Your help needed: Anti-wilderness attacks continue in Congress – Redrock Report February 2011

February 2011

Here’s what is happening this month with the redrock:
1.  Help defend key tools for protecting wild places.
2.  Host a 127 Hours house party & educate your friends about Utah wilderness!
3.  Have you been to the Greater Canyonlands Region?  We’re looking for photos.
4.  See our “Wild Utah” presentation this March!

Some key tools safe (for now), but wild lands protections still need your help!

Last week, over 2500 redrock activists and thousands of others across the country contacted their representatives to vote NO on the House Continuing Resolution for Appropriations bill and proposed amendments that would be devastating for public lands protection.  On a long list of bad environmental provisions in the bill, the worst for the redrock was language that would block the Bureau of Land Management’s “Wild Lands” policy – before it had even been finalized!  Unfortunately, there was little to be done about this provision since it was included in the original bill text.  However, the other two major threats to the redrock either failed or were withdrawn, thanks in part to your activism!

One amendment, offered by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) and eventually withdrawn, would have defunded the National Landscape Conservation System – the department within the BLM that administers national monuments, wilderness study areas and other important conservation lands.  This would have effectively closed those places to the public since all funding for staff and management would cease.

Reps. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Raul Labrador (R-ID) offered another terrible amendment to block the use of the Antiquities Act (the bill that allowed past presidents to protect such places as Arches, Zion, and Bryce) – and fortunately this one failed on a narrow 213-209 vote.  This is a major victory for our public lands on an otherwise environmentally destructive bill.  Click here to see how your representative voted and then thank him/her if your rep. voted NO.

As we move forward next week, we’re likely to see some more action on the “Wild Lands” policy as the House Committee on Natural Resources makes it the topic of its first oversight hearing.  We’re expecting Chairmen Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Bishop to stack the decks against supporters of the policy, so we will need your help!


1. If your rep. voted against the bad Antiquities Act amendment, please thank him/her!

2. Watch the “Wild Lands” policy hearing LIVE next Tuesday, March 1, at 2pm and comment about why it is important to protect wild places via Facebook.  You can do both at the same time on the Natural Resources Committee’s webpage!

3. Tell the Natural Resources Committee to stop their attacks on the “Wild Lands” policy using Twitter.

Host a 127 Hours House Party to spread the word about Utah wilderness

127 Hours PosterIt’s not every day that an Oscar-nominated film features the redrock canyons of southern Utah.  127 Hours does just that in its portrayal of Aron Ralston’s now famous story of getting trapped while hiking in Blue John Canyon.  If you haven’t seen the film yet, or want to watch it again, the DVD release this March is a perfect opportunity to spread the word about protecting Utah wilderness.  One of the extra features on the DVD profiles Aron’s volunteer work with SUWA and the Utah Wilderness Coalition in helping to gain support for redrock protection (work that we greatly appreciate!).

What you can do: If you host a house party to watch 127 Hours, SUWA’s grassroots team will provide you with informational materials about the Utah wilderness campaign to share with friends, as well as postcards that you and your friends can sign and mail to key decision makers.  Please email our Outreach Director Deeda Seed at if you are interested.  Everyone who participates will be put in a drawing for a signed version of Aron’s book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place!

Calling all photographers and budding photographers!

The Greater Canyonlands region is one of the most spectacular and wildest sections of redrock canyon country.  If you’ve visited the area and have photos you are willing to share, we would love to incorporate them in an upcoming campaign.  We are looking for both landscape shots and photos of people enjoying the wilderness from either professional photographers or those of you who wish to share some images of your travels with other redrock activists.  Specifically, we are looking for photos of areas outside of and surrounding Canyonlands National Park, including places such as Upper Horseshoe Canyon, Sweetwater Reef, San Rafael River, Flat Tops, Horsetheif Point, Hatch Canyon, Lockhart Basin, Harts Point, Dead Horse Cliffs, Indian Creek, Bridger Jack Mesa, Demon’s Playground, Butler Wash, Dark Canyon, Fortknocker Canyon, and Shay Mountain.

Please send all photo submissions to Diane Kelly at  Sending us your photo will indicate that you give SUWA permission to post the photo on our website and our social media networks.  All photos will be properly cited when posted publicly.

See our “Wild Utah” presentation this March!

This March, see our “Wild Utah: America’s Redrock Wilderness” multimedia presentation in Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.  See the full winter/spring schedule on our website.

To host a slideshow or to recommend a hosting organization or venue, please contact:

In the East: Jackie Feinberg,

In the Midwest: Clayton Daughenbaugh,

In the West: Terri Martin,

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition to protect America’s Redrock Wilderness