San Juan-Canyonlands Update

Great news!  We’ve learned recently that Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT) is not likely to try pushing a harmful bill for the San Juan-Canyonlands landscape.  Thank you, all of you, who contacted your members of Congress on this important issue!

White Canyon
White Canyon proposed wilderness in the San Juan-Canyonlands region. Photo copyright Chris Case (www.chriscasephoto.com).

Throughout the year we kept you updated on the “process” in San Juan County, Utah intended to result in public lands legislation.  When Sen. Bennett first intitated this county process, we greeted it as an opportunity to protect the spectacular 1.5 million acres of wilderness quality lands in the San Juan-Canyonlands region – including places like White Canyon, Arch Canyon, Cedar Mesa and the wildlands surrounding Canyonlands National Park (including Indian Creek and Lockhart Basin).  But as time wore on, particularly after Bennett’s untimely political demise at the Republican State Convention, it became apparent that the process was only window dressing for a bad proposal that would enshrine the Bush off-road vehicle plans for the area. 

Earlier this summer we asked you to alert your members of Congress that an inadequate bill for these magnificent lands could be in the works, and any bill that ratified the Bush legacy for the San Juan-Canyonlands wilderness would be unacceptable.  After spending the August Congressional recess investigating whether and how a bill could move, we believe it is unlikely that a San Juan-Canyonlands bill will be introduced this year. 

And thanks go to you, the redrock activists from California to Maine, who contacted your members of Congress, and helped educate them on the importance of protecting all of the wild lands in the San Juan-Canyonlands region.  

Even though a San Juan-Canyonlands bill is not likely this year, immediate protection can still be gained for the deserving wilderness lands there, and throughout Utah.  All it would take is the Obama administration rescinding the “No More Wilderness” policy and fixing the Bush Plans that now dictate management of public lands in Utah. 

Please tell President Obama to protect wild Utah now!

Thank you,

Richard Peterson-Cremer
Legislative Director
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

 

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