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Mountain Juniper, Yosemite National Park                                                                                     (Mike Painter)
 

July 2, 2018

Dear CalUWild friends—

There are no new Action Items this month, so this Update consists of links to articles and other items of interest. Some of the subjects are developments in stories we’ve mentioned before, and some are new. However, if you haven’t contacted your representatives or senators in regard to the bad San Rafael Swell/Emery County, Utah bill discussed in last month’s Update (ITEM 1), please do so!

Thanks to those who responded to our announcement last month of the generous offer by Patrick Dengate to contribute half of the proceeds from the sale of his paintings. You can still have the chance to own some nice art and support CalUWild. Click here to see a catalog of paintings or go to Patrick’s website for more. And don’t forget that Margie Lopez Read sells her art solely in support of nonprofit organizations, including CalUWild. Check out her website and contact Margie for more information.
 

Best wishes,
Mike
 

IN UTAH

The biggest news this month was that a Canadian company made several mining claims in an area of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, near Capitol Reef National Park, that was taken out by the administration. It’s not clear yet how big a threat this poses. The BLM has said the area will continue to be managed under the original monument management plan until a new plan is in place. We’ll keep you posted as things develop. Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune’s report: A Canadian firm wants to start mining on Utah lands that used to be part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

The local politics in San Juan County, where the Bears Ears National Monument is located, are shifting as the result of redrawn districts for local commissioners, following a voting rights lawsuit. Two out of the three districts now have Navajo majorities. An article in Indian Country Today: One election winner this week: Bears Ears

The New York Times published an article today about Arches National Park, containing significant discussion of Edward Abbey and his book Desert Solitaire, which was published 50 years ago: The Balancing Act of Arches
 

IN CALIFORNIA

Friends of the Inyo has their Summer Events Calendar online. Check it out for hikes, service projects, and other happenings.

An article appeared in the New York Times about the restoration and reopening of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park: A Renewed View of Some of the World’s Oldest Trees.

Forbes has an article, The Most Beautiful Sunsets In The World, about the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

Some promising news in the Los Angeles Times: Born in a zoo, released into the San Gabriels, a rare Los Angeles frog bounces back

Tech arrives at the national parks, as the Los Angeles Times reports: Yosemite now accepts electronic entrance passes that can be scanned from your cellphone
 

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

The Department of the Interior and Secretary Ryan Zinke continue to be the focus of scrutiny by the press and Congress.

Politico reported in a series of articles on a possible conflict of interest with a proposed commercial development in Whitefish, Montana and foundation run by his wife:

Exclusive: Zinke linked to real estate deal with Halliburton chairman

Zinke met with real estate developer, Halliburton chairman at Interior office

Zinke seeks to explain meeting with Halliburton chairman

Politico also reported further on the controversy surrounding Secty. Zinke’s purported threats of retaliation against Alaska, attempting to pressure Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R) into voting to repeal Obamacare. Watchdog closes Zinke threat probe, citing lack of cooperation from Interior

In Outside Magazine, an article on the Land & Water Conservation Fund: Ryan Zinke Is Sabotaging Our Best Public Lands Program

Our friends at the Center for Western Priorities detailed misstatements that Secty. Zinke made to the press on a recent trip to his home state of Montana: The biggest whoppers from Ryan Zinke’s softball media tour of Montana

FactCheck.org posted about Secty. Zinke’s claim that the Navajo living near the Bears Ears National Monument “were all in support” of the Administration’s decision to reduce the monument’s size: Navajo Didn’t Support Shrinking Bears Ears

Many in the Interior Department failed to properly fill out conflict of interest forms: These Trump Staffers — Including an ex-NRA Lobbyist — Left Their Financial Disclosure Forms Blank

Secty. Zinke is trying to reassign Yellowstone’s superintendent on the eve of his retirement. Many suspect retaliation in the move. National Parks Traveler reports: Dan Wenk Being Forced Out Of Yellowstone National Park. Read one Park Service employee’s letter to Secty. Zinke, reacting to the news here.

Lastly, some good news, and unexpected, too, since Secty Zinke had included the program in a list if things contributing to budget problems in the department. National Parks Traveler reports: Secretary Zinke Reauthorizes Every Kid In A Park.
 

IN GENERAL

Headwaters Economics has developed an extremely useful website, with data on visitation, spending, jobs, and income for each unit of the National Park Service: Economic Impact of National Parks
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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