New Plans for Utah Put Wilderness Last

Upper Desolation Canyon
Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA
Over the past two months, the Bush administration has released a series of documents (Resource Management Plans or RMPs) which reveal a new strategy for attacking roadless areas on pristine, scenic public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management in Utah.  These six management documents, totaling over 4,000 pages in length, detail an alarming vision for the future of some of the most spectacular lands in the nation, with little opportunity for the public and advocates to provide alternatives.

Fortunately, there is hope to turn these ill-concieved plans around, and we need your help today to make it happen!

Take Action! Send your comments to the Bureau of Land Management today! 

The new management strategies would apply to six BLM districts encompassing 11 million acres in Utah’s red rock canyon country, or nearly half of the BLM lands in the entire state.  Much of this land -- a total of 5,388,940 acres -- is proposed for wilderness designation in America's Red Rock Wilderness Act, now pending before Congress.  These lands include roadless areas near Canyonlands, Zion and Arches National Parks, with iconic red sandstone spires, 1,000-foot cliffs, high plateaus and meandering, narrow canyons.

Here's what you can do:

In order for the BLM to make substantive changes to their proposed management plan, they need to hear substantive comments from the public on the proposed management initiatives outlined in the RMPs. If you've visited places like Labyrinth or Desolation Canyons of the Green River on a float trip; if you've hiked Hell Roaring Canyon, Muddy Creek or the San Rafael Reef; or if you've ever been disturbed at your favorite quiet spot by the roar of off-road vehicles, please write to the BLM and tell them about your experiences. Make your comments as specific as possible. Share with the BLM experiences you have had in specific places and explain how the Draft RMP for that region fails to adequately protect these places. Especially salient are reports of user conflicts such as the drone of motors disturbing the peace of a float in Labyrinth Canyon.

Summaries of the new management strategies, links to the BLM documents, photos of the areas affected, and links to the action pages can all be found at

Commenting on these plans is a critical step in helping to protect these unique red rock wildlands. But, as many of you know, the attacks on red rock country are coming from many directions, often simultaneously. That’s why it is also essential that we continuously build our grassroots strength and increase our level of organization. To that end, please take a moment to register at our new website and become part of SUWA’s netroots. Knowing a little bit about you and your particular interests will help us leverage the power of the Internet to protect these lands we all love.


All active news articles