lands should be protected. America’s Red Rock Wilderness is a lasting gift to the American public that will give future generations the opportunity to enjoy a landscape that so many now cherish.”

“America’s red rock wilderness is a national treasure that must be preserved in its natural state for future generations to enjoy and cherish,” said Hinchey. “Since former Congressman Wayne Owens introduced this bill 20 years ago, support has continued to grow as more and more Americans have learned of the need to protect this region’s natural beauty. Conservation groups from throughout the country and in Utah support this effort, and I am hopeful that this legislation will one day become law.”

Read the rest of the press release.