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September 22, 2002

Dear CalUWild friends and supporters —

During August, not much “action news” came in so we were able to give you a little bit of a breather and not publish an UPDATE.

That doesn’t mean, however, that CalUWild wasn’t busy. We continue our involvement in the R.S. 2477 issue (working against improper rights-of-way for roads in wilderness and potential wilderness areas) at both the national and state levels. We have also joined the Grand Canyon Wilderness Alliance (see Item 4), working to ensure an effective Colorado River Management Plan in Grand Canyon National Park. We are also continue to be active members of the California Wild Heritage Campaign, a coalition of groups working on energy-related public lands issues, and the Utah Wilderness Coalition (UWC).

CalUWild members can be proud that there are now 25 Utah State Activist Groups around the country. (See next paragraph for a list of states with “SAGs.”) They all coordinate with the UWC and were instituted after and based on the grassroots successes of CalUWild and the Illinois Sierra Club’s Utah Wilderness Task Force. Leaders of 11 SAGs met for a week in August at Posey Lake in Utah’s Dixie National Forest. Evenings were spent comparing strategies, discussing issues with a BLM representative, and planning for the future. During the day we hiked in proposed wilderness areas in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, able to see firsthand the landscape we are seeking to preserve.

These states currently have SAGs: Arizona, California, Colorado Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin & West Virginia. Contact information for these groups can be found at:

http://www.uwcoalition.org/getinvolved/grassroots/groups.html

If you know anyone who might want to take a leadership role in an existing SAG or start one in a state without one, please have them contact that group, Ken Venables at the UWC (phone:

801-486-2872), or Dave Pacheco at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

(phone: 202-546-2215).

In other news, CalUWild’s June UPDATE mentioned that the BLM had put out an environmental assessment for seismic testing in Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. (The 30-day comment period did not allow time to include it in an UPDATE, but we did submit comments in our members’ names.) The BLM decided to allow the seismic exploration, despite the fact that the monument contains some of the highest known concentrations of archaeological sites in the U.S. However, a judge in Denver issued a temporary restraining order, preventing any such exploration, so he could hear a lawsuit brought by Earthjustice and the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies on behalf of the San Juan Citizens Alliance and The Wilderness Society.

On a related topic, the energy bill is currently in conference committee. The House and Senate versions are so different that the two houses are trying to craft a compromise bill. The House version is decidedly worse, with many bad public lands provisions and little in the way of energy conservation or alternative energy production. The latest twist is that Interior Secretary Gale Norton has suggested that Pres. Bush veto the energy bill if the final version doesn’t contain provisions for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Currently, the House version (H.R. 4) opens up the ANWR to drilling, while the Senate version contains no such language. Frankly, a presidential veto might be the best thing.

Work continues to restore and update the CalUWild website at . Thanks to webmaster Phillip Loughlin for his efforts!

Finally, the response to our August dues mailing has been good so far. Thank you to all who responded. If you received a reminder and would like to help out with expenses but haven’t yet sent your contribution in, please do so. The mailing address is at the end of this UPDATE. We run a tight ship here, but it does take dollars to keep CalUWild running. We can use your support!

Best wishes,

Mike

There are a few items of interest this month:

IN UTAH

1. Jim Hansen’s Title XIV

2. America’s Redrock Wilderness Act

(ACTION ITEM)

IN UTAH & ARIZONA

3. Glen Canyon Jet Skis

Deadline: November 12

(ACTION ITEM)

IN ARIZONA & CALIFORNIA

4. Grand Canyon Open House in Oakland: October 2

Scoping Comment Period Extended

Deadline: November 1

(ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA

5. California Wild Heritage Campaign Continues to Move Ahead

6. Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains NM Planning

Scoping Deadline: October 1

(ACTION ITEM)

IN MEMORIAM

7. Barbara and Galen Rowell

IN UTAH

1. TITLE XIV

Utah Rep. Jim Hansen’s proposal for “wilderness” in the Utah Test & Training Range continues to stir up controversy, for several reasons:

1) It is part of the Defense Authorization Act, so it went to the Armed Services Committee — where it clearly does not belong — rather than Resources.

2) It gives the Department of Defense unprecedented control over a wilderness area, allowing unrestricted military development. Currently the Defense Department only controls the airspace above the BLM land in question. Furthermore, the BLM would have to receive permission from the Defense Department and the Utah National Guard before changing any management strategies.

3) Rep. Hansen’s acreage is far less than is eligible and included in America’s Redrock Wilderness Act. In fact, it’s less than in his own West Desert Bill of a couple years ago.

Title XIV is controversial enough in the current Senate-House Conference Committee that the decision to include it or not in the final bill will probably be left up to the Committee’s four leaders, the senior senator and representative from each party. California’s Duncan Hunter (R-52), not a fan of wilderness by any means, may step into that role to replace ailing Rep. Bob Stump (R-AZ).

East Bay Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-10) is a member of the conference committee. As a cosponsor of America’s Redrock Wilderness Act, she has been taking an active, strong stand against Title XIV with her colleagues on the committee. The only other Californian on the committee is Rep. Buck McKeon (R-25), also no friend of wilderness.

We’ll keep you posted as the bill progresses.

2. AMERICA’S REDROCK WILDERNESS ACT

(ACTION ITEM)

Currently there are 162 House cosponsors and 17 in the Senate. This is a record for the Senate, but still 7 below the previous record for the House. Congress is likely to have a lame duck session following the election, so it’s not too late to get more cosponsors. If your representative isn’t listed below, give him or her a call to say you support wilderness in Utah. If your representative is listed below, give him or her a call to say “thank you!”

Here’s a list of California cosponsors of America’s Redrock Wilderness Act in the House (H.R.1613). Sen. Barbara Boxer is a cosponsor of S.786, the Senate bill, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein has not renewed her cosponsorship from the 106th Congress.

California House cosponsors:

Xavier Becerra (D-30)

Howard Berman (D-26)

Lois Capps (D-22)

Susan Davis (D-49)

Anna Eshoo (D-14)

Sam Farr (D-17)

Bob Filner (D-50)

Jane Harman (D-36)

Mike Honda (D-15)

Barbara Lee (D-09)

Zoe Lofgren (D-16)

Robert Matsui (D-05)

Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-37)

George Miller (D-07)

Grace Napolitano (D-34)

Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-33)

Loretta Sanchez (D-46)

Adam Schiff (D-27)

Brad Sherman (D-24)

Hilda Solis (D-31)

Pete Stark (D-13)

Ellen Tauscher (D-10)

Mike Thompson (D-01)

Maxine Waters (D-35)

Diane Watson (D-32)

Henry Waxman (D-29)

Lynn Woolsey (D-06)

IN UTAH & ARIZONA

3. GLEN CANYON JET SKIS (ACTION ITEM)

On September 13, the National Park Service opened a comment period on a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) looking at Jet-Ski use in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

The Park Service’s press release states the following about the DEIS’s 3 alternatives:

“Alternative A would allow use as currently exists under a special regulation. Personal watercraft use would be authorized for all areas of the recreation area above Glen Canyon Dam except where prohibited by the 2002 Superintendent’s Compendium.

“Alternative B [the Preferred Alternative] would allow personal watercraft use in the recreation area under a special regulation with additional management restrictions. Personal watercraft use would be prohibited in portions of the Colorado, Escalante, Dirty Devil, and San Juan Rivers to increase protection of environmental values and reduce visitor conflict. To further reduce visitor conflict and improve visitor experience, speed restrictions would be imposed in additional areas of the Escalante and Dirty Devil Rivers. This alternative also includes enhancement of educational programs and materials, and the development of a monitoring program and Lake Management plan that would comprehensively consider all lake uses to manage the effects on resources by all watercraft use.

“Under Alternative C, the no action alternative, all personal watercraft use within the recreation area would be prohibited, based on the year 2000 National Park Service rule.”

Public planning meetings will be held in October in the following cities: Salt Lake City, Phoenix & Page, AZ, and Grand Junction, CO. (No meetings will be held in California.) Exact dates, locations, and times may be found at:

http://www.nps.gov/glca/plan.htm

The comment period will run for 60 days, and we will try to have more detailed information regarding issues and comments in the next UPDATE. In the meantime, the plan may be downloaded from:

http://www.nps.gov/glca/pwceis/pwchome.htm

In addition to the public meetings, comments may be mailed to the park:
National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
691 Scenic View Dr.
P. O. Box 1507
Page, Arizona 86040
By fax: 928-608-6204

or emailed to:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Wright, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, 928-608-6339

IN ARIZONA/CALIFORNIA

4. GRAND CANYON OPEN HOUSE IN OAKLAND

OCTOBER 2

(ACTION ITEM)

For the last couple of months, CalUWild has been a member of the Grand Canyon Wilderness Alliance (GCWA), a coalition of organizations dedicated to preserving and enhancing the wilderness character of the Colorado River as it flows through Grand Canyon. (Other members include The Wilderness Society, Alaska Wilderness League, Arizona Wilderness Coalition, Bluewater Network, Friends of the Earth, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Living Rivers, National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.)

In our July UPDATE, we announced that scoping comments were being accepted for a new Colorado River Management Plan (CRMP), with a deadline of September 21. In response to a request by the GCWA, the Park Service added a California scoping meeting and one near Baltimore, MD. Also, the comment deadline was extended until November 1.

The California meeting will be held Wednesday, October 2 at:

Merritt College

Student Dining Hall (Building R)

12500 Campus Drive

Oakland, CA

4 – 8 P.M.

For directions to Merritt College, go to:

http://www.nps.gov/grca/crmp/public/directions.htm#ca

For a map of the campus, go to:

http://www.merritt.edu/cat/mermap.html

Merritt College is not the most convenient location, but please attend anyway if you can. this will show the Park Service the level of concern among Californians for the Colorado River and Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, the Park Service did not add a meeting in Los Angeles, although the Alliance had requested one there as well.

Please see the July UPDATE for comment suggestions. These can be submitted at the open house or by mail. Additional points to make include:

1) Although not mentioned anywhere in its scoping discussion, the Park Service should undertake a full study of the effects of Glen Canyon Dam on the ecology of Grand Canyon. Cold water temperatures, drastically reduced silt content, and at-times-drastically reduced water flows, among others, have all had extremely negative impacts on Grand Canyon’s environment. Effects include reduced beach area along the shores, decimation of native fish populations, invasion by tamarisk and other invasive non-native species.

2. The scoping materials also make little mention of management to preserve the wilderness character of the river corridor. In previous planning “go-rounds”, the Park Service had recommended wilderness designation for the river. The CRMP should use this recommendation as the basis for all planning alternatives.

3. If you are unable to attend the Oakland open house because the location is inconvenient (e.g., not easily accessible by BART) please mention that in any comment you submit. Thanks!

For more information please see the park’s CRMP website at:

http://www.nps.gov/grca/crmp/index.htm.

Comments can be sent in by mail and electronically.

CRMP Team, Grand Canyon National Park

P.O. Box 129

Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

or via email:

by November 1.

5. CALIFORNIA WILD HERITAGE CAMPAIGN CONTINUES TO MOVE AHEAD

Rep. Hilda Solis’s Southern (H.R. 4947) and Rep. Mike Thompson’s Northern California Wild Heritage Act (H.R. 4948) bills are attracting cosponsors. As of September 16, California cosponsors included:

Lois Capps (D-22)

Susan Davis (D-49)

Anna Eshoo (D-14)

Bob Filner (D-50)

Jane Harman (D-36)

Mike Honda (D-15)

George Miller (D-07)

Grace Napolitano (D-34)

Nancy Pelosi (D-08)

Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-33)

Brad Sherman (D-24)

Ellen Tauscher (D-10)

Mike Thompson (D-01)

Maxine Waters (D-35)

Henry Waxman (D-29)

Lynne Woolsey (D-06)

Out-of-state cosponsors include:

Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)

Jim McDermott (D-WA)

Cynthia McKinney (D-GA)

Jim Moran (D-VA)

Robert Wexler (D-FL)

The Wild Heritage campaign will be working to get the following California

representatives on board:

Joe Baca (D-42)

Xavier Becerra (D-30)

Howard Berman (D-26)

Calvin Dooley (D-20)

Sam Farr (D-17)

Tom Lantos (D-12)

Barbara Lee

Zoe Lofgren (D-16)

Robert Matsui (D-05)

Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-37)

Loretta Sanchez (D-46)

Adam Schiff (D-27)

Pete Stark (D-13)

Diane Watson (D-32)

In other news from the CWHC:

– Just two weeks ago, the California Assembly and Senate passed a joint resolution in support of Senator Boxer’s CA Wild Heritage bill. For more information check out:

http://www.assembly.ca.gov/acs/acsframeset2text.htm

– Three top state constitutional officers have joined the list of endorsers. Lieutenant Gov. Cruz Bustamante, Attorney General Bill Lockyer and State Treasurer Phil Angelides have all written letters of support for S. 2535.

– Over 125 state and local elected officials have also given their support for the California Wild Heritage Act.

To build on this success, over 75 national, state, and local conservation organizations sent a letter to Gov. Davis, encouraging him to join the wave of support growing for the California Wild Heritage Act. CWHC thanks all those groups who joined on to make the letter so diverse and compelling!

Finally, CWHC is still collecting signatures on its petition to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (who has yet to sign on to Sen. Boxer’s bill) in support of California’s wild places. You may sign the petition online at:

http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/Wild-Places/

Or if you would like to have your friends and relations sign it, send them the above URL or download a PDF version from:

http://www.californiawild.org/pdf/FeinsteinPetition.pdf

6. SANTA ROSA AND SAN JACINTO MOUNTAINS NM PLANNING

SCOPING DEADLINE: OCTOBER 1

(ACTION ITEM)

In October, 2000 Congress passed a bill creating the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument in Southern California, to be jointly managed by the BLM and Forest Service. The monument is beginning to develop a general plan, and the scoping period runs until October 1.

The scoping process will identify planning issues, develop criteria, and will include an evaluation of the existing BLM and USFS land and resource management plans in the context of the needs and interests of the public and conservation of natural and cultural resources specified in the designating legislation.

As wilderness advocates, please request that the BLM and Forest Service conduct inventories of areas identified as potential wilderness by the California Wild Heritage Campaign. Furthermore, those areas should be managed as Wilderness Study Areas under section 202 of the Federal Land Policy Management Act.

This is a bit short notice, but at this point in the process, your comments need not be much longer than a couple of sentences. The comment period will run until October 1, 2002. Publication of the draft EIS is anticipated in early 2003. The public may give comment at the public scoping meetings or submit comments by mail, fax, or email to the addresses listed below.

Written comments may be sent to:

Danella George, Monument Manager

Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office

Bureau of Land Management

P.O. Box 581260

North Palm Springs, CA 92258

By fax: 760-251-4899

By email:

For more information, call: 760-251-4800

IN MEMORIAM

7. Barbara and Galen Rowell

Memorial Gathering: October 13

As has been widely reported, Barbara and Galen Rowell died August 11 when the plane they were flying in crashed as it was approaching the airport in Bishop, CA. The plane’s pilot and another passenger also died. Barbara and Galen had been members of CalUWild’s Advisory Board for a little over a year.

Both were outstanding photographers of the Earth’s wild places, and Galen was an adventurous rock climber and supporter of Tibetan human rights as well. In addition, they and their Mountain Light Gallery were generous supporters of many wilderness and conservation organizations, often hosting receptions and fundraisers at the galleries in Emeryville and later in Bishop.

A few of Galen’s books are: “My Tibet” with text by the Dalai Lama, whom Galen and Barbara knew well (University of California Press). They traveled extensively in Tibet and the Himalayas. Galen’s photos accompany an edition of John Muir’s “The Yosemite,” published by the Sierra Club. Other titles include: In the Throne Room of the Mountain Gods, Mountain Light, The Vertical World of Yosemite, Alaska: Images of the Country (with text by John McPhee). More are listed at their website:

http://www.mountainlight.com

We will all miss them greatly. Their photography, however, is a legacy that will continue to inspire people to protect wilderness and cultural resources.

A public memorial gathering will be held:

Sunday, October 13

Berkeley Community Theater

1930 Allston Way

Berkeley, California

3 P.M.

======================================

Californians for Western Wilderness

P.O. Box 210474

San Francisco, CA 94121-0474

415-752-3911

info@caluwild.org

caluwild@mindspring.com

https://www.caluwild.org

(undergoing renovation)

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