Newsletter Archive

Petroglyphs, Utah                                                                                                                                               (Mike Painter)

June 1, 2023

Dear CalUWild Friends & Supporters—

Memorial Day is the traditional start of summer, when many people make plans to get away. Visitation to our public lands has increased dramatically in the last few years, making it more difficult to find the “opportunities for solitude” mentioned in the Wilderness Act. Be sure to check in advance if the areas you may want to visit require a wilderness permit or entrance reservation, as an increasing number of the more popular destinations are doing.

But even if you’re not able to take a trip, it’s important to appreciate what we have and continue our efforts to protect it.

As mentioned last month, America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act was reintroduced, and details are in ITEM 1. Also mentioned: The Bureau of Land Management has issued a new rule for public lands that elevates conservation as a priority for the agency. It is important that BLM receive comments in support of the rule. See ITEM 2 for details.

Other news about California—including a couple of nice articles about the proposed Molok Luyuk expansion of Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument—and the West is included in ITEM 4.

Best wishes,
Mike Painter, Coordinator

1.   Red Rocks Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

2.   Bureau of Land Management
          Issues New Public Lands Rule
          DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 20
3.   Job Listings:
          Great Old Broads for Wilderness

4.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest


1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act was reintroduced in both the House and Senate at the end of April. The House bill, H.R.3031, has a new lead sponsor, Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-AZ). The lead Senate sponsor continues to be Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), and that bill number is S.1310.

The House bill now has 46 cosponsors—including 42 original cosponsors, with the following seven originals from California:

Mike Thompson (D-CA-4)
Ro Khanna (D-CA-17)
Judy Chu (D-CA-28)
Adam Schiff (D-CA-30)
Grace Napolitano (D-CA-31)
Mark Takano (D-CA-39)
Katie Porter (D-CA-47)

No Californians have signed since the bill’s reintroduction.

The Senate bill has 22 cosponsors (20 original), though none from California.

Please call your representatives and senators, thanking them for being a cosponsor or asking them to sign on. Full contact information may be found on our online California Congressional Information Sheet.

A full list of cosponsors nationwide may be found here.

A map of the lands in the bill is here.

2.   Bureau of Land Management
          Issues New Public Lands Rule
          DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 20

In April, the Bureau of Land Management issued a proposed new rule that would bring much-needed balance to its policies by explicitly mandating conservation and restoration as equal purposes of its stewardship of public land. While conservation was understood to be one among many “multiple uses” for which the agency was supposed to manage, it never rose to the same level as oil & gas leasing, mineral extraction or livestock grazing. This new rule requires BLM to look at conservation in every aspect of its future decision-making processes.

BLM manages the largest acreage of public lands in the U.S., so our hope is that the impact from the proposed changes will be very large. It’s not often that the public has a chance to weigh in something so substantial, and the agency is actively seeking people’s opinions, suggestions, and other input. So please let them know what you think.
Among its positive aspects, the new rule:

—   requires BLM to ”steward public lands to maintain functioning and productive ecosystems and work to ensure their resilience, that is, to ensure that ecosystems and their components can absorb, or recover from, the effects of disturbances and environmental change.” It can do this through “(1) protection of intact, native habitats; (2) restoration of degraded habitats; and (3) informed decisionmaking.”

—   gives increased priority to designating Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACECs)—“areas where special management attention is needed to protect important historic, cultural, and scenic values, fish, or wildlife resources, or other natural systems or processes, or to protect human life and safety from natural hazards.”

—   offers a new tool, conservation leases, for the public to support protection and restoration efforts, for sensitive areas and as mitigation for other activities on BLM lands.

—   elevates Indigenous Knowledge as a source of high-quality information to be used in decision-making.

The BLM has published an online fact sheet with FAQs (frequently asked questions).

As with every rulemaking process, the public has the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule in order the strengthen or modify it, before it is formalized. We know that the extractive and grazing interests are opposed to this rule, so now is our chance to support the BLM in the process. Using your own words, please use the talking points below to submit comments by the deadline of June 20.

Suggested talking points

•   Explain why public lands are important to you, especially BLM lands.

•   Express support for the rule in general, including the positive points made above.

•   The proposed rule makes it easier to achieve the goal of protecting 30% of America’s land and waters by 2030 (30×30).

•   Point out some areas that could use strengthening:

—   Require sincere consultation with Tribes to ensure appropriate co-stewardship opportunities, respect for Tribal sovereignty, and the use of Indigenous Knowledge.

—   Inventory all intact landscapes, including lands with wilderness character. Before approving any projects, ensure that development will not degrade any intact landscapes.

—   Require that all areas that qualify as ACECs are in fact designated and then managed as such.

—   Require identification and protection of habitat connectivity areas.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat published an op-ed by Keith Hammond, one of CalUWild’s co-founders: Close to Home: A new priority for public land

The Nevada Current published a supportive op-ed by Athan Manuel, the Sierra Club’s Public Lands Protection Program director, addressing the rule’s potential impact on climate change issues: BLM rulemaking is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape conservation policy

BLM will be hosting a webinar on Monday June 5, 8:30 a.m., PDT, explaining the rule and answering questions. Registration is required, here.

You may read the description of the rule (it’s lengthy) and submit a comment via the link on the Federal Register website here.

Comments may also be submitted via the webform at

or by U.S. Mail:

U.S. Department of the Interior
Director (630), Bureau of Land Management
Attn: 1004–AE92
1849 C St. NW, Room 5646
Washington, DC 20240

3.    Job Listings:
          Great Old Broads for Wilderness

Our friends at Great Old Broads have three positions open in their Grassroots Leadership Programs. They are accepting applications for the following:

Grassroots Leadership Director
Grassroots Advocacy Manager
Grassroots Regional Coordinator

The first round of application review begins on June 5th, however all positions will remain open until filled, but please get your applications in soon.

To learn more about Great Old Broads for Wilderness please check out the website at and to learn specifics about the openings please look at

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.

In Utah

An article in the High Country News Landline: Utah’s latest attack on the Antiquities Act: The bid to diminish national monuments threatens landscape preservation.

An article in the New York Times looking at Bryce Canyon: How To Open a National Park for the Summer Season

In California

Molok Luyuk in the news: An article in the Sacramento Bee: This ridge is considered a California ‘jewel.’ Here’s how tribes are trying to protect it and an article in The Guardian: Wildflowers, eagles and Native history: can this California ridge be protected? Sen. Padilla’s bill to expand the monument was advanced by the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Committee two weeks ago. The vote was unanimous.

An article in The Guardian: How solar farms took over the California desert: ‘An oasis has become a dead sea’

An article in the Los Angeles Times: This tribe was barred from cultural burning for decades — then a fire hit their community (possibly behind the paywall, but worth a try)

An article in The Guardian:Six times the size of Yosemite’: the new tribal sanctuary off the super-rich California coast

In Colorado

An article in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent: Colorado delegation to reintroduce CORE Act with a few changes in the Vail area

An article in the Colorado Sun: Conservation momentum surges for southwest Colorado’s Dolores River as record flows draw rafters

An article in the Washington Post: Colorado is bringing back wolves. On this ranch, they’re already here

In Nevada

An article in the Las Vegas Sun: Cortez Masto bill seeks to codify 150-year-old mining law; environmentalists balk

An article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal: Another national monument in works for Nevada?

An op-ed in the Nevada Independent: New monuments a great start. Let’s do more

An article in the Las Vegas Sun: The Nevada water crisis you aren’t hearing about

In Texas

A blogpost at Rewilding Earth on the new Castner Range National Monument: A Conservation Star Deep in the Heart

In General

An article in High Country News: Seeking sanctuary on a warming planet. An increasingly important function of wilderness is to provide refugia for plant and animal species as the climate changes and gets warmer.


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