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Ask Your Representative to Urge BLM to Protect Utah's Wild Lands!
Thanks to the continued efforts of activists like you, momentum is building to protect America’s redrock wilderness!
An Oct. 1 hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives on America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act and a recent Bureau of Land Management (BLM) report condemning Bush-era decisions for our public lands are important steps on the path to protecting 9.4 million acres of Utah’s BLM wilderness.
Now, we need you to help us take the next step. If your Representative is already a cosponsor of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, please urge him/her to sign a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar calling for the protection of Utah’s wilderness quality lands. If your Representative has not signed on to the bill yet, please urge him/her to cosponsor the bill as well as to sign the letter to Secretary Salazar.
While we continue to move forward with the Red Rock bill as well as engaging with the Utah delegation and local elected officials to discuss regional opportunities where they make sense, the BLM has a responsibility to adequately protect these special places until Congress makes the final call. BLM has already conducted surveys of proposed wilderness lands in Utah to determine what qualifies for protection, most recently in the six Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for the Colorado Plateau. At this point, BLM has determined that 90% of lands that have been inventoried in the Red Rock bill contain wilderness character as defined by the Wilderness Act. Despite these findings, the Bush BLM decided to forgo protecting the vast majority of these places and instead opened them to oil and gas drilling, mining and damaging off-road vehicle use.
Now, with a new captain at the helm of the Department of Interior, the BLM is reviewing these decisions. And, we can steer them in the right direction. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) is now leading a House sign-on letter to Secretary Salazar that asks him to use his considerable authority to administratively protect these lands until Congress designates them as wilderness. Secretary Salazar looks for support for his actions from members of Congress and this sign-on letter can help counter pressure from the oil and gas industry and other special interests to keep the status quo.
Please take a moment to contact your Representative and ask him/her to sign Representative Hinchey’s letter to Secretary Salazar today! If your Representative is a cosponsor of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, click here to send your message. If your Representative is not a cosponsor, please also ask him/her to sign onto the bill as well as the letter.
Thank you for taking action!
The SUWA Grassroots Staff