Public Lands in Southern Utah Under Threat
The sacred lands weep. . .your national public lands in Southern Utah are under threat. The wind blows across Canyonlands National Park, carrying with it the sound of a nearby fracking operation. . .the dark night sky over Cedar Breaks National Monument is lit by night lights from a drilling operation. . .Bryce Canyon National Park's clear skies will soon be filled with soot from a coal mine, with the coal going to China.
Canyonlands Park in Utah. Photos © Steve Bein
Two of the most spectacular monuments in the American Southwest, Bears Ears NM and Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, were set aside for the American people in 2016 by President Obama. These monuments have now been dramatically downsized by President Trump to allow for drilling and mining, thus breaking a bond between Pres. Obama and the American people to protect these precious lands forever, and violating sacred lands which were bound by treaties with several tribal nations.
This unprecedented attack on YOUR national public lands is being met by numerous lawsuits we have filed, with several being successful so far, while other suits await trial.
And now our good friend Alan Lowenthal (D-LA County & partial Orange County CA) has introduced America's Redrock Wilderness Act to protect YOUR national public lands in Utah into the U.S. House of Representatives. Interesting that we have to turn to a congressman from Southern California to help us save YOUR national public lands in Utah.
So our journey will begin--no, not on a trail in Zion National Park, but in the halls of Congress, where we will be advocating for passage of our bill. Some will meet with our Democratic congressional friends who support legislation and I will meet with our adversaries on the Republican side who oppose protecting national public lands in southern Utah. Sad how protecting national public lands has become so political. Then I will meet with senior Dept. of the Interior officials who manage these lands on behalf of the America people, and who oppose our work to protect those same lands. Several of the Interior officials I will meet have told me in the past they totally oppose the U.S. Government owning any lands, but at the moment they have power over YOUR national parks, national monuments, national conservation areas, and national forests.
For a couple of years when I met with the US. Secretary of the Interior in his conference room, there was a large wall map on the wall with bullseyes on areas in the American west. The largest bullseye was on southern Utah. Contact and take action: U. S. Dept of Interior contact info; petitions on ADDUP to Save our National Parks/Monuments
Our journey to protect these lands will be a long one, met with angry opposition from anti-federal lands members of Congress (some of these that I meet with show unbelievable wrath).
But journey we must, for there is just too much at stake The land itself--we hear you. Weep, wildlands of southern Utah, and we will honor your cry of help with action.
For wild Utah,
Jim Hines email@example.com
Organizer & Chair of the Sierra Club Wilderness
Team Leader, Sierra Club California/Nevada Wildlife Team