Help Stop Vegetation Devastation!

Do you want to see a beautiful landscape turned into this?

Vegetation Devastation
Vegetation devastation in Utah after one type of “treatment;” photo by Tiffany Bartz 

This is what land in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and proposed wilderness areas could look like if the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approves the Upper Kanab Creek Watershed Vegetation Management Project.  We need your help to stop this destruction!

In an act of greenwashing, the BLM refers to such devastation as “vegetation treatments.”  In reality, the BLM uses huge equipment that literally chews up pinyon and juniper trees and, within a few seconds, spits out the little pieces, resulting in a scarred and barren landscape.  Some of these “treatments” will be accomplished using a machine similar to the one in this video:

Upper Kanab Creek
Upper Kanab Creek is proposed for vegetation treatment; photo by Ray Bloxham

Right now, the BLM is in the process of approving vegetation devastation on over 50,000 acres of land, including the Timber Mountain area in the western part of the Monument, and the Upper Kanab Creek area – two pristine areas proposed for wilderness in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act.  The BLM proposes to use a variety of tools, including herbicides, large machines like those described above, and hand tools to destroy live pinyon and juniper trees, and sagebrush.

Even though the BLM claims it needs to “rehabilitate” the vegetation on these lands, it fails to take into account the negative impacts from soil and vegetation disturbance in the face of long-term drought and climate change, and the benefits conferred by the ability of pinyon-juniper ecosystems to capture carbon and offset some of the effects brought about by climate change. 

Please ask the BLM not to destroy these desert landscapes, especially those proposed for wilderness.  Use our action center to send your comments to Selma Sierra, Utah BLM State Director, and Todd Christensen, BLM Color Country District Manager.

Thank you!

Tiffany Bartz
SUWA Field Attorney
Salt Lake City, UT


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