Newsletter Archive

July 31, 2007

Dear CalUWild friends –

The Summer is racing by, and July is at an end already. There hasn’t been too much substantive information coming across my desk, but there are a few job announcements, which are included at the end.

In Congress, the House is looking at energy legislation this week, which has an impact on our public lands. Many of the proposals that would restore some balance after the excesses of the last 6 years, however, are facing opposition by many Republicans and by Democrats from oil-producing states. And the proposal to increase auto fuel economy is opposed by the powerful John Dingell (D-MI). There are signs this afternoon that there will be compromises, but it is still unlikely that the oil industry will support the overall package. Let your representatives know what you think.

After you’ve done that, take some time to go out and explore more of out wild areas around the West!

Thanks for your help and support,

1. Judge Dismisses Suit over Escalante Roads Claims
Counties Say They Will Appeal
2. Utah Backcountry Volunteers Trips

3. El Dorado National Forest
Off Road Vehicle Planning
Open Houses

4a. Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
b. The Wilderness Society BLM Action Center
c. Friends of the River
d. Western Environmental Law Center


1. Judge Dismisses Suit over Escalante Roads Claims
Counties Say They Will Appeal

Late last month, the Federal Court in Salt Lake City dismissed a lawsuit brought by Kane and Garfield Counties regarding their claims to roads in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah. The judge ruled that the counties would have to prove each and every right of way in court through a “quiet title” action, under Utah law. The judge also ruled that the Bureau of Land Management does not have the power to make the road determination for the counties.

The counties filed the suit last year against the BLM, claiming that routes through the Monument were “highways” under R.S. 2477, the law from 1866 granting rights of way to build highways on public lands. That law was repealed in 1976, but existing rights of way were “grandfathered in.”

Conservation organizations—the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, The Wilderness Society, Sierra Club, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation—intervened as defendants. Earthjustice represented them.

The counties claim that litigating each claim will cost $100,000 apiece, and that there are 1,000 roads in Kane County alone. Thus they find the cost prohibitive and are trying to find another way to get ownership of their claims. Conservationists see these claims, which are sprouting all over the West, as thinly-disguised attempts to defeat wilderness proposals and resist federal management of public lands.

In mid-July, the Kane and Garfield County Commissions voted to appeal the federal court ruling.

2. Utah Backcountry Volunteers
Service Trips

Yesterday CalUWild received the following from Utah Backcountry Volunteers in Salt Lake City. The organization leads service trips to wild areas around the state, which are a wonderful way to get to know an area in a bit more depth, as well as doing on-the-ground work to preserve its wild character. Please consider signing up for one of their trips!

Dear Friend of Utah Backcountry Volunteers,

Our Fall service trips are fast approaching and we’re still looking for more volunteers…that is if you’re the type who enjoys an exciting, inspiring, and fun-filled week camping and hiking in redrock country!

In our first year in the field, volunteer participants have been thrilled with the opportunity to visit beautiful areas, explore, and give back in muscle to places they love. One volunteer on our Escalante River Russian olive removal trip put it this way “Thanks for a superb trip! I loved returning to the Escalante after 30 years and being awed by the grandeur of the huge vistas, the massive formations, and the adaptations of plants and animals that live in this desert.”

Join us while spaces remain. Cost is just $175 which covers food for the week, a free Charter membership, and is all tax deductible. To reserve your space, just send a check to the below address and you’ll receive prompt confirmation. If you can’t make a trip this year but want to support our work, PLEASE become a member at just $30 or be as generous as you can. Your donations allow us to run our program of meaningful on-the-ground volunteerism in Utah’s public lands.

Hope to see you there! Here are the remaining trips:

September 9-15, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Paria River ORV damage control work (5 spaces open)
You’ll conduct ORV damage control in the upper Paria River tributaries. The worksite is south of the town of Cannonville where you’ll rehabilitate intrusions, place natural barricades and bollards, and install signage. We’ll backpack into the worksite a short distance and set up camp nearby. Area hike options are numerous: Paria River and side canyons, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Bull Valley Gorge.

September 23-29, Grand Gulch Primitive Area, Archaeological site protection, trail maintenance (6 spaces open)
You’ll join BLM archaeologists & rangers from the Kane Gulch Ranger Station in their continuing efforts to protect the invaluable resources of the Cedar Mesa/Grand Gulch complex in southeastern Utah. Work consists of erecting fencing to protect middens, defining foot paths around ruins, general trail work, and eradication of ORV damage. We’ll car camp at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station and drive to or hike to worksites daily. Area hike options: Cedar Mesa top and Grand Gulch canyon system.

October 14-20, Capitol Reef NP, Trail and non-native vegetation removal work (8 spaces open
You’ll conduct a variety of work projects around the park backcountry ranging from maintenance and marking of foot trails to removal of non-native plants, shrubs & trees mostly along waterways. Car and tent camp at a group camp site with running water and toilets in the central zone of the park with daily ventures to our worksites in the north and south. Capitol Reef is loaded with area hike options, mostly along the slickrock domes and sinuous canyons of its namesake.

Make check payable and mail to:

Utah Backcountry Volunteers
P.O. Box 526197
Salt Lake City, UT 84152
(435) 785-8955

3. El Dorado National Forest
Off Road Vehicle Planning
Open Houses

It’s short notice, for which I apologize, but Eldorado National Forest is updating its travel management plan, and is holding Open Houses this week (tonight in Sacramento and Thursday in Concord). If you’re able to attend one of them, it would show the Forest Service that there are people who are concerned about the issue of OHV management and motorized access to wild places. We don’t have any specific comments to suggest at this point, so this item is for information purposes only.

Protect the Eldorado National Forest from Off-Road Vehicle Damage
Unmanaged motorized vehicle recreation has recently been named the #1 threat to America’s spectacular public lands. The Eldorado National Forest has released their Travel Management Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to establish a designated off-highway vehicle (OHV) route system to confine vehicle use to existing roads and trails.

Act Now: Attend a meeting with the Eldorado National Forest.

Conservationists are presented with an unprecedented opportunity to keep motorized vehicles out of sensitive habitat, watersheds and unprotected wilderness. The Eldorado will host a series of public meetings to discuss the alternatives and to explain to the public how to most effectively offer comments on the DEIS. The meetings are scheduled as follows: (All meetings are from 7 to 9 p.m.)

July 31 (TONIGHT) in Folsom, Lake Natomas Inn, 702 Gold Lake Drive.

August 2 in Concord, Pleasant Hill Recreation Center, 320 Civic Drive.

Please try to attend one of these meetings and let the Forest Service know you care about restricting OHVs to only those routes that are environmentally sustainable and which do not conflict with other recreation activities. The Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation and other conservation organizations will be making detailed comments on the DEIS and preferred alternative. If you have information about any of the trails on the Eldorado that would be helpful in making our comments, please contact us at

To access the Travel Management DEIS and for instructions on how to submit comments, go to:

4a. Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Title: National Grassroots Organizer
Location: Washington, DC Office
Reports to: Legislative Director
Status: Full-time
Salary: $28,500
To Apply: submit resume, cover letter, writing sample, and three references to
Deadline: August 10th, 2007

The National Grassroots Organizer works to advance the goal of building and maintaining cohesive national support for SUWA’s congressional and administrative efforts to protect Utah’s wilderness lands. Working closely with the Legislative Director and Legislative Assistant, this person will plan and implement direct organizing activities in targeted congressional districts in the eastern United States, while coordinating similar organizing activities by staff and volunteers in other parts of the country. This person will also oversee the regular distribution of electronic alerts and updates in order to keep SUWA’s active national membership engaged. They will also develop educational outreach materials, coordinate with grassroots and legislative staff with other wilderness advocacy organizations, and contribute occasionally to congressional advocacy activities depending upon schedule.

This position requires a willingness to travel regularly, at least once a month for no more than a week at a time. A competitive benefits package includes health care coverage, a retirement plan, and paid vacation and sick days. Opportunities for additional training are available.

To effectively perform this role, this person must possess strong communication and writing skills, the ability to build and maintain relationships, and should be self-motivated and committed to the preservation of wilderness. Experience in and enthusiasm for grassroots and netroots organizing strongly preferred. Experience in environmental/wilderness issues or with Congress is preferred, but not required.

– Coordinate closely with Legislative Director and Legislative Assistant in creation of national grassroots strategy for remainder of the 110th Congress and for the 111th Congress.
– Plan and implement Utah wilderness slideshows and tabling events in targeted congressional districts in the eastern United States in order to cultivate new Utah activists, engaging established “super-volunteers” in the process.
– Help organize activist recruitment, activist trainings, and logistics for wild Utah lobby days in Washington, DC, one or two times per year.
– Direct and monitor outreach plan for full-time and contract grassroots outreach employees at the national level.
– Coordinate with Northern Utah Organizer on regular national and targeted email alerts and updates on legislative and administrative issues in order to create an engaged national membership.
– Cultivate super volunteers in strategic congressional districts through regular phone and web communication on legislative matters affecting public lands in Utah.
– Travel on a monthly basis for grassroots events throughout the country.
– Coordinate regularly with grassroots directors at member organizations of the Utah Wilderness Coalition on legislative action, in order to optimize grassroots resources.
– Prepare and disseminate grassroots educational materials on congressional/administrative action on wild Utah.
– Assist occasionally with delivering of materials to or direct advocacy of congressional offices.

b. The Wilderness Society BLM Action Center

[This announcement was too long to include in its entirety. If you would like the full version, send an email to]

POSITION: BLM Action Center Outreach Coordinator
REPORTING RELATIONSHIP: Deputy Vice President, BLM Action Center
START DATE: Immediately

The BLM Action Center Coordinator is responsible for working with local organizations, activists, and diverse allies to build enduring constituencies in the West that support protective management of BLM lands. This involves bringing together campaigns of local constituencies with the legal, economic, and communications expertise in the BLM Action Center, as well as developing other resources and products from which local campaigns can draw. Further, the BLM Action Center Coordinator meets with BLM agency staff at all levels to articulate and advocate for The Wilderness Society’s policy positions. Success requires collaborative work with organizations, individuals, and agency personnel across the west.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
* Work with local campaigns in the West aimed at influencing BLM land use management plans and implementation level plans, giving particular attention to outreach to non-traditional allies and the cultivation of alternative messengers/spokespeople.

* Help identify emerging opportunities and threats on BLM lands and raise awareness of these issues within The Wilderness Society and with partner groups and activists.

* Establish and maintain regular communications with partners and activists by hosting and facilitating regular conference calls and providing materials for monthly email newsletter. Provide regular updates on BLM Action Center priorities and current actions, as well as BLM policy and Congressional actions impacting BLM lands.

* Establish and maintain contact with key BLM staff members in priority areas to stay abreast of BLM decisions regarding oil and gas development, off-road vehicles, protection of wilderness quality lands, and other land use planning developments.

The ideal candidate should possess the following skills and experience:

* Bachelor’s degree, or its demonstrated equivalent, required.

* Experience in environmental advocacy, public policy, grassroots organizing and/or public lands issues. A familiarity with public land laws (such as Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)) and legislative and executive processes is vital to success.

* Comfort with computers and experience with developing and maintaining databases is required. A willingness to learn new software including ArcGIS, GoogleEarth, NASA WorldWind, etc. highly desirable. Training provided on-the-job.

The position is available immediately and is located in our Denver office. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, including health and dental insurance and a pension plan. The Wilderness Society is an equal opportunity employer; diversity is a core value for TWS.

To apply, please submit a cover letter explaining your qualifications for this position, resume, writing sample, and names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references to:

The Wilderness Society
1660 Wynkoop, Suite 850
Denver, CO 80202
Attn: BLM Action Center

Subject: BLM Action Center

No calls please.

c. Friends of the River

JOB TITLE: Field Organizer – Northern Los Angeles County
DATE: July 16, 2007
JOB CATEGORY: Exempt, At Will Employee
DEPARTMENT: Conservation
REPORTS TO: Conservation Director

Friends of the River, California’s statewide river and watershed conservation organization, is seeking a field organizer to implement public outreach and education efforts in support of wilderness and wild rivers protection. The position focus is in northern Los Angeles County, primarily in the politically significant Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys. This position plays a critical role in a coalition campaign to permanently protect the most diverse wild lands and wild rivers in California’s magnificent eastern Sierra, Mojave Desert, and San Gabriel Mountains.

This position builds on work already accomplished in the region and will focus on opportunities to move the campaign forward using new and innovative organizing tools to build bipartisan support and provide lasting protection for some of the most important natural areas in the country. The field organizer will help develop and implement strategy, conduct outreach and public education, develop and utilize media contacts, and work closely with affiliated groups in the coalition towards achieving common goals.

1. Build support among elected officials, non-traditional allies, businesses, NGOs, and grassroots volunteers to further the protection of wild places in the eastern Sierra, northern Mojave Desert, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

2. Develop and implement a strategic communications plan, serve as the primary local contact for media, develop spokespersons, and help develop key media messages.

3. Serve as the primary northern Los Angeles County contact for communications with local and federal elected officials, federal agencies, and coalition partners.

4. Recruit and facilitate an active group of local volunteers to support protection efforts, identify and map local wild places proposed for protection, and generate significant grassroots support through petitions and letters.

5. Work closely with coalition members to assist in strategic planning and implementation, including the creation of quarterly and annual strategic plans.

REQUIREMENTS: The qualified candidate is an ambitious and motivated self-starter, able to work well alone and with a team, with at least 2-3 years experience in a political and/or community organizing and campaigning, public outreach and education, strategy development and implementation, and media outreach. Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and familiarity with basic computer word processing and communication programs are required. Commitment to environmental protection is required and knowledge and experience in public lands protection is desirable.

TERMS: This is an exempt, at will, full time position with Friends of the River. The candidate will report directly to the Friends of the River Conservation Director.

COMPENSATION: $30,000-35,000, plus health benefits (HMO), generous sick and vacation time, and an opportunity to participate in an employee retirement program.

LOCATION: Santa Clarita, CA or vicinity.

TO APPLY: Send a cover letter and resume to Steven L. Evans, Conservation Director,

Fax: (916) 442-3396

915 20th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Immediate: All applications reviewed for possible interviews weekly until August 17, 2007.

d. Western Environmental Law Center
Southwest Office Staff Attorney Position

The Western Environmental Law Center, a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm that works to protect and restore western wildlands and advocates for a healthy environment on behalf of communities throughout the West, is seeking an attorney with two or more years experience for its Southwest office in Taos, New Mexico. (WELC is headquartered in Eugene, Oregon and has a Rocky Mountains office in Durango, Colorado.)

The attorney filling this position will carry a diverse caseload utilizing federal, state and local environmental laws. Requirements for the position include excellent research, writing, and oral presentation skills, an ability to work well in a team setting and coordinate with the staff in our other offices, and a genuine interest in protecting the environment and communities of the West.

The Western Environmental Law Center’s programs and employment are open to all. We value diversity and do not permit any discrimination against applicants, employees, or volunteers on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or disability in any of our policies or programs. We are committed to applying affirmative action principles among comparably qualified candidates for available positions and strongly encourage people of color, women, and members of other minorities to apply. We offer a friendly, team-based environment, highly competitive salaries, and an excellent benefits package.

We plan to fill this position during the fall of 2007 and will accept applications until the position is filled. Please send cover letter, resume, references, and writing sample to:

Western Environmental Law Center
Attention: Attorney Position
P.O. Box 1507
Taos, NM 87571

Or email, taos(AT)westernlaw(DOT)org

No phone calls please.

For more information visit our webpage