Newsletter Archive

Petroglyphs, Cedar Mesa, Utah                                                                                                               (Mike Painter)

January 31, 2022

Dear CalUWild friends & supporters—

2022 is already one month old, and I hope the year has gotten off to a good start. There wasn’t too much to report on over the holidays, so I decided to take a bit of a break and give you one, too.

Many thanks to everyone who made contributions to CalUWild or to our fiscal sponsor, Resource Renewal Institute, in response to our annual membership appeal. We’re off to a good start for the year. It’s never too late to support our work, though, and information may be found at the end of this Update.

We’re happy to announce that Chris Arthur has joined CalUWild’s Advisory Board. Chris is the retired Legislative Director for former Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), the chief sponsor of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act for many years. Chris has acted as an unofficial advisor over the years, and we finally made it formal.

In political news, three California representatives have announced that they will not seek re-election in 2022. Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-9), Lucille Royball-Allard (D-40), and Alan Lowenthal (D-47) have all been strong supporters of wilderness and public lands. Rep. Royball-Allard has been a longtime member of CalUWild’s Advisory Board, and Rep. Lowenthal has been the chief sponsor of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act since 2013. They will be missed.

In other California news, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-22) resigned his House seat to run the immediately-former president’s Media & Technology Group. Rep. Nunes was not a supporter of public lands. A special election is scheduled for April 5 to fill that seat.

As always, thank you for your support of wilderness and public lands!

Best wishes,

1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsorship Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

2.   30×30 Draft Released
          DEADLINE: Tuesday, February 15
          (ACTION ITEM)
3.   Lawsuit Filed Against Park Service
          Over Pt. Reyes National Seashore
          Ranch Management Plan
4.   Reps. Garamendi & Thompson
          Introduce Bill to Enlarge
          Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument
          (ACTION ITEM)

5.   Fee-Free Days on Public Lands in 2022

6.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest


1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

We’ve added three more names to the list of California cosponsors of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (H.R. 3780). Reps. Salud Carbajal (D-24), Ted Lieu (D-33), and Katie Porter (D-45) have signed on. If any of them is your representative, please thank them.

A list of California cosponsors and contact information for all may be found online on our California Congressional Information Sheet. If your representative is not a cosponsor, please ask them to become one, as well as Sen. Alex Padilla, who is a strong public lands supporter.

Nationally, there are now 88 cosponsors in the House and 18 in the Senate. A full list of cosponsors nationwide may be found here.

2.   30×30 Draft Released
          DEADLINE: Tuesday, February 15
          (ACTION ITEM)

The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) has released its public draft plan for protecting 30%s of California’s land and ocean by 2030 (30×30). You may read it by following the links on this page: Pathways to 30×30: Accelerating Conservation of California’s Nature.

CNRA is accepting public comments until February 15. The Sierra Club has prepared a set of talking points for people wishing to submit comments. Please use your own words and pick those most relevant to you. (There’s no need to use all of the them.)

CNRA’s draft 30×30 Pathways Report presents an ambitious vision with a strong focus on biodiversity, climate, equity and outdoor access, and support for Tribal knowledge and leadership that is largely consistent throughout the draft. We applaud the state for this.

The Draft Report reflects the ten priorities for a successful 30×30 effort that the statewide 30×30 coalition has championed throughout CNRA’s process, and we appreciate CNRA staff’s due diligence.

The report provides an excellent framework for achieving our goals, but the final version must include more details on specific interim goals, metrics, and prioritization strategies for how 30×30 will be achieved.

Local communities bring a deep understanding of our conservation needs and challenges, and they are the state’s greatest resource and allies in ensuring the 30×30 goal is achieved.

The document makes no mention as to how the state plans to halt and discontinue the damage that 30×30 is responding to (problematic projects, policies, substandard enforcement and regulatory regimes, etc.). This is a glaring omission that must be meaningfully addressed in the final report.

We applaud CNRA for listing “Access and equity”, “Achiev[ing] justice, diversity, equity and inclusion”, and “Strengthen[ing] tribal partnerships” as key objectives of the 30×30 process. The final pathways report should articulate how these key objectives will be actualized and prioritized via the initiative’s Strategic Actions.

Furthermore, as recommended by CNRA’s own Equity Advisory Panel, there should be greater emphasis on how the 30×30 process can achieve restorative justice for communities most impacted by past harm. As stated in the Equity Advisory Panel’s recommendation, the 30×30 process should: “Acknowledge, atone for, and deconstruct systems of oppression to make progress in resolving and reconciling historic land use and land management practices that have led to inequity in California.”

The final report should articulate long-term funding commitments on a scale commensurate with 30×30 goals, including funding to ensure Tribes, government agencies, land trusts and community organizations have the capacity to move the work forward.

The final report should include a greater emphasis on protecting our state’s imperiled freshwater ecosystems, which are rarely mentioned in the draft 30×30 Pathways.

The final report must include a more rigorous review and analysis of the regional land, freshwater ecosystems and seascapes being considered for conservation.

You may submit comments the following ways:

Email: CaliforniaNature [at] resources [dot] ca [dot] gov

Upload Comments to Online Portal

By U.S. Mail:

California Natural Resources Agency
715 P Street, 20th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Voice message: 1-800-417-0668

Again, the deadline is Tuesday, February 15.

In other news affecting 30×30 in California and nationally, all the public lands provisions were stripped from the National Defense Authorization Act in December. The bills included were:

— Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act (Huffman)
— Central Coast Heritage Protection Act (Carbajal)
— San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act (Chu)
— Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act (Schiff)
— Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Kilmer)
— Colorado Wilderness Act (DeGette)
— Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act (Neguse)
— Grand Canyon Protection Act (Grijalva)

This was a major disappointment, but we will continue working with our coalition partners across the West to secure passage of these important pieces of legislation.

3.   Lawsuit Filed Against Park Service
          Over Pt. Reyes National Seashore
          Ranch Management Plan

Earlier this month the Resource Renewal Institute, Western Watersheds Project, and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a challenge to Point Reyes National Seashore’s management plan amendment. The plan was released last September, allowing ranching operations to continue (and even expand) with 20-year leases, while at the same time allowing for lethal control of Tule elk that potentially interfere with ranching. See our September – October Update for more details on the plan. (Full disclosure: Although RRI is CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor, we are not active participants in the lawsuit.)

The lawsuit alleges that the new plan:

— violates the law establishing the Seashore, since the law does not include preservation of ranching as one of the purposes for which it was established;

— violates the Park Service Organic Act, which requires that resources be left “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations” (emphasis added); and

— violates the Clean Water Act’s water quality standards.

National Parks Traveler published an article regarding the lawsuit, and it received widespread coverage elsewhere, as well. We’ll keep you posted as things progress.

4.   Reps. Garamendi & Thompson
          Introduce Bill to Enlarge
          Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument
          (ACTION ITEM)

Earlier this month Rep. John Garamendi (D-3), along with Rep. Mike Thompson (D-5) as original cosponsor, introduced the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act, H.R.6366. The bill adds approximately 4,000 acres to the Monument, protecting an area presently known as Walker Ridge, where numerous wind energy proposals have been made. The bill also changes the name Walker Ridge to Condor Ridge (Molok Luyuk). “Molok Luyuk” means “Condor Ridge” in the local Indigenous Patwin language.

The bill also mandates that the BLM and Forest Service consult with local Indian Tribes when developing the management plan for the Monument and requires that Tribes be involved in the management of the Monument through agreements and other partnerships with the agencies as much as possible.

The area is rich in unusual plants, and there are proposals to restore California condors there as well.

Please thank Reps. Garamendi and Thompson for introducing the bill, and ask your representative to become a cosponsor. Contact information is on CalUWild’s website here.

5.   Fee-Free Days on Public Lands in 2022

Here are the fee-free days for federal lands in 2022. Note that different agencies have somewhat different schedules.

Jan. 17 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day (past)
Feb. 21 – Presidents Day (not National Park Service)
April 16 – First day of National Park Week (Park Service only)
June 11 – National Get Outdoors Day (Forest Service and
                    Bureau of Land Management only)
June 19 – Juneteenth (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service only)
Aug. 4 – Anniversary of Great American Outdoors Act
                    (not Forest Service)
Sept. 24 – National Public Lands Day
Oct. 9 – First Sunday of National Wildlife Refuge Week
                    (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service only)
Nov. 11 – Veterans Day

Remember that various passes are available for seniors, veterans, disabled persons, fourth graders (and their families), as well as the annual America the Beautiful pass and passes for single parks, offering free or reduced admission.

Related: An article in The Guardian : ‘Everyone came at once’: America’s national parks reckon with record-smashing year

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.

In Utah

An NPR article on the drought and Lake Powell: The Western megadrought is revealing America’s ‘lost national park’

In California

In the Los Angeles Times: Has Biden moved to finally kill California’s dumbest water project?

An article in the Los Angeles Times: In Bakersfield, many push for bringing back the flow of the long-dry Kern River

An article by Steve Dunsky of the U.S. Forest Service: The Survival of the Redwood Canoe

An article in The New Yorker about Susan Sorrells and the town of Shoshone: The Queen of the Desert

In New Mexico & Arizona

An Associated Press article: Native American leaders say Chaco prayers being answered

An article at George Washington University’s History News Network: The Value of a “Greater Chaco” National Park

A look at the border wall in New Mexico and Arizona with an extensive storymap: The Border Wall in Arizona and New Mexico – July 2021

In General

An interview in Outside with the new director of the Bureau of Land Management: Tracy Stone-Manning’s Plans to Rebuild the BLM


Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated. Dues are not tax-deductible, as they may be used for lobbying activities. There are several ways to contribute:

– PayPal: email address info [at] caluwild [dot] org (We’re an unincorporated citizens group
and not selling any goods or services.)

– Zelle (interbank transfers): email address info [at] caluwild [dot] org, Michael Painter
(account administrator)

– By Check payable to CalUWild

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please send a check payable to Resource Renewal Institute, CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor. If your address is not on the check please print out and enclose a membership form.

All checks should be mailed to:

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


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