Newsletter Archive

January 9, 2002

Dear CalUWild Friends & Supporters —

Happy New Year to everyone who cares about our Wild Lands in the West! Thank you for all your efforts on their behalf in 2001.

We begin 2002 with some major, interesting news, which you can read about in Item 1. Also, Undersecretary of Agriculture Mark Rey has given final approval to the Sierra Nevada Framework, which puts an emphasis on ecosystem management for the 11 national forests of the Sierra. We will keep you posted on its implementation.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance sent out an alert this morning which included an urgent action item. Because it just came in, it is reprinted in full below (Item 2). If you are on SUWA’s Alert List, sorry for the duplication.

With Congress beginning its new session soon, we are including a copy of CalUWild’s How and to Whom: Effective Advocacy. This information will soon be appearing on a page on our website, so if you have comments or suggestions, please contact me at 415-752-3911.

Finally, thanks again to everyone who made contributions to CalUWild over the holidays. Your support is much appreciated. If you haven’t contributed in a while, please help out if you can.

Best wishes,


1. Jim Hansen Announces He Won’t Run Again

2. Action Item: Oil & Gas Exploration Next to Arches National Park

3. Action Item: America’s Redrock Wilderness Act Cosponsors


4. Utah Slide Show Tours California

5. Action Item: Ft. Irwin Expansion Scoping Meetings in Southern California

6. Support the Glen Canyon Institute in San Diego


1. Jim Hansen Announces He Won’t Run Again

Yesterday, Rep. Jim Hansen (R-UT), chairman of the House Resource Committee announced that he will not seek re-election in November. Mr. Hansen is in his 11th term in the House, where he has consistently opposed meaningful wilderness legislation for Utah, especially America’s Redrock Wilderness Act. Instead he has introduced bills which have given the appearance of affording protection, but have not really done so: acreage protected has been minimal; federal water rights for have not been retained; off-road vehicle use has not been effectively controlled; and other government agencies, particularly the military, have been allowed unprecedented access to wilderness areas.

What remains to be seen is who will replace Mr. Hansen, both in Utah’s delegation, and as chairman of the Resources Committee. Should Rep. Hansen’s Utah replacement be given a seat on the committee, he or she will not have the seniority that Mr. Hansen did. That will make supporting effective Utah legislation less risky for other members of Congress, who have reportedly often been concerned with incurring Mr. Hansen’s wrath. And already the sparring has begun for the chairmanship of the committee. The Congressional Quarterly reports that California Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-23) has indicated an interest, as has Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ). Rep. Gallegly is not known as a friend of the environment; the League of Conservation Voters gave him a score of 23% for the 106th Congress. Rep. Saxton, on the other hand, is a cosponsor of America’s Redrock Wilderness Act. He has an LCV rating of 63%.

The full text of Rep. Hansen’s announcement can be found on the Web at:

2. Action Item: Oil & Gas Exploration next to Arches National Park

As mentioned above, the following cones direct from SUWA.

More seismic exploration is proposed for beautiful slickrock country bordering the Colorado River near Arches National Park – oil and gas wells cannot be far behind. Please take a moment to write a letter to BLM urging the agency to deny the Yellow Cat 2-D seismic proposal that would involve absurdly huge trucks driving cross-country in a remote and rarely visited wilderness area that offers some of the most incredible views of southeastern Utah!

The Yellow Cat 2-D Geophysical Project would be located in the Dome Plateau unit of the citizens’ wilderness proposal. The Dome Plateau area is northeast of Moab on the northwest side of the Colorado River, between Arches National Park and the Dewey Bridge. Recent seismic exploration projects in the area have left the landscape scarred, essential microbiotic soils pulverized and vulnerable to erosion, centuries-old trees and animal dens smashed, and newly-created motorized routes inviting further destruction. The Yellow Cat 2-D project would be no different.


— adopt the “no action” alternative and deny this proposed seismic project

— deny seismic exploration and subsequent oil and gas developments in areas proposed for wilderness

Please mail or fax your letter to the following people:

Ms. Sally Wisely

Utah State BLM Director

PO Box 45155

Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0155

Fax: 801-539-4013

Ms. Maggie Wyatt

Moab Field Office Manager

82 E Dogwood

Moab, UT 84532

Fax: 435-259-2106

3. Action Item: America’s Redrock Wilderness Act Cosponsors

With the start of the second session of the 107th Congress, the drive for cosponsors for America’s Redrock Wilderness Act (H.R. 1613, S. 786) will pick up again. Exactly one half of California’s delegation is on board: 26 representatives and one senator. Nationally, the bill is cosponsored by 157 House members and 15 senators. Here’s the list for California. If your representative is on the list, please write him or her a thank you letter. If not on the list, ask that he or she become a cosponsor. Letters to Sen. Feinstein are welcome, too.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D)

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-30)

Rep. Howard Berman (D-26)

Rep. Lois Capps (D-22)

Rep. Susan Davis (D-49)

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-14)

Rep. Sam Farr (D-17)

Rep. Bob Filner (D-50)

Rep. Mike Honda (D-15)

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-09)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-16)

Rep. Robert Matsui (D-05)

Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-37)

Rep. George Miller (D-07)

Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-34)

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-33)

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-46)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-27)

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-24)

Rep. Hilda Solis (D-31)

Rep. Pete Stark (D-13)

Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-10)

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-01)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-35)

Rep. Diane Watson (D-32)

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-29)

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-06)


4. Utah Slide Show Tours California

Bob Brister, Outreach Associate at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, will be criss-crossing California (with a side trip to Nevada) the next two months, showing spectacular slides of Utah wilderness. Attend a showing if you can, and remind yourself what it is we’re all working so hard to protect. Bring a friend or family member along so they can see what we’re so enthusiastic about.

Here’s Bob’s schedule:

January 10


Yosemite Area Audubon Society

7:00 pm at Mariposa County Library, 10th at Jones

January 15


Los Serranos Group Sierra Club

7:00 pm at Upland Presbyterian Church Education Building, Euclid at 11th

January 17

Los Angeles

Central Group Sierra Club

7:30 pm at Barlow Hospital, William Hall 2000 Stadium Way

January 29

Palos Verdes Peninsula

Palos Verdes/South Bay Audubon Society

7:30 pm at South Coast Botanic Garden, 26300 South Crenshaw Blvd

January 30

Palos Verdes Peninsula

Palos Verdes-South Bay Group Sierra Club

7:00 pm at Palos Verdes Library, 650 Deep Valley Drive

February 5


San Gorgonio Chapter Sierra Club

7:30 pm at San Bernardino County Museum, 2024 Orange Tree Lane

February 6

Long Beach

Long Beach Group Sierra Club

7:30 pm at Integrated Resources Bureau, 2929 E. Willow St.

February 7


Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno

7:30 pm at Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, 4144 N. Millbrook Ave.

February 13

Las Vegas

Southern Nevada Group Sierra Club

7:00 pm at Southwest Gas, Tropicana & Arville

February 14

San Mateo

Sequoia Audubon Society

7:30 pm at the San Mateo Garden Center, 605 Parkside Way

February 15


Yokuts Group Sierra Club

7:00 pm at the Modesto Police Station, G Street & 10 Street

February 18

Marina del Rey

Airport-Marina Group Sierra Club

7:45 pm at the Community Bldg Chace Park, end of Mindanao Way

February 19


Oakhurst Public Library

7:30 pm at Oakhurst Public Library Civic Circle, next to the Fire Station

February 20


Central Sierra Audubon Society and Tuolumne Group Sierra Club

7:00 pm at Tuolumne County Library, 480 Greenley Road

February 21

Long Beach

El Dorado Audubon Society

7:30 pm at El Dorado Nature Center, Spring Street, near the 605 freeway

February 26


Lahontan Audubon Society

6:30 pm at Bartley Ranch Park school house, 6000 Bartley Ranch Road, just off of Lakeside Drive in south Reno

For more information on any of the slide shows, contact Bob Brister (801) 486-3161 ext 12.

5. Action Item: Ft. Irwin Expansion Scoping Meetings in Southern California

Ft. Irwin in the Mojave Desert of California wants to expand its National Training Center into sensitive BLM lands. Some of these are designated wilderness study areas, and the land is home to the endangered desert tortoise and endangered plants. The Army is holding two open houses/scoping hearings in Southern California to introduce its plans and begin its environmental compliance. These meetings are on January 17 in Riverside and January 19 in Pasadena.

Please attend if you are able or submit written comments to address below. Thanks.

The following information comes from the Desert Protective Council:

The Army will be holding two scoping meetings on the Fort Irwin Expansion Proposal on January 17 (Riverside) and January 19 (Pasadena). This may be your last chance to voice your concerns about a proposed expansion that would put the future of the West Mojave desert tortoise population in jeopardy and would likely lead to the extinction of the endangered Lane Mountain Milk Vetch. The meetings are January 17 in Riverside at the Riverside Convention Center (2-5 pm, 6-9 pm) and January 19 at the Pasadena Convention Center (1-4 pm). The scoping meetings are to gather information from the public to assist the Army in its preparation of a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Proposed Land Expansion for Fort Irwin and the National Training Center.

This Supplemental DEIS is in reference to the Army’s plan to take 110,000 more acres of our public lands in the Mojave Desert, 35 miles north of Barstow. The army already has 643,000 acres for tank training at the Ft. Irwin National Training Center. The expansion will destroy the quality of Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) and further jeopardize the declining, federally listed desert tortoise (California’s State Reptile) by expanding training activities into prime desert tortoise habitat previously set aside for its protection. The expansion will also jeopardize the endangered Lane Mountain Milk Vetch, which lives in and around Ft. Irwin and exists nowhere else on the planet.

Evidence is accumulating that the Army does not need to expand the Ft. Irwin National Training Center to accomplish its training mission In fact, the Army can accomplish its training mission for firing longer distances by using new technologies that provide realistic, simulated training environments and scenarios. Given this simulated alternative and the increasingly desperate plight of the desert tortoise all over the Mojave desert, it is unconscionable to eliminate any portion of the desert tortoise population that is currently adjacent to the Fort Irwin National Training Center.

There are a few other key points that you might want to bring up at the hearing or in your written comments: The analysis in this new supplemental draft EIS must be equivalent in depth and quality to that of a full blown EIS for the following reasons:

The land involved in this proposed expansion is a different piece of land from the one involved in the proposed 1997 expansion, and the destruction of this area will dramatically affect a Western Mojave desert tortoise population that has declined alarmingly since 1997. You might also note that this proposed expansion includes opening up to Army maneuvers some previously protected areas for the tortoise (the UTM 90 Lands). This expansion, thus, may have a more draconian impact on the desert tortoise than the 1997 expansion would have had.

The Lane Mountain Milk Vetch was not federally listed as Endangered in 1997, and the Lane Mt. Milk Vetch only lives in the Ft. Irwin area. The new Supplemental DEIS must seriously address how the Army intends to prevent this rare plant from going extinct. You should note for the record that not only does the Lane Mt. Milk Vetch only live in the desert around Ft. Irwin but that past efforts to transplant populations of this plant to other areas have failed.

The Army should also schedule scoping hearings on the proposed expansion in the San Francisco Bay area and other parts of California, as many in the Bay Area and throughout the state also visit the Mojave desert and have an interest in the Ft. Irwin expansion.

Of course, feel free to add your own reasons why the NTC expansion will adversely affect you.

For more information on the proposed expansion, please see the Army’s website:

and also

For more information, contact:

Terry Weiner

Conservation Coordinator

Desert Protective Council

(619) 543-0757

(619) 302-9282 cell

Notice of Public Scoping Meeting

Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the Proposed Land Expansion for Fort Irwin and the National Training Center

The Department of the Army will hold two public scoping meetings to introduce the Proposed Land Expansion Project for Fort Irwin and the National Training Center. The meetings allow the public to participate in the environmental impact assessment process by providing input on the range of alternatives to be considered and the impacts and issues to be assessed in the DEIS. On 16 October 2001, the Department of the Army published in the Federal Register, the Notice of Intent to prepare a Supplemental DEIS. Oral and written comments will be accepted during this meeting. A land expansion briefing will be presented at the beginning of each meeting to explain the mission of the National Training Center (NTC) and to outline the needs and requirements for the expansion. An Open House format is scheduled for two hours prior to each afternoon meeting where NTC representatives will be available to provide additional information regarding NTC operations and programs.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

Riverside County

Open House: 12:00 Noon – 2:00 PM

Scoping Meeting (Two Sessions): 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM & 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

17 January 2002

Riverside Convention Center

3443 Orange Street

Riverside, CA 92501

Los Angeles County

Open House: 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Scoping Meeting: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

19 January 2002

Pasadena Convention Center

300 East Green Street

Pasadena, CA 91101

Written comments must be submitted by 19 February 2002 to:

National Training Center

AFZJ-Strategic Plans Division

P.O. Box 10309 Fort Irwin, CA 92310

6. Support the Glen Canyon Institute in San Diego

The following announcement comes from the Glen Canyon Institute. The event provides a great opportunity to see pictures of Glen Canyon before it was drowned, and to see and hear Katie Lee, a legend among lovers of Glen Canyon.

Restoring Glen Canyon: A Paradise Lost

with special guest Katie Lee

Sunday, February 3, 2002 at 5:00 PM

Mission Trails Park Visitor Center

1 Father Junipero Serra Trail

San Diego, California

Dams are from Mars, Rivers are from Venus

Jeri Ledbetter, Executive Director of Glen Canyon Institute, will present an informative slide show on the impacts of Glen Canyon Dam and the potential for restoration of Glen Canyon.

Love Stories from a Lost Canyon

Katie Lee, the grande dame of Western singers and environmentalists, will present a slide show featuring photographs of Glen Canyon before it was flooded by Lake Powell reservoir, accompanied by essay and song.

Silent Auction 5:00 – 9:00 pm

Auction items include contributions from local merchants, an original Katie Lee phonograph album, photographs, rare books, and lots more.

Tickets are $10 in advance, and $15 at the door. Seating is limited, so we strongly recommend purchasing tickets in advance, either online at, or through the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club at (619) 299-1743.