Newsletter Archive

Grandstaff Canyon, Utah                                                                                                                                        (Mike Painter)

October 31, 2018

Dear CalUWild friends—

Everyone is anticipating the midterm elections next week. Remember: Please vote, and if there are people you know who need reminding, be the person to remind them. Not voting is not a protest; it’s surrender …

For a fun video, go to Voter RX, the same people who brought us Nature RX back in 2015.

Last week the administration designated its first national monument, Camp Nelson, a Civil War-era site in Kentucky. It began as a Union Army supply depot but later became a recruitment center for African American soldiers and a place of refuge for escaped slaves. You may read the monument proclamation here. The irony is that the administration is, at the same time, diminishing protection for the Bears Ears, a landscape sacred to Native Americans.

As year-end approaches, we traditionally send out our membership appeal, and we’ll be doing that next month and in December. Dues have never been required to receive CalUWild’s Monthly Update, but we do rely on support from our members. If you’d like to help us save on printing and postage expenses for our mailing, you can send in a contribution ahead of time, mailing it to:

P.O. Box 210474
San Francisco, CA 94121-0474

Dues payable to CalUWild are not tax-deductible, as they may be used for lobbying. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please make your check payable to Resource Renewal Institute, CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor, and mail it to the address above. Please print out and enclose a membership form if your address is not on the check.

Your support is more critical than ever, but even more important is for people to take action to protect our wild places and public lands. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible.

Thanks in advance!

Best wishes,

1.   National Monument Comments Due
          DEADLINES: November 15 & 30
          (ACTION ITEM)
2.   Emery County Bill Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

3.   Wildland Volunteer Network: First Annual Meeting
          Saturday, November 3

4.   Great Old Broads Annual Auction
5.   Job Listings
   a.   Western Environmental Law Center
   b.   Southwest Environmental Center

6.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest


1.   National Monument Comments Due
          DEADLINES: November 15 & 30
          (ACTION ITEM)

We are reaching the end of the comment periods for the shrunken Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. The deadline for Bears Ears is November 15, and for Grand Staircase-Escalante (GSENM), it’s November 30. Please submit your comments. They are especially pertinent if you have visited either area or hope to some day.

Item 1 in our August Update contains detailed talking points and the links and addresses for commenting on the plans. Please refer to it.

For GSENM, an additional, important issue has come to light recently—the Bureau of Land Management is proposing to re-open the Escalante River corridor to cattle grazing. There are two equally important reasons for opposing this proposal. The first is ecological: the corridor has undergone a tremendous amount of habitat restoration, removing non-native invasive plants such as Russian olive and tamarisk. Allowing renewed grazing would cause irreparable damage to the restored landscape. The second reason is both economic and equity-based: Years ago the Grand Canyon Trust purchased grazing permits from willing ranchers in order to remove cattle and retire the allotments permanently. BLM should not be allowed to circumvent those buyouts now.

If you’ve already submitted a comment, please submit a supplemental comment on this issue. It’s important.

The Utah national monument controversy continues to attract the attention of the press:

A feature story in National Geographic: Inside the New Battle for the American West (sign up for free access may be required)

The Salt Lake Tribune reports on one of the more bizarre comments ever made about public lands: ‘National monuments kill people’ — S. Utah commissioner’s comments draw criticism after park ranger shot a Navajo

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: House Dems want to stop new management plans for Utah’s shrunken Bears Ears, Grand Staircase monuments, citing lawsuits

An op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune: While courts deliberate the future of national monuments, development must wait

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: 115 arches were left out of the reduced Bears Ears and Grand Staircase national monuments. A University of Utah team is creating a digital archive to ‘preserve’ them.

An article in a new (to us) publication, Roads and Kingdoms, about Mark Maryboy, a Navajo leader in the struggle to preserve Bears Ears and other ancestral lands: Meet the Man Fighting To Preserve Rural Utah Lands

An article in Pacific Standard: Inside Utah’s Anti-Public Lands Agenda

2.   Emery County Bill Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

The Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources gave its approval to S. 2809, in its current House version. Unfortunately, the bill remains unacceptable. The only good news is that its supporters are now on notice that the bill is controversial.

For details on its provisions, please see Item 1 in last month’s Update.

Our best chance to stop it is in the Senate, so please call Sens. Feinstein & Harris. Not only should they oppose the bill itself, they should also oppose including it in any package of bills or attaching it to any other bill. Should that happen, they should then oppose the package, too. It’s that serious.

The main point to stress is that the bill is extremely one-sided, having not been negotiated in good faith with the conservation community. In fact conservationists were ignored at every turn.

Contact information for California’s senators:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein: 202-224-3841
   Online here

Sen. Kamala Harris: 202-224-3553
   Online here

Contact information for senators from other states may be found here.

Since there is the possibility that Sen. Hatch might try to include the Emery County bill in a larger package, it’s important that our friends in the House be aware of it and work to keep the bill out of any such package. So please also contact Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi with that message.

DC office: 202-225-4965
San Francisco office: 415-556-4862
   Online here

3.   California Invasive Plant Council
          Wildland Volunteer Network: First Annual Meeting
          Saturday, November 3

From our friends at Cal-IPC:

Join fellow volunteer stewards on Saturday, November 3, beginning at 9 a.m., in beautiful Redwood Regional Park for the first Annual Meeting of the Wildland Volunteer Network. Part expert training, part planning session, part celebration – don’t miss this fun opportunity to strengthen volunteer weed management in the Bay Area and beyond! Featuring:

• Presentations from Bay Area Open Space Council, American River Parkway Foundation, EarthTeam, and East Bay Regional Parks
• Strategic planning for the WVN, with discussions on recruiting more volunteers and developing local weed lists
• Catered lunch with time to explore

Full program online

The Wildland Volunteer Network helps strengthen volunteer connections in the Bay Area and beyond. Learn more about WVN.

4.   Great Old Broads Annual Auction
          Through November 11

From our friends at Great Old Broads for Wilderness:

Great Old Broads for Wilderness announces the 15th Annual Wild for Wilderness Online Auction, planned for October 28–November 11, 2018. You’ll find an ocean of auction pearls—from outdoor gear, vacation getaways and adventures to books, art, jewelry, and more.

As the organization’s largest fundraiser, proceeds support Broads’ work to train and inspire advocates (like us!) to protect wild lands and waters for future generations.

Start surfing now at

5.   Job Listings
   a.   Western Environmental Law Center

Our friends at the Western Environmental Law Center are looking for an Administrative & Technology Coordinator

The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 25-year legacy of success using the power of the law to safeguard the public lands, wildlife, and communities of the American West in the face of a changing climate. We seek a dynamic and energetic Administrative/Technology Coordinator to join our team. This position provides administrative, finance, and IT support to ensure the effective operation of all WELC offices. This full-time position will be located in Eugene, Oregon and will be filled as soon as possible.

Full listing here.

   b.   Southwest Environmental Center

Our friends at SWEC sent this out last week:

We are looking for a full-time Membership Coordinator/Office Manager. The role of this position is to grow our membership, serve as a liaison to our members, and manage the daily operations of our facility. Click here for more details.

6.   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 item in this section does not imply agreement with the viewpoint expressed.

The Department of the Interior & Secty. Zinke

A series of four articles in four days in the Washington Post:

1) HUD appointee abruptly moved to lead Interior Dept.’s watchdog unit amid Zinke probe

2) The following day, the Post reported: Trump administration does about-face on announcement that top HUD aide would lead Interior watchdog, (overwritten by the following)

3) The next day, that story was replaced with yet a third article in the Post: Interior Secretary Zinke’s approach to wife’s travels raised red flags, report finds. (The Inspector General’s report may be read here.)

4) Finally: Trump appointee tapped days ago to run Interior Department’s watchdog office resigns amid controversy

Then yesterday the Washington Post published this story: Zinke’s own agency watchdog just referred him to the Justice Department, followed by a story just this morning in The Hill, providing even more background: Interior watchdog referred Zinke probe to Justice days before move to replace agency IG.

An article in the Missoula Current: Montana group sues DOI for Zinke emails in search of unethical, illegal acts

An article in Outside describing the many instances that the Interior Department is trying to cut the public out of decision-making: Zinke and Trump Are Ignoring the Public

Public lands in general

Two pieces in The Hill on the Land & Water Conservation Fund—An op-ed: 9.52 million acres of public lands are entirely inaccessible to Americans and an article: Senate panel moves to renew expired park conservation fund

Good news, reported in The Guardian: Grand Canyon uranium mining ban upheld as supreme court declines to hear challenge

An article in Outside: Has Vandalism in Our National Monuments Gotten Worse?

An article in the New York Times: ‘Lifeboats’ Amid the World’s Wildfires. One important aspect of wilderness is that it also acts as a refuge in the wider landscape.

A New York Times article on aspens in Utah: Pando, the Most Massive Organism on Earth, Is Shrinking.

An article in the Casper, Wyoming Star Tribune: Federal judge rules against Wyoming’s ‘data trespass’ laws on First Amendment grounds


We’re always looking for ways to reach new audiences for public lands protection, and sometimes they come to us. This month a camping enthusiast contacted CalUWild. She had recently written The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Camping and thought people might find it useful. It and other articles she’s written for the website Hobby Help provide good basic information on a variety of topics related to camping. Please share the page with people who might appreciate it! We’ll work with her to get more people involved in public lands protection. (Otherwise they may find themselves at some time in the future without many places to actually go camping.)

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