Newsletter Archive

DSC_1316a3Mountain Juniper, Yosemite Wilderness, California                                                                   (Mike Painter)

May 28, 2015

Dear CalUWild friends & supporters-

Memorial Day, unofficially heralding the arrival of summer, is past. That means it’s the time when many people embark on their summer vacations, especially if they have children or are students.

We’re blessed with an abundance of public lands here in the U.S., which are a wonderful resource and our birthright. As we’re reminded with increasing frequency, though, there are many who want nothing more than to exploit these lands for their own gain. And they are finding increasingly strong support for the idea among politicians, too.

It’s up to us to ensure that public lands remain public, this summer and all summers into the future. The best way to do that is to go out, explore, and get to know places in the West and the rest of the country. Then when you’re back home-while the memory is still fresh-share your enthusiasm with your representatives by visiting, writing, or calling them. The best way to succeed is to make the political personal.

Thanks, as always, for your efforts and commitment!

Best wishes,

1.   America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act
          Reintroduced in Congress
          (ACTION ITEM)
2.   ATV Riders in Recapture Canyon Protest Ride
          Found Guilty

3.   Rep. Lois Capps Reintroduces
          Central Coast Wilderness Bill
          (ACTION ITEM)

4.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest


1.   America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act
          Reintroduced in Congress
          (ACTION ITEM)

In the middle of the month, Rep. Alan Lowenthal of California (D-47) and Sen. Richard Durbin (D) of Illinois introduced America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, bill numbers H.R. 2430 and S.1375, respectively. There were 77 original cosponsors in the House, and 14 in the Senate, which is more than in the last Congress-and that’s good news!

House cosponsors from California in addition to Rep. Lowenthal are:

Jared Huffman (D-2)
Doris Matsui (D-6)
Jerry McNerney (D-9)
Mark DeSaulnier (D-11)
Barbara Lee (D-13)
Jackie Speier (D-14)
Michael Honda (D-17)
Anna Eshoo (D-18)
Zoe Lofgren (D-19)
Sam Farr (D-20)
Lois Capps (D-24)
Judy Chu (D-27)
Adam Schiff (D-28)
Tony Cárdenas (D-29)
Grace Napolitano (D-32)
Ted Lieu (D-33)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-40)

We’d still like to see the following California House members cosponsor H.R. 2430:

John Garamendi (D-3) *
Mike Thompson (D-5) *
Ami Bera (D-7)
Jackie Speier (D-14) *
Eric Swalwell (D-15)
Julia Brownley (D-26)
Brad Sherman (D-30) *
Raul Ruiz (D-36)
Linda Sánchez (D-38) *
Mark Takano (D-41)
Maxine Waters (D-43) *
Janice Hahn (D-44)
Mimi Walters (D-45)
Loretta Sanchez (D-46) *
Juan Vargas (D-51)
Susan Davis (D-53) *

* previous cosponsor

If your representative is on the first list, please contact them to say “thanks.” If on the second list, please asking them to become a cosponsor, which they can do by contacting Rep. Lowenthal’s office. A simple phone call will do, or send a note via an online comment form. Complete contact information may be found by following the links here.

In the Senate, Barbara Boxer (D) continued her longtime cosponsorship. Please let her know your appreciation, too.

Phone: 202-224-3553
Other contact info

A full list of cosponsors nationwide may be found here.

2.   ATV Riders in Recapture Canyon Protest Ride
          Found Guilty

A Federal District Court jury in Salt Lake City found San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman and another defendant guilty of conspiracy and driving motorized vehicles during a protest on closed BLM lands in Recapture Canyon near Blanding. Two other defendants were found not guilty, even though photos clearly showed them on vehicles in the closed part of the Canyon.

The BLM closed the canyon to motorized use in 2007 to protect 1,000-year-old-plus archaeological sites created by Ancestral Puebloans.

Mr. Lyman and his co-defendants argued that they had received permission to ride on the road from the San Juan County Water Conservancy water master (who actually opened the gate for them). The agency has a right of way to maintain a pipeline in Recapture Canyon. That defense was rejected by the jury.

Sentencing was scheduled for July 15, and the pair could serve up to a year in prison, be fined $100,000, and be forced to pay additional reimbursement to the BLM for damage caused during the ride.

The Salt Lake Tribune wrote an editorial critical of Mr. Lyman’s claim that the ride was an act of civil disobedience.

3.   Rep. Lois Capps Reintroduces
          Central Coast Wilderness Bill
          (ACTION ITEM)

This week, Rep. Lois Capps (D-24) announced she was introducing the Central Coast Wild Heritage Act of 2015, with cosponsors Sam Farr (D-20) and Julia Brownley (D-26). The bill is identical to the one Rep. Capps introduced last year. We expect Sen. Barbara Boxer to introduce a companion bill in the Senate next week.

Los Padres Forest Watch provided this description of the bill last year, saying it would:

– Designate 180,000 acres of wilderness adjacent to existing wilderness areas in the Los Padres National Forest, including the Sespe, Matilija, and Chumash wilderness areas in Ventura County, the Dick Smith and San Rafael wilderness areas in Santa Barbara County, and the Santa Lucia, Machesna Mountain, and Garcia wilderness areas in San Luis Obispo County.

– Propose an additional 41,000 acres adjacent to the San Rafael Wilderness Area in Santa Barbara County for future wilderness designation. The bill encourages the construction of a long-awaited connector trail that, once built, will restore historic public access to an existing network of trails in the Cuyama Valley. Once the trail is constructed, the forest land will automatically revert to wilderness.

– Designate 61,000 acres as wilderness in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, a vast landscape adjacent to the Los Padres National Forest in southeastern San Luis Obispo County. Known as “California’s Serengeti,” the Carrizo Plain is home to Tule elk, pronghorn antelope, and the highest concentration of rare plants and animals in California. The wilderness areas outlined in the bill include Caliente Mountain, the Temblor Range, and the Soda Lake area.

– Establish two protected Scenic Areas totaling 34,000 acres, including Condor Ridge along the crest of the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County, and Black Mountain in the La Panza Range in San Luis Obispo County.

– Add 158 miles of pristine mountain streams to the National Wild & Scenic Rivers system, forever protecting them from dam-building and preserving their free-flowing condition. The protections would extend to upper Piru Creek, upper Sespe Creek, and Matilija Creek in Ventura County, and Mono Creek, Indian Creek, Manzana Creek, and other tributaries of the Sisquoc River in Santa Barbara County.

– Formally recognize the Condor National Recreation Trail, the central coast’s first thru-hiking route that would span 400 miles of existing paths in the Los Padres National Forest. The long-distance trail would begin at Lake Piru in the south, travel through the backcountry of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and terminate on the Big Sur coast.

The California Wilderness Coalition has a webpage with more information, a map, and links to fact sheets for each wilderness area and wild & scenic river segment.

Please thank Rep. Capps for introducing the bill.

Phone: 202-225-3601
Other contact info

If you live in their districts, also thank Rep. Farr

Phone: 202-225-2861
Other contact info

and Rep. Brownley for cosponsoring it.

Phone: 202-225-5811
Other contact info

Finally, please thank Sen. Boxer for her upcoming Senate bill.

Phone: 202-224-3553
Other contact info

4.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest

If a link is broken or otherwise inaccessible, please send me an email, and I’ll fix it or send you a PDF copy. As always, inclusion of an article here does not imply agreement with the author’s viewpoint.

From the New York Times

A column but Nicholas Kristof, What ‘Wild’ Has Wrought, reflecting on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

Our Pampered Wilderness, an op-ed on “glamping” or “glamorous camping”

An article examining the conflict between tule elk and cattle at Pt. Reyes National Seashore in northern California

Huey Johnson, president of Resource Renewal Institute, CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor, wrote an op-ed piece in the Marin Independent Journal on the elk controversy.

CalUWild friend John Hart wrote an essay in High Country News in support of a Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument designation

An op-ed in the UK’s Guardian, by CalUWild friend Cindy Shogan, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League: Arctic drilling for ‘extreme oil’ is risky – and letting Shell do the work is reckless

In Western states, idea of reclaiming federal land still has a strong allure, an article in the Los Angeles Times

An article in the Washington Times looking at the increasing role that veterans are taking in campaigns to protect public lands

Video links

Episode 12 in the U.S. Forest Service’s Restore series: Chaparral Restoration

Another in the National Park Service series, America’s Wilderness, some of which we featured in 2014. This time: The Escape Artist: Muddy Mountains Wilderness in Nevada

As always, if you ever have questions, suggestions, critiques, or wish to change your e-mail address or unsubscribe, all you have to do is send an email. For information on making a contribution to CalUWild, click here. “Like” CalUWild on Facebook.