Newsletter Archive

Petroglyphs, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah                                                                                           (Mike Painter)

March 9, 2022

Dear CalUWild friends—

Much of the world’s attention has been focused on the war in Ukraine, and we join in hoping for a quick resolution to the conflict there. But although it’s half-way around the world, its effects are potentially impacting public lands here in the U.S. No sooner had the discussion turned to reducing imports of oil from Russia, than industry and its friends began suggesting opening up more public land to oil and gas exploration here. But as the White House and others have pointed out, there are close to 9,000 existing leases that have yet to be developed, so the industry should be looking there first before asking for new leases.

Colorado College released the results of its 12th annual State of the Rockies Conservation in the West Poll, showing that Westerners increasingly support public land protection. 69% of respondents are concerned about the future of Nature, up from 61% in 2021. 86% said that the environment and public lands are important factors in deciding which elected officials to support—up from 80% in 2020 and 75% in 2016.

Outdoor equipment companies Patagonia, North Face, REI, and others said that they will boycott the Outdoor Retailers Show if it moves back to Salt Lake City, now that its contract in Denver is expiring. They are protesting the State of Utah’s lack of support for protection of federal public lands in the state, which is what caused the organizers to move from Salt Lake City to Denver in the first place. We’ll have to wait and see how that develops.

As always, there’s much more to read in Item 4 below.

Thanks for your support, and best wishes,

1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

2.   Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act
Gets a Hearing in the House
          (ACTION ITEM)

3.   Legislation Introduced in the House to Establish
Avi Kwa Ame National Monument

4.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest


1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

There are no new California cosponsors to announce for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act this month. But with Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-47), the chief sponsor of the bill, retiring at the end of this Congress, we would like to see more representatives from California sign on. So we’re helping the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance set up meetings—April through July, either in-person or via Zoom—in the districts listed below. Constituent support for the Red Rock bill is important. If you would like to take part in a meeting with your representative, please send me an email. No prior experience is needed, and you can say as much or as little as you wish—simply being present sends a message.

These are the offices we are looking to meet with:

Jared Huffman   (D-2)
Josh Harder   (D-10)
Mark DeSaulnier   (D-11)
Barbara Lee   (D-13)
Jackie Speier   (D-14)
Eric Swalwell   (D-15)
Zoe Lofgren   (D-19)
Adam B. Schiff   (D-28)
Tony Cardenas   (D-29)
Brad Sherman   (D-30)
Jimmy Gomez   (D-34)
Norma Torres   (D-35)
Raul Ruiz   (D-36)
Karen Bass   (D-37)
Linda T. Sanchez   (D-38)
Lucille Roybal-Allard   (D-40)
J. Luis Correa   (D-46)

A list of current California cosponsors may be found on our California Congressional Information Sheet. SUWA’s complete list of cosponsors nationwide may be found here.

2.   Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act
Gets a Hearing in the House
          (ACTION ITEM)

As we reported in our January Update, Rep. John Garamendi (D-3), along with cosponsor Mike Thompson (D-5), introduced the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act, H.R.6366. The bill adds Walker Ridge—which it also renames “Molok Luyuk” (“Condor Ridge” in the local indigenous Patwin language)—an area of about 4,000 acres on the east side of the monument in Lake County.

In addition, the bill would:

•   Require a map of the National Monument expansion to be publicly available on the BLM website.

•   Direct the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture to complete the management plan within 1 year of enactment. To date, the management planning is still unfinished since the designation of the National Monument in 2015.

•   Require federal land management agencies to consult with federally recognized tribes in developing the management plan and its implementation.

•   Outline parameters for continued, meaningful engagement with federally recognized tribes for implementation of the management plan.

The bill is reportedly the first to mandate tribal involvement in management planning and implementation.

Last Tuesday, the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing at which Rep. Garamendi testified in support of the bill, as did Tribal Chairman Anthony Roberts of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

Rep. Garamendi hopes the full Natural Resources Committee will now schedule H.R.6366 for markup before this summer. His office also hopes to secure additional cosponsors, especially those House members who cosponsored bills in previous Congresses, leading up to the National Monument designation in 2015:

Doris Okada Matsui   (D-6)
Ami Bera   (D-7)
Anna G. Eshoo   (D-18)
Jerry McNerney   (D-9)
Grace F. Napolitano   (D-32)

Please contact their offices and ask them to cosponsor Rep. Garamendi’s bill. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-2) has already cosponsored. Please thank him.

Contact information may be found on our California Congressional Information Sheet.

Related item: Yesterday the House Natural Resources Committee held the first Congressional hearing “Examining the History of Federal Lands and the Development of Tribal Co-Management.” A recording is available on YouTube.

3.   Legislation Introduced in the House to Establish
          Avi Kwa Ame National Monument

Last month, Nevada Representative Dina Titus (D) introduced the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument Establishment Act of 2022 (H.R.6751). The monument would cover about 450,000 acres in the Mojave Desert at the southern tip of Nevada, along the California border. The area is biologically and culturally significant. The bill is supported by the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, the Clark County Commission, and numerous conservation and other organizations.

As we mentioned in Item 8 of our September – October 2021 Update our friends at the Conservation Lands Foundation created a multimedia story map bringing together Indigenous leaders and voices to tell the cultural, spiritual, and historical stories of Avi Kwa Ame.

A map of the proposed monument may be found here.

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. Gift links are temporary links from some websites, allowing non-subscribers to view articles for free. As always, inclusion of an item in this section does not imply agreement with the viewpoint expressed.


An article in the St. George Spectrum: State of Zion National Park address: Chief concerned about overtourism after 2021 record

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Seven weeks of near-record low snowfall in the Colorado River Basin have water managers worried


An op-ed in Cal Matters, by Kris Hohag of the Sierra Club: Protect the Eastern Sierra from industrial gold mining. CalUWild is a member of the coalition working to protect Conglomerate Mesa.

And a lengthy article in the Los Angeles Times about a rare daisy and its impact on the proposal for Conglomerate Mesa: It’s a fight to the finish for a rare daisy and a gold mine near Death Valley

The Center for Western Priorities sent out the following regarding a new and important open space acquisition, contributing to California’s 30×30 goals:

The newly established Frank and Joan Randall Preserve will cover 112 square miles, linking together a patchwork of protected and unprotected lands across the southern Sierra Nevada and the Tehachapi Mountains in California. The area within the preserve is considered some of the most significant in North America because it will help complete a network of connected lands between Canada and Mexico, facilitating the movement and survival of several wildlife species. Read the blog to learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s work with private landowners, California state officials, and philanthropists that led to the creation of this critically important corridor for biodiversity.

In the New York Times: This Map Shows Where Biodiversity Is Most at Risk in America (Gift link) Although it’s a national map, note the concentration in California, known as a biodiversity “hotspot.”

An article about California artist Laura Cunningham in Bay Nature: How Laura Cunningham Became a Signature Artist for California’s Former Landscapes. Laura is the California Director for Western Watersheds Project, one of the groups involved in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore ranching litigation, along with Resource Renewal Institute and the Center for Biological Diversity. She is also one of the speakers in this webinar on Pt. Reyes: “Voices for the West – Protecting Public Lands and Wildlife at Point Reyes National Seashore.” You may watch it on YouTube


An article in the Nevada Independent: Thacker Pass mine project remains in court battle amid rift in opposition. We wrote about the proposed lithium mine in our May – June 2021 Update.


An article in National Parks Traveler: Tracking National Park Reservation Requirements

A blog re-post from our friends at Wilderness Watch: Wilderness and Traditional Indigenous Beliefs: Conflicting or Intersecting Perspectives on the Human-Nature Relationship?

An op-ed in The Hill by David Feinman of the Conservation Lands Foundation: Record numbers of people enjoying public lands is a good thing — if we fund them

An article in the New York Times: ‘I Wanted That Self-Reliance Back’: Disabled Hikers Forge a New Path (Gift Link)

A review in National Parks Traveler of a forthcoming book by John Leshy: Our Common Ground: A History of America’s Public Lands

An article in The Hill: Interior IG finds Trump secretary Zinke broke ethics rules

An article by Jeremy Miller on a new approach to eliminating invasive fish: The Tale of the Trojan Trout on the website bioGraphic, from the California Academy of Sciences, and reprinted in High Country News: Can a modified invasive trout save the cutthroat?


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