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2021 September – October

October 5th, 2021


Dana Plateau, Ansel Adams Wilderness, Inyo National Forest, California                                                       (Mike Painter)

 
October 4, 2021

Dear CalUWild friends —

There’s not much happening right now that requires detailed analysis or citizen input, so this month’s Update will cover recent developments mostly via links to articles in the press.

One useful new benefit from both the New York Times and the Washington Post is a limited number of monthly “Gift Articles” that subscribers can share. So to the extent possible we’ll be using those in the Update from now on, meaning that you won’t need subscriptions to read them. (This has been an inconvenience for some of our members.)

A question arose recently as to whether people should identify themselves as members of Californians for Western Wilderness when communicating with agencies and lawmakers. I think it’s preferable not to write as a member. CalUWild’s goal has always been to provide our members and the public with the information and the tools to be effective citizens (in the general, not legal, sense of the word). So just use your own name and words, and write from your own experience for maximum impact. CalUWild often submits its own letters, mentioning that we’re writing on behalf of our members, so decision makers are aware of our numbers.

September marked the 25th Anniversary of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, the first of the BLM-managed monuments, and designated by Pres. Clinton. CalUWild was founded the following year to support the development of the management plan for the monument. We will celebrate our 24th Anniversary next month.

Next month will also be the start of CalUWild’s Annual Membership Appeal. Dues have never been required to receive CalUWild’s Monthly Update, but we do rely on the support of our readers. 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. More information is at the bottom of this Update.

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Wilderness Act Cosponsorship
          (ACTION ITEM)
2.   No Decision Yet on Restoring the Shrunken
          Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

IN CALIFORNIA
3.   Point Reyes National Seashore Releases Plan
          To Continue Ranching Operations
4.   California and Other Public Lands Bills Included
          In the National Defense Authorization Act
          (ACTION ITEM)
5.   Other California Items

IN WASHINGTON, DC
6.   Interior Department /National Parks Items

IN ALASKA
7.   Another Setback for the Pebble Mine

IN NEVADA
8.   Proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Wilderness Act Cosponsorship
          (ACTION ITEM)

California Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-9) joined the ranks of cosponsors for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, H.R. 3780. Rep. McNerney is a long-time cosponsor of the bill and a strong supporter of America’s public lands. Please call his office to say thank you.

202-225-1947

DC contact information and cosponsorship status for California’s full congressional delegation can be found on CalUWild’s online California Congressional Information Sheet. If your representative is a cosponsor, please call their office and thank them. If not, call and ask them to sign on.

A full list of cosponsors nationwide may be found here.

 
2.   No Decision Yet on Restoring the Shrunken
          Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

Despite Interior Secretary Haaland’s recommendation months ago that the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments be fully restored, Pres. Biden has yet to act on it. Native American tribes and others are growing impatient, and the Inter-Tribal Coalition sent a letter last month to the president asking him to act, as reported in this article in the Washington Post: Tribes want ‘immediate action’ to reverse Trump’s cut to Bears Ears National Monument (free access).

The Boulder Weekly published an interesting article: Re-indigenizing the story of Bears Ears.

 
IN CALIFORNIA
3.   Point Reyes National Seashore Releases Plan
          To Continue Ranching Operations

In an extremely disappointing decision, Point Reyes National Seashore approved it General Management Plan Amendment regarding ranching, making only minimal changes to the draft plan. Thus ranchers received pretty much everything they originally requested in their scoping letter. For more details and reaction, see this press release from Resource Renewal Institute. We had hoped that Interior Secretary Deb Haaland might change the Seashore’s ultimate direction, but she did not.

Ironically, the decision was signed 59 years to the day that Pres. John F. Kennedy signed the law establishing the Seashore “in order to preserve, for purposes of public recreation, benefit, and inspiration, a portion of the diminishing seashore of the United States that remains undeveloped”—not to preserve ranching.

It’s unlikely that the decision will remain unchallenged, and we will keep you informed as the situation unfolds.

Just before the decision was announced, a dump was discovered at one of the ranches, previously undetected by the Park Service, reported in the Point Reyes Light: Old dump site prompts park investigation.

 
4.   California and Other Public Lands Bills Included
          In the National Defense Authorization Act
          (ACTION ITEM)

The House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including an amendment adding to it the bills we have been following in recent years:

— 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)

The NDAA is now in the Senate, where we hope for passage. Sens. Feinstein and Padilla are likely to support it, but it wouldn’t hurt to call their offices and let them know of your support.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein:   202-224-3841
Sen. Alex Padilla:   202-224-3553

 
5.   Other California Items

An article in High Country News: Confused about what’s happening on the Klamath? Here’s a rundown.and a related article in Yale Environment 360 by CalUWild friend Jacques Leslie: On the Klamath, Dam Removal May Come Too Late to Save the Salmon

An article in the North Coast Journal: State Commission Votes to ‘Restore the Name Sue-meg,’ Remove Patrick’s Point from Park’s Name

A press release from the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife: Gray Wolf In Ventura County Possibly OR-93. We’ve been following the arrival of wolves in California for the last few years.

 
IN WASHINGTON, DC
6.    Interior Department /National Parks Items

In the Washington Post: Bureau of Land Management headquarters to return to D.C., reversing Trump decision (free access). and an article in High Country News: 9 numbers that explain the BLM’s headquarters boomerang back to D.C.

An article in the Washington Post: Senate confirms Tracy Stone-Manning as Bureau of Land Management director in party-line vote (free access). Ms. Stone-Manning’s nomination raised quite a bit of controversy. She is the first director confirmed in over five years.

An article in The Hill: Dept of Interior and Native American leaders will meet to return tribal lands

A photo spread in The Guardian, on the retirement of BLM photographer Bob Wick: Documenting American wilderness – in pictures

An op-ed in the New York Times: Why We Need More National Parks (free access), and a response in High Country News: More national parks won’t solve overcrowding

An article from The Guardian‘s “This Land Is Your Land” project: US national parks are overcrowded. Some think ‘selfie stations’ will help

 
IN ALASKA
7.   Another Setback for the Pebble Mine

An article in Crosscut: Inside the latest Indigenous push to stop a massive copper mine

 
IN NEVADA
8.   Proposed Avi Kwa Ame National Monument

From the Conservation Lands Foundation, an Avi Kwa Ame story map bringing together Indigenous leaders and voices to tell the cultural, spiritual, and historical stories of Avi Kwa Ame. There’s an online petition you can sign at the end.

 
 
 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated. 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. If your address is not on the check please print out and enclose a membership form.

Either way, mail it to:

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

 

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 membership information, click here.

Please “Like” and “Follow” CalUWild on Facebook.

Posted in Newsletters | No Comments »

2021 July – August

August 19th, 2021


Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park,California                                                                                (Mike Painter)

 
August 12, 2021

Dear CalUWild friends—

I took the last week of July off and got away to the Eastern Sierra, Bodie Hills, and Yosemite, so this issue of the Update is a bit later than usual. It’s now mid-August, so time when kids go back to school, and though that takes some of the pressure off visitation to our public lands, more and more people are visiting in the “shoulder seasons,” too—if smoke and heat don’t interfere.

Congress is on recess right now, though that simply means that they are at home in their districts, not necessarily on vacation. It’s a good time to visit them personally and make your views known on the issues of the day. We need to keep the pressure on for protection of and funding for our public lands, even though there are many other important issues to be dealt with as well, protection of democracy being at the top of the list.

Two ACTION ITEMS this month are explained below in quite a bit of detail. There’s no need to use all the information contained in them; just take whatever you find most appealing, add your own perspective, and send in a comment.

Thanks, as always, for your interest in protecting our wilderness and other public lands!

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsorship Status
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
2.   BLM Opens Scoping on Conglomerate Mesa
          Gold Mining Project Expansion
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: August 30
          (ACTION ITEM)
3.   Point Reyes National Seashore
          60-Day Planning Delay
          Comments Needed ASAP
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
4.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest

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IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsorship Status
          (ACTION ITEM)

In June, Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-47) of California re-introduced America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (H.R. 3750) in the House of Representatives. The bill protects about 8.5 million acres of land in Utah, managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as wilderness, It is CalUWild’s longest-standing and most important legislative priority. There are now 70 House cosponsors. Twelve are from California (including lead sponsor Lowenthal), and two Californians added their names last month:

Pete Aguilar (D-31) phone: 202-225-3201
Maxine Waters (D-43) phone: 202-225-2201

If you live in either district, please give their office a call to say thanks.

In the Senate, there are 17 cosponsors of S. 1535, including lead sponsor Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) is not a cosponsor yet, though he is a champion for California public lands. Please call his office urging him to sign on:

202-224-3553

Cosponsorship status and DC contact information for California’s full congressional delegation can be found on CalUWild’s online California Congressional Information Sheet.. If your representative is a cosponsor, please call their office and thank them. If not, call and ask them to sign on.

A full list of cosponsors nationwide, in both House and Senate, may be found here.

 
IN CALIFORNIA
2.   BLM Opens Scoping on Conglomerate Mesa
          Gold Mining Project Expansion
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: August 30
          (ACTION ITEM)

Gold mining and exploration continue to be issues east of the Sierra. We wrote about Conglomerate Mesa, a wild area between Lone Pine and Death Valley, in our October 2017 Update. Canadian company, K2 Gold/Mojave Precious Metals (MPM), is hoping to expand its exploratory drilling operations beyond the “Plan of Operations” that the Bureau of Land Management had previously approved and which have been going on for the last year or so. In response, the BLM has initiated a public comment scoping period for interested persons to provide input on the company’s proposal.

In addition to many cultural resources, scenic landscapes, and threatened habitat, Conglomerate Mesa is also an important area for the Timbisha Shoshone and Paiute Shoshone Tribes, who oppose gold mining in the area. Given the unique and important character of Conglomerate Mesa, we also oppose any operations there, even if only exploratory.

Please submit a comment, using the talking points below, provided by the Protect Conglomerate Mesa coalition. Comments are being accepted through August 30.

National Conservation Lands: Established in 2016, Conglomerate Mesa is part of the California Desert National Conservation Lands which directs BLM to manage them for conservation and recreation. Most development, such as renewable energy, is closed on National Conservation Lands. Although the 1872 Mining Law allows for mining, even the early stages of exploration go directly against the intended management of this landscape.

Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC): A large portion of K2 Gold’s mining activity falls within an Area of Critical Environmental Concern that is meant to provide protection to cultural resources, rare plant and animal species, and wildlife habitat. Conglomerate Mesa ACEC provides an opportunity to research the role Cerro Gordo played in the Owens Valley resource wars, answer questions about the ethnicity of charcoal makers, and allow for the examination of the prehistoric and historic lifeways of the Native American people who used this area. The Cerro Gordo-Conglomerate Mesa ACEC also includes unique plant assemblages, since it lies at the eastern edge of the Mojave Desert and the western edge of the Inyo Mountains.

Outstanding Botanical Values: Conglomerate Mesa is teeming with rare desert plants as the landscape transitions from the badlands of Death Valley, through the Mojave Desert and into the high Inyo Mountains. Many populations of rare and special-status plants that have been documented here could be adversely impacted by proposed drilling and road construction. Several rare species, such as Parry’s monkeyflower and Shockley’s prickleleaf, reach the edge of their range near the project area. Any exploratory drilling and road construction would significantly threaten this botanic oasis. Of particular concern are the Inyo rock daisy (known only from the Inyo Mountains) and healthy, reproducing stands of the iconic Joshua Tree (currently a candidate for listing under California’s Endangered Species Act). The Badger Flat thread plant, a rare species that is new to science, grows right in the middle of the proposed road footprint. Proposed drilling and road construction pose a significant threat to Conglomerate Mesa’s rare plants and the intact ecosystem of which they are a part.

Geologic Resources: Conglomerate Mesa provides an unusually complete record that is key to unraveling the evolution of the continental edge of the southwestern US. This record would be destroyed forever by open-pit mining and cannot be made right through backfilling or reclamation. The record dates all the way back to the Permian and early Triassic periods (c. 247-300 million years ago). Several strata contain fossils (fusulinids, a type of plankton with calcite casings, and corals) that accurately date them. Some of the fusulinids are endemic to the Conglomerate Mesa area.

Cultural Resources: Conglomerate Mesa is the traditional homelands of the Timbisha Shoshone and Paiute Shoshone people. This area is an important area for pinyon nut harvesting, hunting, and is one of the many blending zones of transitional territories. Numerous leaders in local tribes have opposed the gold exploration and mining by K2 Gold. We stand united with the Indigenous people in this opposition.

Preserving Our History: Conglomerate Mesa is rich in heritage resources, including the historic Keeler-Death Valley Trail, which transported mining supplies and workers. The Mesa is a little known and underappreciated location for charcoal production and stone masonry sites active in the 1890’s. These small groups of charcoliers would produce charcoal from pinyon trees and haul them north to the Cerro Gordo mines, which helped produce the silver that financed the construction of Los Angeles. These special sites and their stories must be preserved.

Wildlife: Conglomerate Mesa is commonly used by mule deer for overwintering and migration habitat. This area is prized by backcountry hunters. The area provides a home for a variety of rare wildlife and are hunting grounds for golden eagles and mountain lions. The area is also known to provide habitat for special status species, such as the Townsend’s western big-eared bat and Desert big-horned sheep, and mule deer. Few wildlife surveys have taken place at Conglomerate Mesa and more work is currently being done to research what wildlife live in these high desert habitats.

Recreation: Outdoor recreation is the economic engine of the Eastern Sierra, where local businesses are highly dependent on tourism-based revenue. The thousands of people who visit and recreate in Death Valley National Park, Conglomerate Mesa, and other surrounding public lands are the most powerful economic driver for the region. Mining operations severely limit public access, permanently scar lands, and drive visitors away.

 
For more information and photos of Conglomerate Mesa, visit the Protect Conglomerate Mesa website. Other detailed information can be found in BLM’s press announcement and the K2Gold/MPM Plan of Operations.

As always, personalized comments, in your own words, are best, especially if you have visited Conglomerate Mesa or plan to. Comments may be submitted as follows:

Via BLM’s ePlanning website

By email:

BLM_ca_ri_mojavePmetals [at] blm [dot] gov with “Mojave Project Scoping” in the subject line

By U.S. Mail:

Attn: Mojave Project
BLM Ridgecrest Field Office
300 S. Richmond Road
Ridgecrest, CA  93555

Again, the DEADLINE is August 30.

 
3.   Point Reyes National Seashore
          60-Day Planning Delay
          Comments Needed ASAP
          (ACTION ITEM)

In July the National Park Service requested an extension on the deadline to submit its final plan for ranching at Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) in Marin County. The seashore said that the California Coastal Commission had introduced complications by raising concerns about water pollution from the ranches and that the transition to the Biden Administration had also impacted its decision making. The court set a new deadline of September 13 for a decision.

The plan that was most likely going to be released (Alternative B) would result in continued ranching. It also would change the terms of leases, making them longer-term, despite the fact that ranching was originally supposed to have been phased out. Most controversially, the plan would allow the culling of Tule elk in favor of cattle ranching.

Please take advantage of this court-approved delay to contact Interior Secretary Deb Haaland directly, requesting her to adopt Alternative F, which would protect Point Reyes, rather than allow (and even facilitate) the continued degradation of the environment there. Because of the court-imposed deadline of September 13, the earlier you can get your comments in for Secty. Haaland’s consideration, the better.

Over 50 conservation organizations, including CalUWild, sent Secty. Haaland a letter in June requesting that she stop PRNS from issuing its likely plan.

You can use the following main points from that letter as the basis for your comments. (Please look at the letter for more details if you wish.) Of course, add any ideas of your own, including your experiences at Point Reyes and why it is special to you.

Background: Politics over preservation
After the Park Service bought the ranches at Point Reyes, the ranchers were allowed to continue operations for up to 25 years or until their death (whichever came later). They’ve managed to change this to renewable special use permits, repeatedly leasing back 28,000 acres of the park for their operations. Chronic water pollution, habitat loss, and livestock-wildlife conflicts continue to go unaddressed.

Drought conditions: Worsening with the climate crisis
Marin County has declared a drought emergency for the second year in a row. Persistent drought is barely mentioned in the plan. Groundwater supplies are exhausted. Last fall the Park Service permitted a dairy rancher to draw up to 15,000 gallons of water a day from nearby wetlands to supply his herds and operation, without performing any environmental analysis.

Tule elk: Decimating a rare and native species
More than 150 Tule elk have died so far this year due to drought at Point Reyes. A fence separates one herd from sources of water and forage. The plan calls for the killing of “excess” Tule elk that interfere with ranching operations within the Seashore. There are more cattle at Point Reyes Seashore than there are Tule elk in the world.

Climate change: We must act now
Livestock are responsible for 62% of the Seashore’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Beef and dairy ranches on lands managed by PRNS account for 6% of Marin County’s total GHG emissions.

Diversification: Compounding the problem with new species and crops
Under the pending plan, ranchers will be allowed to introduce sheep, goats, pigs and row crops to Point Reyes, as well as mobile slaughter facilities—none of which were ever permitted before. This diversification of agriculture will further disrupt ecosystems, jeopardize wildlife habitat, and impact wildlife behavior, as predators will be drawn to smaller livestock. The Park Service’s choice to prioritize ranchers over the health of an entire national park ecosystem flies in the face of its mission to protect and preserve the park’s natural resources.

The plan: Unsupported by science or the public
The plan acknowledges—but dismisses—the ecological costs of ranching, including soil erosion, invasive plants, loss of native habitat, wildlife harm and abuse, the contamination of freshwater and marine environments with fecal waste from cattle, and ecological stress due to water deficit. At the same time, the Park Service has categorically dismissed public opposition to the plan. It received more than 7,600 public comments, of which 91 percent opposed ranching and killing Tule elk, while the California Coastal Commission received more than 45,000 public comments opposed to the plan.

Cultural heritage: Ranching history is honored. Native American history is not.
The Park Service abandoned its plans to preserve the Seashore’s Coast Miwok heritage, withdrawing its application to the National Register of Historic Places to establish PRNS as an Indigenous Archeological District. Instead, the NPS pursued a Historic Ranching District, which was added to the National Register in 2018. The history and culture of the original inhabitants of this region, the Coast Miwok people, are largely neglected, though they have lived in the region for millennia.

In conclusion, Alternative F, identified by the Park Service as the environmentally superior alternative, is the only alternative that conforms with the Park Service Organic Act. Alternative F received the most public support of all the alternatives, limits climate impacts, and restores biodiversity.

 
There are various ways to contact Secty. Haaland.

By email (and consider attaching a picture, if you have one):

feedback [at] ios [dot] doi [dot] gov

By online webform

U.S. Mail:

Hon. Deb Haaland
Secretary
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC  20240

 
IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
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 item in this section does not imply agreement with the viewpoint expressed.

The Administration

An article in the Washington Post about the difficulties faced by the nomine for director of the Bureau of Land Management: As a student, Tracy Stone-Manning sent a letter on behalf of eco-saboteurs. It’s now complicating her chance to lead the Bureau of Land Management.

In Utah

An editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times: President Biden should undo Trump’s assault on our nation’s natural wonders

An op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune by writer and CalUWild Advisory Board Member Stephen Trimble: Mike Lee is Wrong. Capitol Reef is no place for OHVs. Steve is the editor of The Capitol Reef Reader, published by the University if Utah Press.

Another op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune dealing with Sen. Lee: Public lands pay dividends, and false narratives hurt Utahns the most

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: The outdoors is Utah tech firms’ No. 1 recruiting tool

An article in The New Yorker on Glen Canyon emerging from the shrinking Lake Powell: The Lost Canyon Under Lake Powell

30×30

An example of what will be needed to achieve 30×30 in this article in The New Yorker: Florida’s Remarkable New Wildlife Corridor from the Panhandle to the Keys

An article in CalMatters: California is betting $61 million that new highway crossings will keep wildlife safe. Wildlife crossings help with wildlife corridor connectivity, one of the underlying 30×30 goals.

The Nature Conservancy has released a “story map” with details about what is needed to reach 30×30 in California.

In Nevada

An op-ed in the Sierra Nevada Ally by Russell Kuhlman, executive director of the Nevada Wildlife Federation: Reimagine Our Public Lands? The Diamond Valley Oil Project

In General

An article in the New York Times: Smartphone Directions May Put Novice Hikers in Danger, Experts Say

A different viewpoint on rewilding, in High Country News: Rewilding is a two-way street: A letter from your neighborhood deer.

An essay in Earth Island Journal re-examining the controversy surrounding John Muir: Who Was John Muir, Really?. The authors are 3 current and former members of the Sierra Club’s Board of Directors.

 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated. 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. If your address is not on the check please print out and enclose a membership form.

Either way, mail it to:

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

 
 

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 membership information, click here.

Please “Like” and “Follow” CalUWild on Facebook.

Posted in Newsletters | No Comments »

2021 June

June 30th, 2021


John Muir Wilderness, California                                                                                                           (Mike Painter)

 
June 30, 2021

Dear CalUWild friends—

Summer is officially here, the traditional time when people take vacations, so in that spirit, we’ll keep this month’s Update very brief, with no Action Items and only a few from the press.

Last year saw record visitation to national parks and other public lands, and many places were overrun. This year promises to be no different, and an increasing number of the more popular areas are now requiring reservations for visits and camping, so please plan accordingly. (Or consider visiting some new places, off the beaten path.)

With the 4th of July holiday coming up, Congress will be on a two-week recess, with all members at home in their districts. Congress will also be recessed for the month of August. If your member schedules a town hall meeting, it would be a perfect opportunity to talk to them or their staff about your concerns.

As we reported last month, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland sent her recommendations regarding the Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts national monuments to Pres. Biden. It was later leaked that she recommends restoring them in full, but the White House has not made any announcement yet. We’ll keep you posted.

America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act now has a bill number in the House: H.R. 3780. As in years past, the lead sponsor is Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-47) of California. In the Senate, it’s S. 1535, sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). If you haven’t contacted your representative or Sen. Alex Padilla, asking them to sign on as a cosponsor, now would be the time to do it! A list of California’s Congressional delegation and their DC phone numbers may be found here. We’ll have information on another wilderness issue in our next Update.

Randy Moore, Regional Forester for the Southwest Region 5 of the Forest Service (California & Hawaii), will become Chief of the Forest Service later in July. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed him earlier this week. We congratulate Mr. Moore and wish him all the best.

 
As always, thanks for your willingness to speak up for our wild places,
Mike

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IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
1.   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 Alaska

An article in the Anchorage Daily News: Biden administration will restore parts or all of ‘roadless rule’ in Southeast Alaska, reversing Trump action

In Arizona

An op-ed in Scientific American: Let’s Rebuild the U.S. Jaguar Population—Yes, Jaguars

In Colorado

An op-ed in the Denver Post by Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club: Bennet and Hickenlooper should support the Colorado Wilderness Act — today

In Nevada

An essay about Thacker Pass, covered in last month’s Update, in the Columbia Climate School’s State of the Planet: Stop Calling Green Energy ‘Clean’

An op-ed in the Nevada Independent: Local leaders call on the Biden administration to protect the Ruby Mountains and places like it

In General

An article in the New York Times on the importance of intact wild areas: Our Response to Climate Change Is Missing Something Big, Scientists Say

 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated. 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. If your address is not on the check please print out and enclose a membership form.

Either way, mail it to:

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

 
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 membership information, click here.

Please “Like” and “Follow” CalUWild on Facebook.

Posted in Newsletters | No Comments »

2021 May – June

June 9th, 2021


Sunset over the Henry Mountains and Capitol Reef National Park, Utah                                                            (Mike Painter)

 
June 8, 2021

Dear CalUWild friends—

On this day, 115 years ago, Pres. Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act of 1906 into law. It gave the president the authority to designate national monuments for “the protection of objects of historic and scientific interest.” Initially it grew out of the need to protect archaeological sites in the Southwest from destruction and looting, such as pot hunting and grave desecration. The first national monument was Devil’s Tower (known as Bear’s Lodge by several Native American tribes) in Wyoming. Two years later, Pres. Roosevelt designated Grand Canyon National Monument. Many of our national parks “began life” as national monuments.

Over the years, all presidents (except Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush Sr.) have designated monuments of various sizes, most of them under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. However, Bill Clinton’s Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt decided that large landscapes should be protected as well for scientific research and other purposes, and he established the National Landscape Conservation System. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah was the first of these, designated in 1996, and Congress codified the idea in 2009 (now called National Conservation Lands).

As we’ve reported numerous times over the last three years, the previous administration shrank Grand Staircase-Escalante by 50% and reduced Bears Ears NM by a whopping 85%. Pres. Biden campaigned on the promise to restore the two monuments, and shortly after his inauguration, he issued an executive order requiring the Department of the Interior to report on the options. Secty. Deb Haaland visited Utah and spoke with many interested parties. She submitted her report to Pres. Biden last week, but its conclusions have not been made public. In the meantime, the litigation over the reduction of the monuments is on hold.

We look forward to these monuments being fully restored—and possibly expanded in the case of Bears Ears. We also hope that Congress will act to strengthen the Antiquities Act to explicitly state that a president cannot reduce monuments established by a predecessor. (And in fact, Secty. Haaland introduced legislation doing just that when she was in Congress as a representative from New Mexico.)

Last month, the Biden Administration released its anticipated report on 30×30, Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful, the proposal to protect 30% of America’s land and oceans by 2030. It was short on specifics but did set out a broad framework.

Many in the conservation community expressed concern that the report cast too wide a net as to the level of protection from development that would ultimately qualify, because of the report’s strong focus on recreation and “working landscapes.” While important, saving them from commercial development doesn’t necessarily do anything to increase their value to biodiversity, which is the goal of 30×30. The Administration said that the overall effort would be broader than simply biodiversity, but that this was just the beginning of the process, and that it welcomes more input from all interested parties. So we’ll have to work to see that scientifically valid protections are implemented to achieve a full 30×30 result. (And this is just the start, because many scientists believe that we must protect 50% of the biosphere in order to ensure its continued survival.)

We’ll keep you posted on developments regarding these issues and how you can be effective advocates for them in Washington and elsewhere.

As always, many thanks for your interest and support!

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
 
IN UTAH
1.   Red Rocks Bill Reintroduced in the House
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
2.   Rim of the Valley Corridor Bill Reintroduced in the Senate
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN ALASKA
3.   Setbacks for Leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
          And for the Pebble Mine

IN NEVADA
4.   Lithium Mine Proposed at Thacker Pass
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
5.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

IN UTAH
1.   Red Rocks Bill Reintroduced in the House
          (ACTION ITEM)

California’s Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-47) today re-introduced America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act in the House of Representatives. The bill protects about 8.5 million acres of Utah BLM land as wilderness and is CalUWild’s longest-standing and most important legislative priority. It has 57 original cosponsors, with ten from California (including Rep. Lowenthal):

Doris Matsui   (D-6)
Anna Eshoo  &nbsp(D-18)
Jimmy Panetta   (D-20)
Julia Brownley   (D-26)
Judy Chu   (D-27)
Grace Napolitano   (D-32)
Karen Bass   (D-37)
Mark Takano   (D-41)
Nanette Barragán   (D-44)
Alan Lowenthal   (D-47)

If your representative is on the list, please call their office and thank them. If not on the list, call and ask them to sign on as a cosponsor. (The bill does not have a number yet.)

In the Senate, there are 14 cosponsors of S. 1535, including lead sponsor Sen. Dick Durbin. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) is not a cosponsor, though he is a champion for California public lands. Please call his office urging him to sign on.

DC contact information and cosponsorship status for California’s congressional delegation can be found on CalUWild’s online California Congressional Information Sheet.

A full list of cosponsors nationwide may be found here.

 
In a related development, the Utah NPR station KUER reported last month that Utah’s senator Mitt Romney (R) and representative John Curtis (R) had introduced a bill to protect 289,000 acres of national forest land in Illinois, Sen. Dick Durbin’s home state, to get back at him for being the Red Rock champion.

We think Sen. Durbin should sign on as a cosponsor!

 
IN CALIFORNIA
2.   Rim of the Valley Corridors Bill Reintroduced in the Senate
          (ACTION ITEM)

Last month, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) reintroduced the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, S.1769, the companion bill to Rep. Adam Schiff’s bill covering many of the mountains surrounding the San Fernando Valley. That bill passed the House earlier this year as part of H.R. 803, the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act. Sen. Alex Padilla is an original cosponsor.

According to Sen. Feinstein’s office, the bill gives National Park Service the authority to:

• Add more than 191,000 acres of the Rim of the Valley Corridor to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.
• Implement capital improvements, including new trails, roads and public facilities.
• Monitor and study wildlife and ecosystems.
• Participate in cooperative conservation and recreation planning.
• Provide technical assistance for resource protection and recreation planning.
• Contribute financially to projects that protect important natural resources.
• Acquire land through donation, exchange or purchase.

For a map of the lands covered by the legislation, click here.

Please call Sens. Feinstein and Padilla to thank them for introducing the legislation. Contact information may be found here.

 
IN ALASKA
3.   Setbacks for Leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
          And for the Pebble Mine

Earlier this month, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland reversed a decision made just two weeks before the end of the previous administration, when she suspended oil leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Department said that the approved leasing program contained “multiple legal deficiencies” including “insufficient analysis” required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Secty. Haaland also said that the program failed to analyze alternatives to leasing. So she placed a temporary moratorium on all activities and ordered “a new, comprehensive analysis of the potential environmental impacts of the oil and gas program.”

We’ve written several times about the proposed Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska, most recently in our November 2020 Update, when the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit to the Canadian mining company saying its plan to deal with waste from the mine did not comply with the Clean Water Act. The mine, if developed, would threaten the headwaters of Bristol Bay, the world’s most productive sockeye salmon fishery.

 
Today it was publicly announced that the Pedro Bay Corp., the local Native Alaska corporation, had agreed to sell conservation easements to the Conservation Fund. The easements would prohibit development on some 44,000 acres of land controlled by the corporation, including the land over which the most feasible road to the mine would need to be constructed.

The project isn’t totally dead, however, as the mining company has appealed the Army Corps’ permit denial and claims there is an alternative route available for its road. But it may not be economically feasible, if potential investors are reluctant to fund it.

We’ll continue to follow both issues and keep you informed.

 
IN NEVADA
4.   Lithium Mine Proposed at Thacker Pass
          (ACTION ITEM)

Controversy has been brewing over a proposed lithium mine at Thacker Pass, northwest of Winnemucca, Nevada. Approved only five days before the end of the previous administration, the proposal threatens land culturally significant to the local Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, which has never agreed to the project. In addition to being critical sage grouse and pronghorn habitat, Thacker Pass has golden eagle nesting areas and is home to many plants used by the tribes for traditional medicinal purposes. The project also threatens Indigenous burial sites and groundwater resources.

Our friends at Western Watersheds Project, Great Basin Resource Watch, Basin & Range Watch, and Wildlands Defense filed suit against the Bureau of Land Management, claiming that the mine’s approval—which was fast-tracked—violated NEPA and the Federal Land Policy & Management Act.

The plaintiffs announced today that Lithium Nevada Corp. and BLM had agreed to not engage in any activities that would disturb the ground before July 29, giving the court a chance to look at evidence in support of their case against the project. Their press release goes into some detail about their objections to the project. More information may be found at protectthackerpass.org and the gofundme page set up by the tribes.

Please sign the Change.org petition started by the Paiute and Shoshone tribes. More information about the project can be found on the petition page. You can also voice your opinion about the project on the Department of Interior’s contact page or by direct email.

 
IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
5.   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 Administration

An article in the New York Times: The Promise and Pressures of Deb Haaland, the First Native American Cabinet Secretary

From the White House: A Proclamation on Great Outdoors Month, 2021

30×30

The Washington Post reported on the America the Beautiful report: A narrow path for Biden’s ambitious land conservation plan

An article in Vox: The right-wing effort to derail Biden’s conservation plan, explained

An op-ed in The Hill by CalUWild friend Erik Molvar: How best to conserve public and private lands under the 30×30 initiative

An article in Yale Environment 360: How Returning Lands to Native Tribes Is Helping Protect Nature

In Utah

An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by CalUWild Advisory Board Member Stephen Trimble: President Biden, take the next step at Grand Staircase-Escalante

In California

Several articles about Pt. Reyes National Seashore

A long but interesting article in the Pacific Sun about Indigenous culture at Pt. Reyes National Seashore and how the Park Service and others have ignored it while promoting ranching: Tamál Húye: Coast Miwoks Fight for Recognition of Point Reyes’ Indigenous History

High Country News published an article about the Pt. Reyes controversy examining the Tule Elk controversy: The battle over Point Reyes’ tule elk

An op-ed in Outside: Yvon Chouinard Says We Need to Protect Point Reyes

An op-ed in RealClear Policy by Violet Sage-Walker: President Biden Should Designate Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. The author is vice chairwoman of the Northern Chumash Tribal Council.

In Idaho

An article from the Associated Press: Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy runs for Idaho governor

In Oregon

An article in The Guardian: Amid mega-drought, rightwing militia stokes water rebellion in US west

In General

An article in the Washington Post: Higher prices and hard-to-find reservations: What to know about outdoor adventures this summer

An article in The Conversation: Overcrowded US national parks need a reservation system

 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated. 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. If your address is not on the check please print out and enclose a membership form.

Either way, mail it to:

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

 
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 membership information, click here.

Please “Like” and “Follow” CalUWild on Facebook.

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2021 April – May

May 8th, 2021


Boundary Peak, White Mountains Wilderness, California                                                                          (Mike Painter)

 
May 5, 2021

Dear CalUWild friends—

There’s a lot to cover in this Update, so we’ll just say by way of an introduction that California’s new Senator, Alex Padilla (D), is making good on his pledge to be a champion for the protection of public lands. See ITEMS 2 and 5. Please call his office to thank him.

And Thank You for your support of public lands and wilderness, as well!

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   Red Rocks Bill Reintroduction
          (ACTION ITEM)
2.   Interior Secretary Haaland Visits Utah Monuments
          (ACTION ITEM)
3.   Online Events of Interest
          a.   Amazing Earthfest from Kanab
                    May 7–15
          b.   Paleontology of Bears Ears National Monument
                    Wednesday, May 19

IN CALIFORNIA
4.   Exploration for Gold Proposed Near Mammoth Lakes
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: May 13
          (ACTION ITEM)
5.   Sen. Padilla Introduces PUBLIC Lands Act in the Senate
          (ACTION ITEM)
6.   30×30 Workshops and Information for California
          (ACTION ITEM)

7. JOB OPPORTUNITIES
          a.   Friends of the Inyo: Communications Director
          b.   Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance: Staff Attorney

IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
8.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

IN UTAH
1.   Red Rocks Bill
Reintroduction
          (ACTION ITEM)

As mentioned in our March Update, we are expecting the reintroduction of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act in Congress sometime soon. Chief sponsors of the bills in the House and Senate, California Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-47) and Illinois Sen. Duck Durbin (D), would like to have original cosponsors lined up before reintroducing the bills.

If you haven’t already contacted your representative or senators, please do so. The phone numbers for their DC offices may be found on our online California Congressional Information Sheet.

 
2.   Interior Secretary Haaland Visits Utah Monuments
          (ACTION ITEM)

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland last month followed through on her promise to visit Utah before she makes a recommendation to Pres. Biden regarding any restoration (or even expansion) of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Secty. Haaland spent three days talking with many interested parties about the monuments. So far, she has made no public comment about the Administration’s plans.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) each sent letters Pres. Biden urging that he undo any illegal actions undertaken by the previous administration.

You may read Sen. Durbin’s letter here.

You may read Sen. Heinrich’s letter here.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D) signed onto Sen. Heinrich’s letter. Please thank him! The phone number for his Washington, DC office is:

202-224-3553

There was a lot of press coverage surrounding Secty. Haaland’s visit and the national monuments. Here is a sampling:

An article in The Guardian’s “This land is your land” section: ‘The earth holds so much power’: Deb Haaland visits sacred site Trump shrank

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Gov. Spencer Cox says Utah is ‘likely’ to sue if Biden unilaterally enlarges Bears Ears, Grand Staircase monuments. An op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune by John Leshy, former Solicitor at the Interior Department, responding: The facts about the Antiquities Act and the courts

An editorial in the Washington Post: President Biden must end the desecration of Bears Ears

A letter to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune by CalUWild Advisory Board Member Stephen Trimble: Biden should restore monuments on Earth Day

An op-ed in the New York Times: Women of Bears Ears Are Asking You to Help Save It

An article in the Washington Post: Tourists and looters descend on Bears Ears as Biden mulls protections

An article in the St. George Spectrum & Daily News: Research finds pack-like behavior among T. rexes in southern Utah national monument

 
3.   Online Events of Interest
           a.   Amazing Earthfest from Kanab
                    May 7–15

Southern Utah’s 15th Annual 2021 festival begins on Friday, May 7, at 1:30 PM (MDT). Kanab’s Amazing Earthfest continues to deliver the story of the community’s very special place among southern Utah’s national and state parks, national forests, monuments, and public lands, which form the foundation for a prospering local economy.

As always, the program includes films, lectures, and classes. All events will be delivered virtually again this year. Events are free, but registration for each is required. (Donations are gratefully accepted.)

For the schedule and registration, visit the website at AmazingEarthfest.org.

 
          b.   Paleontology of Bears Ears National Monument
                    Wednesday, May 19

Friends of Cedar Mesa presents a program online: Paleontology of Bears Ears National Monument: Rocks, Fossils, and Deep Time. Here is their announcement:

An afternoon on Zoom with paleontologist Rob Gay

Rob is a paleontologist and educator with Colorado Canyons Association, and has been working on fossils from the Bears Ears region for nearly 20 years. He attended Northern Arizona University and The University of Arizona, and was part of a team of paleontologists who helped the Obama Administration draft language helping to protect paleontological resources in the Bears Ears proclamation. Rob believes that Bears Ears is powerful because it houses 300 million years of stories, from some of the earliest animals to walk on land to the ancestral home for many Indigenous people in the West today.

Bears Ears National Monument preserves 300 million years of stories on the ground. Some of these stories are modern while some have been passed down through generations, and people alive today remember them. Others only remain as stone traces, fossils from tens of thousands or hundreds of millions of years ago. Many of these ancient stories are only beginning to be told today because of the establishment of Bears Ears National Monument. Learn more about the ancient beasts that once roamed the land of southeastern Utah, how Bears Ears National Monument is critical for telling those stories, and how those stories from the distant past may help us as our world continues to change today.

 
The program is free, but click here for required registration.

 
IN CALIFORNIA
4.   Exploration for Gold Proposed Near Mammoth Lakes
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: May 13
          (ACTION ITEM)

The Eastern Sierra is facing yet another gold mining proposal, this time near Hot Creek, in Long Valley near Mammoth Lakes. The project site is directly north of the Mammoth Airport. KORE Mining, the company in question, has a page on its website explaining the project. The expandable menus (click on the “+” signs) include a map.

The Forest Service is conducting scoping at this stage, meaning that the public can provide input into how it should be proceeding with its analysis and decision-making. The Forest Service says it anticipates “that this project can be completed under a categorical exclusion,” meaning that it does not need to do an environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We think that the potential impacts do warrant a real analysis and are working with coalition partners to submit lengthy, detailed comments on the project proposal.

But is useful for the general public to weigh in as well.

Our partners at Friends of the Inyo sent out the following alert with suggested talking points.

 
Mining Exploration Threatens Long Valley

What’s happening?
KORE Mining proposes to construct a total of fourteen drilling pads, measuring 30 feet by 50 feet each. Access to these drill pads will require re-opening roughly a third of a mile of road for the duration of the project. Impacts of this proposed project include local quality of life, tourism, air quality, noise pollution, decimated habitat of local flora and fauna (including the at-risk sage grouse and local mule deer). The impacts of the exploration might be only the beginning, however. If the company finds a sufficient quantity of gold to mine, that activity could affect important habitats, create long-lasting water pollution issues, and forever scar Long Valley. Finally, the struggle for water in the area doesn’t allow for further demand to support mining in the area as well.

What can I do?
If you live, work, or recreate in the Eastern Sierra and have concerns about the impact of this proposed project, or the prospects of large-scale mining in this scenic and important landscape, we encourage you to submit your comments by May 13, 2021, and ensure your concerns are included in the Inyo National Forest’s analysis.

In your comments, we suggest you let Inyo National Forest know that:

•   You oppose the categorical exclusion for this project.
•   You request that KORE Mining provide an environmental assessment.

ALSO: If you have been to the area yourself, please discuss your experience and why the issue is important to you.

Comments may be submitted via the Forest Service’s online comment page

or by U.S. Mail to:

Ms. Colleen Garcia
Inyo National Forest
351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200
Bishop, CA 93514

The Forest Service’s preferred deadline is Thursday, May 13, for comments to be most useful, but they may be submitted afterward, as well.

 
5.   Sen. Padilla Introduces PUBLIC Lands Act in the Senate
          (ACTION ITEM)

On Monday of this week, California’s new senator, Alex Padilla (D), introduced the “Protecting Unique and Beautiful Landscapes by Investing in California (PUBLIC) Lands Act.” (A prize goes to the person who came up with that title!)

The bill is made up of three of the four public lands bills included in the package that passed the House earlier this Congress and that we discussed in our February Update:

— The Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act (Huffman, D-2)
— The Central Coast Heritage Protection Act (Carbajal, D-24)
— The San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act (Chu, D-27)

The bill designates more than 625,000 acres of wilderness. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) is a cosponsor of the bill, and we hope she will soon reintroduce the Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act, championed in the House by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-28). Sen. Feinstein has been the Senate sponsor of that bill previously.

Please thank Sen. Padilla for taking on the mantle and introducing the PUBLIC Lands Act. The phone number for his Washington, DC office is:

202-224-3553

The press covered the bill’s introduction:

An article in the Los Angeles Times: California could get 600,000 acres of new federally protected wilderness

An article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Padilla introduces bill to advance California wilderness additions

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle: Padilla proposes increased protection for 1 million acres of California wilderness. (The headline uses “wilderness” in an expansive fashion!)

 
6.   30×30 Workshops and Information for California
          (ACTION ITEM)

The State of California is kicking its 30×30 planning program into high gear. Over the past two weeks, the Natural Resources Agency has been holding a series of online regional workshops to introduce the program and gather feedback and ideas from Californians. They all follow the same format: a general introduction and then various polling questions, the answers to which are recorded.

There are still two more for which you can register by clicking on the linked region. Both start at 4 p.m. (PDT):

May 6:   Inland Deserts
May 11: San Diego

You can also participate, regardless of region, by answering the same questions in an online questionnaire. It will be open until May 14, and there will likely be future questionnaires as things move along.

If you’re interested in seeing the introductory materials, the past workshops were recorded and are on the California Natural Resources Agency’s YouTube page. Look for “Nature-Based Solutions and 30×30 Virtual Regional Workshops.”

For more information, go to californianature.ca.gov.

 
7.   JOB OPPORTUNITIES
          a.   Friends of the Inyo: Communications Director

Join FoI’s small team of 7. Benefits include flexible work location, retirement plan, sick and annual leave, health insurance, paid sabbatical, among others. Live and work in the beautiful Eastern Sierra!

Click here for the job description and application procedure.

Application DEADLINE: May 16

 
          b.   Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance: Staff Attorney

Our friends at SUWA have an immediate opening in their Salt Lake City office for a staff attorney. It is a litigation position with a docket that includes national monument defense, energy development, off-road vehicles, Quiet Title Act/R.S. 2477, and vegetation removal.

Click here for the job description and application procedure.

Application DEADLINE: May 21

 
IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
8.   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 Administration

An interview in Outside with Interior Secretary Deb Haaland: Deb Haaland Says Public Lands Should Reflect America

Pres. Biden nominated Tracy Stone-Manning to be the Director of the Bureau of Land Management. If confirmed, she will be the first permanent director since the Obama Administration. This article from the Associated Press gives a good overview of her background and the reaction to her nomination: Biden taps Montana environmentalist for US public lands boss

An article in The Hill: Grijalva calls for return of public lands agency to DC after Trump moved BLM out West.

In California

For Earth Day: The Voice of a River, a short film about CalUWild friend Mark Dubois and the aftermath of his unsuccessful fight to protect Stanislaus River in the 1970s.

An article in the Marin Independent Journal: California Coastal Commission endorses Point Reyes ranch, elk plan. We will keep you posted as the fight to restore Pt. Reyes National Seashore continues.

In Alaska

An article in The Hill: Interior delays consideration of opening public Alaska lands to development

In Arizona

An article in the Washington Post: This land is sacred to the Apache, and they are fighting to save it. We wrote about the Forest Service’s decision to withdraw the proposal in the March Update.

A lengthy look, in AZCentral: Trump’s border wall scarred sacred lands, displaced wildlife and drained water. Can it be taken down?

In Idaho

An article in The Oregonian: Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy arrested 3rd time at Idaho Statehouse

In Montana

The Associated Press reports: Former Trump official Zinke eyes Montana’s new US House seat

In Washington State

An op-ed in the Seattle Times: Protect Mount St. Helens’ volcanic landscape

Our friends at American Rivers published an informative blog post on the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Act

Public Lands in General

The Trust for Public Land has released an interactive map with information on all projects undertaken with assistance from the Land & Water Conservation Fund.

An op-ed in the Colorado Sun by Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR): Why America needs a 21st century Civilian Conservation Corps

An article in the New York Times: Pandemic Wilderness Explorers Are Straining Search and Rescue

 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated. 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. If your address is not on the check please print out and enclose a membership form.

Either way, mail it to:

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

 
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 membership information, click here.

Please “Like” and “Follow” CalUWild on Facebook.

Posted in Newsletters | No Comments »

2021 March

April 5th, 2021


Mountain Juniper, Yosemite National Park, California                                                                                      (Mike Painter)

 
March 31, 2021
          (for delivery on April Fool’s Day)

 
Dear CalUWild friends—

There was great news this month when Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) was confirmed as Pres. Biden’s Secretary of the Interior. The vote in the Senate was 50-41, with four Republican senators joining in to approve her nomination—Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, both of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Secty. Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, is the first Native American to hold any Cabinet position, and only the third woman to hold the Interior post. She has promised to be “fierce” in her defense of the land.

Secty. Haaland certainly has her work cut out for her. Many Republican senators refused to vote for her out of concern over Pres. Biden’s moratorium on new oil & gas leases on federal lands, since the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the federal leasing program. The controversy surrounding the relocation of the BLM headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado continues, as well. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is also within the Interior Department. It has often been a neglected agency, and strengthening it will certainly be one of her priorities.

See news items related to Secty. Haaland’s confirmation in ITEM 7, IN THE PRESS.

Thanks, as always, for your support and interest!

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
 
IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Wilderness Act To Be Reintroduced in the House and Senate
          (ACTION ITEM)
2.   Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

IN CALIFORNIA
3.   Sen. Padilla Agrees to Introduce 3 California Wilderness Bills
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN ARIZONA
4.   Forest Service Withdraws Decision for Controversial Copper Mine

IN NEVADA
5.   Huge Public Lands Bill Introduced for Las Vegas Area

IN OREGON
6.   Wild & Scenic Rivers Bill Introduced for Oregon

IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
7.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Wilderness Act To Be Reintroduced in the House and Senate
          (ACTION ITEM)

As mentioned in ITEM 1 of last month’s Update we are awaiting the reintroduction of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, most likely now sometime in May (but that’s always subject to change) in both the House and the Senate. Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-47) of Long Beach and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) would like to have some cosponsors lined up before reintroducing the bill, so we are working with the Utah Wilderness Coalition to arrange constituent meetings with most California House and Senate offices. With the pandemic, these will be streaming meetings rather than in-person. If you would be interested in being a participant (not setting one up!) in a meeting with your representative either of the senators, please send me an email with your contact information, your congressional representative’s name, and general availability.

In any event, please call your representatives and senators, asking them to be original cosponsors of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act. Contact information may be found on our California Congressional Information Sheet.

 
2.   Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

As we also mentioned last month, Pres. Biden ordered the Interior Department to prepare a report on the national monument rollbacks done by the previous administration. After Interior Secty. Haaland’s confirmation, she announced a delay in the report, to give her a chance to visit Utah in April to talk with interested parties on the ground.

We will keep you informed as the situation develops further.

 
IN CALIFORNIA
3.   Sen. Padilla Agrees to Introduce 3 California Wilderness Bills
          (ACTION ITEM)

As we announced in ITEM 5 of last month’s Update several California Wilderness bills were included in the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act, H.R. 803, which passed the House. This month, we are happy to announce that California’s new senator, Alex Padilla (D), will be introducing companion bills in the Senate for three of those bills: The Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act (Huffman); The Central Coast Heritage Protection Act (Carbajal); and The San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act (Chu).

Please contact Sen. Padilla’s office to say Thank You for his commitment to these bills and for picking up the mantle from his predecessor, now-Vice President Kamala Harris.

You may contact Sen. Padilla’s Washington office at 202-224-3553 or via his homepage. Contact information for his other offices is listed there, as well.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat published a story on the topic: California Sen. Alex Padilla backs sweeping US wilderness bill as House authors wait for Senate opening. (I am quoted.)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has been the Senate champion of the fourth California bill included in the House package, the Rim of the Valley Corridor Protection Act that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-28) has introduced in the last several Congresses. We expect her to reintroduce that bill soon, too.

 
IN ARIZONA
4.   Forest Service Withdraws Decision for Controversial Copper Mine

The U.S. Forest Service announced it was withdrawing its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Draft Record of Decision for the Resolution Copper Mine in Tonto National Forest in central Arizona. Chich’il Bildagoteel (or Oak Flat, as it is known in English) is an important spiritual and cultural site to several Native American tribes. The previous administration had signed off on the EIS on January 15, only days before leaving office. Pres. Biden signed an executive order mandating tribal consultation and stronger nation-to-nation relationships shortly after his inauguration, causing the Department of Agriculture, which oversees the Forest Service, to order the decision withdrawn.

Chairman Terry Rambler of the San Carlos Apache Tribe said:

This is the right move by the Department of Agriculture. The Resolution copper mine project will desecrate Chich’il Bildagoteel … , which is the heart of our religious and cultural beliefs. As noted in our federal lawsuit, the U.S. Forest Service failed to follow the law in the preparation of a sham final environmental impact statement that was used to justify trading away our sacred land to wealthy foreign mining companies.

House Natural Resources Committee chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) said:

This fight has never been about just one site – it’s been about ending the cycle of ignoring tribal input whenever it suits polluters. The Trump administration rushed this document out the door as just one more favor to industry, regardless of how legally or scientifically unsupportable it was. The Biden administration is doing the right thing with this reset, and I intend to reintroduce the Save Oak Flat Act in the coming days to make sure this needless controversy is settled on the side of justice once and for all.

The Guardian‘s “This land is your land” series published an article on the decision: Biden administration pauses transfer of holy Native American land to mining firm.

For more information about the issue, visit the Save Oak Flat website.

 
IN NEVADA
5.   Huge Public Lands Bill Introduced for Las Vegas Area

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Rep. Dina Titus (D) have introduced the Southern Nevada Economic Development and Conservation Act. The bill would designate 1.3 million acres of wilderness in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and another 337,000 acres of wilderness in Clark County. It also expands the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and adds about 350,000 acres for desert tortoise and other species protection. Finally, it conveys about 41,000 acres of land to the Moapa Band of Paiutes, whose entitled lands were reduced by Congress in 1875.

The other side of the bill is that is allows Las Vegas to expand south along I-15 toward California and in other areas around the county by opening up federal land for development.

Conservationists’ reaction to the bill is split. Friends of Nevada Wilderness and other conservation and civic groups support the bill. However the Center for Biological Diversity rejects the trade-off of development for conservation, though saying the present bill is better than was originally proposed.

We’ll keep you posted as the bills progress in Congress.

 
IN OREGON
6.   Wild & Scenic Rivers Bill Introduced for Oregon

The following comes from our friends at the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center (slightly edited):

 
In February Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Jeff Merkley introduced The River Democracy Act of 2021, legislation that will preserve some of the most treasured waterways in Oregon by designating them as Wild and Scenic.

The legislation is a direct result of a nomination process where Oregonians recommended their favorite rivers for permanent protection. After a series of public comment sessions and townhalls, diverse stakeholders—small business owners, sportsmen and sportswomen, veterans, elected officials, community members—have come together to support this legislation. Senator Wyden’s office received over 15,000 nominations for thousands of miles of rivers from residents across the state, showing both the key role these rivers play in communities and the strong local support for protecting them for the benefit of future generations.

The bill protects some of the best rivers in the state, safeguarding important fish and wildlife habitat, clean drinking water, and a growing recreation economy. If passed, 5.9% of Oregon’s 110,000 stream miles would be protected as Wild and Scenic. People who come from all over the world to explore Oregon’s rivers spend tens of millions of dollars each year in local communities. Recently, these rivers have proven essential during the pandemic, as residents turn to the outdoors more than ever for solace and enjoyment.

From southwest Oregon rivers that support Coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout, sturgeon, and Pacific lamprey to rivers in northeast Oregon that flow from some of the tallest peaks in North America’s deepest canyon, these rivers sustain us.

The River Democracy Act of 2021 provides an historic opportunity to protect these special rivers in Oregon for generations to come.

 
Here is an article from Rewilding Earth, Wyden’s Unprecedently Good Wild and Scenic Rivers Legislation with more details.

 
IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
7.   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 Administration

An article in The Guardian: Republicans used oil industry-backed study to criticize Deb Haaland

An article in High Country News: The Biden administration’s critical role in Indian Country

An article in the Missoula Current: Employees speak out on Trump’s detrimental reorganization of BLM

30×30

An article in the New York Times on 30×30 in a global perspective: There’s a Global Plan to Conserve Nature. Indigenous People Could Lead the Way.

In Utah

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune concerning the helium drilling project inside the Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness, which we wrote about in our October 2020 and December 2020 Updates: Was a helium well in the Utah wilderness a bust?.The article is unfortunately for subscribers only, but it says that the local BLM office told Emery County officials that is came up dry. The company says it is still analyzing the results. We’ll keep you posted on developments.

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Utah agency reverses course, pulls back energy leases in original Bears Ears monument

In California

An article in the Los Angeles Times: A corporation wants to mine for gold near Death Valley. Native tribes are fighting it. CalUWild is opposing the project along with Friends of the Inyo and the Sierra Club and others.

An article in the North Coast Journal about the Klamath Dams removal: Fight of the River People

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle: Endangered California condor to return to Northern California for first time in 100 years

An article in Smithsonian: The Wolf That Discovered California. Last month we included an article on the latest wolf to explore California, having reached the Central Sierra Nevada. At last report he had crossed over the Central Valley and was in San Benito County! [UPDATE: As of April 6, the wolf had been in Monterey County and continued south into San Luis Obispo County.]

In Idaho

An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by CalUWild friend Jacques Leslie: Listen up: A Republican says we have to breach four Snake River dams

An article by the Associated Press: Ammon Bundy arrested after missing trial on trespass charge. (He was outside instead, protesting the mask requirement at the courthouse.)

Public Lands in General

An op-ed by New York Times writer Timothy Egan: To Save the Earth, Fall in Love

 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated. 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. If your address is not on the check please print out and enclose a membership form.

Either way, mail it to:

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

 
 

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 membership information, click here.

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2021 February

March 3rd, 2021


Corn Cob Impressions in Mortar, Cedar Mesa, Former Bears Ears NM, Utah                                                  (Mike Painter)

 
March 1, 2021

Dear CalUWild friends—

Despite the events at the Capitol on January 6, which we wrote about in our January Update, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris peacefully took office on January 20. The changes in approach to governance and policy were immediately apparent. The Administration lost no time in rejoining the Paris Climate Change Accord and ordering a review and possible reversal of many of the previous administration’s anti-environmental decisions, including the rollbacks of the boundaries of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments and some protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument. Pres. Biden also cancelled the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The fallout continues from the insurrection, however, with arrests of participants continuing across the country. Congress has vowed to set up a commission to investigate the event fully, and we urge you to support those efforts, so that something like this will not be repeated. Without a functional democracy, there is little hope for effective environmental protection or other issues that are important to us as Americans.

With Sen. Kamala Harris becoming Vice President, Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Alex Padilla (D), California’s Secretary of State, to take her place in the Senate. As senator, Vice President Harris was a strong supporter of public lands and was the Senate lead sponsor of companion bills for those originating in the House. We hope Sen. Padilla will follow in her footsteps. It would be good to mention that to him when you contact his office for anything.

There is only one Action Item this month. As always, however, when a new Administration and Congress come in, there are too many topics of interest to cover in detail. So we’ll simply cover most with links to press articles. The headlines should give you the most important information, and you can read more if you like, rather than be overwhelmed in the Update. (Some are behind paywalls, however.) A few other topics will be covered in our March Update.

 
Our online California Congressional Information Sheet has contact information for all California representatives and Senators as well as listings of important legislation and cosponsorships (though that section is pretty empty at present, since the 117th Congress has just started). We will add to it going forward.

As always, thanks for your interest and support!

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill to Be Reintroduced in the House and Senate
          (ACTION ITEM)
2.   Other Utah Topics

THE ADMINISTRATION
3.   Pres. Biden Commits to 30×30
4.   Appointments at
the Department of the Interior

IN CALIFORNIA, ARIZONA, COLORADO & WASHINGTON
5.   House Passes Combined Public Lands Bill

ONLINE
6.   7th Annual Visions of the Wild Festival Continues
          Wednesday, March 17, 6:00 p.m. (PDT)
7.   Friends of Nevada Wilderness: Wild Speaker Series
          Thursday, March 4, 6: 45 p.m. (PST)

IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
8.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill to Be Reintroduced in the House and Senate
          (ACTION ITEM)

CalUWild’s main legislative focus since our founding in 1997 has been America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (ARRWA). This long-standing bill would designate land managed by the Bureau of Land Management as Wilderness, which is the highest level of land protection under the law. Over the years the included acreage has generally grown as more areas were inventoried for wilderness character. There have also been areas removed as they were designated Wilderness through stand-alone legislation or because of overlap with tribal lands. The bill currently stands at about 9 million acres.

While protecting the spectacular landscapes is one main purpose of ARRWA, and probably the most visible, a Wilderness designation has other important benefits as well. Utah is part of the important corridor of land running from the Grand Canyon clear up to Glacier National Park, providing migration routes for animals and potential habitat as climate change necessitates shifts. The acres also make up a significant portion of those needed to complete the goal of protecting 30% of our land by the year 2030 (commonly known as 30×30. More on this below.)

In addition, it stops oil & gas exploration, leaving the carbon-based resources in the ground. Yet another benefit is that restricting off-road vehicle use cuts down on an important source of the dust increasingly coating snow in the Rocky Mountains to the east. This causes it to melt faster, changing the hydrology of the Colorado River basin.

Finally, the bill establishes a “gold standard,” against which other legislation and proposals on the ground can be measured.

Our friends at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance have published 2 reports looking at some of these broader effects of ARRWA.

The Role of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act in Protecting Biodiversity and Mitigating the Climate Crisis following up on their previous report: Contribution of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act to Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Efforts

The original bill was introduced in the House by Congressman Wayne Owens (D) of Utah, but after he left Congress, the mantle was taken up by representatives from other states, the current sponsor being California’s Alan Lowenthal (D-47) of Long Beach. He expects to introduce it before the end of March (though that could change, of course). In the Senate, the long-time champion of the bill has been Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).

Besides actually voting for a bill in committee or when it comes to the floor, cosponsorship is the most important thing representatives or senators can do to signal their strong support for a bill.

Please contact your House Member and Sen. Padilla requesting that they become original cosponsors (meaning at the time of reintroduction) of ARRWA. Contact information is here.

If you would be interested in leading some virtual meetings with congressional offices in the months ahead, please contact Travis Hammill at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (travis@suwa.org), and he would be happy to discuss the possibility with you.

 
2.   Other Utah Topics

As mentioned in the introduction, Pres. Biden ordered an Interior Department review of the monument rollbacks by the previous administration. It was to be completed in 60 days, so we’re half way through. Rep. Deb Haaland, whom Pres. Biden has nominated to be Interior Secretary, was a chief sponsor, along with Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) of the BEARS Act in the last Congress, which would have restored and expanded the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument to the proposal originally made by the Indian tribes. With her confirmation expected shortly, we are hopeful for a workable solution.

The national monument shrinkages were one of the most controversial actions of the previous administration, and their possible reversal continues to attract press attention:

An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by CalUWild Advisory Board member Stephen Trimble: Restore Utah’s national monuments and make the fix permanent

An article in The Guardian’s “This Land Is Your Land” section: Hope grows that Biden will restore US national monuments shrunk by Trump

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: President Joe Biden’s order to review Utah monuments leaves options open, but expansion all but certain

Other Utah articles:

An editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune: Utah has a chance at a better approach to managing public lands

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Zion National Park gets $33 million federal grant for electric shuttles

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Why noise from off-road vehicles is making life miserable in Moab

 
THE ADMINISTRATION
3.   Pres. Biden Commits to 30×30

The need to protect 30% of our land by the year 2030 (30×30) is rapidly becoming an important umbrella concept for conservation efforts, a goal that is easily grasped, though likely more difficult to achieve. It is a stepping-stone to the proposal by eminent biologist E.O. Wilson to set aside 50% of the planet as natural areas, the proportion he feels is necessary to preserve biodiversity.

A week after his inauguration, Pres. Biden issued an Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Sec. 216 directs the Secretary of the Interior to consult with Cabinet and other officials and prepare a report recommending steps the government should take to achieve the 30×30 goal. They are to get input from state, local, and tribal governments, as well as other interested stakeholders, in identifying strategies and proposing guidelines for how lands and waters would qualify.

Here are two press items:

An article in The Guardian‘s “This land is your land section:” ‘America, send us your ideas’: Biden pledges to protect 30% of US lands by 2030

An article in National Parks Traveler: A National Park Roadmap To “30 By 30”: Adding To The National Park System Would Reveal Overlooked Wonders And Help Protect Biodiversity

As an aside: California passed a 30x3o resolution last year. To receive information about state efforts, send an email to outreach [at] resources [dot] ca [dot] gov with 30×30 in the subject.

 
4.   Appointments at the Department of the Interior

As we reported in our December Update<https://www.caluwild.org/archives/5477>, Pres. Biden nominated Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) as Secretary of the Interior. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held two days of hearings last week. Republicans on the committee were hostile to her nomination, questioning her pointedly on her views on fossil fuels and energy extraction, particularly in light of Pres. Biden’s announced moratorium on federal leases. She replied consistently that she would follow Pres. Biden’s policies regardless of her personal opinions, and that she recognized the difference between being a congressional representative her district and a Cabinet secretary, where she had to take all American’s viewpoints into account. Committee Chairman Joe Manchin (D-WV) indicated he would vote to confirm her despite his initial misgivings, since West Virginia is a coal-producing state. The full Senate is likely to follow suit.

CalUWild joined more than 500 organizations in signing a letter to the Senate urging her confirmation.

Rep. Haaland’s nomination has attracted quite a bit of attention in the public and in the press, as she is the first Native American to be nominated to a Cabinet position and the Interior Department oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs. A sampling:

An op-ed column by Timothy Egan in the New York Times: After Five Centuries, a Native American With Real Power

An article in E&E News: Republican opposition to Haaland grows more vocal

An op-ed in USA Today by former senators Mark Udall and Tom Udall: Vehement opposition to Deb Haaland ‘motivated by something other than her record’

A subsequent article in the New York Times: Haaland, With a Key Vote in Her Column, Appears Headed for Confirmation

 
In other very good news for public lands, Pres. Biden appointed Nada Culver to be the Bureau of Land Management’s Deputy Director for Policy and Programs. (This is the position that was held until the end of the previous administration by William Perry Pendley, whom we reported on many times.) Ms. Culver was most recently Vice President for Public Lands and Senior Policy Counsel at the National Audubon Society. Prior to that she directed the Wilderness Society’s BLM Action Center in Denver. We look forward to having someone at BLM who understands the need for public lands and their role in conservation, rather than just for energy production and grazing.

Ms. Culver has her work cut out for her. The previous administration had moved the BLM headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado, which resulted in the departure of many of its career employees. BLM also manages the government’s oil & gas leasing program. Other issues needing to be addressed are inventories for Wilderness Study Areas, renewable energy siting, and R.S. 2477, the phantom roads that crisscross the West.

We wish her the best!

Related press:

An article in the Washington Post: Trump officials moved most Bureau of Land Management positions out of D.C. More than 87 percent quit instead.

An op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune: Vera Smith and Kya Marienfeld: Restore science and accountability to BLM’s management of western landscapes. Kya Marienfeld is a wildlands attorney at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Vera Smith is a senior federal lands policy analyst at Defenders of Wildlife.

An op-ed in The Hill: Clean energy is an important step. But it can’t come at the cost of public lands

An article in the Washington Post’s (unfortunately discontinued) blog “The Energy 202:” Biden administration puts freeze on federal fossil fuel leases and permits

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle: Biden halts new oil drilling on federal lands. Here’s what major climate move means for California

 
IN CALIFORNIA, ARIZONA, COLORADO & WASHINGTON
5.   House Passes Combined Public Lands Bill

Last week the House passed H.R. 803, the Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act. These bills had passed the House in the previous Congress, but the Senate refused to act on them, so they were able to bypass the regular committee process (to the dismay of some GOP representatives). But in the end several Republican representatives, including Mike Garcia (CA-25), voted in favor of the package, with a final vote of 227 – 200.

The package contained a total of eight bills:

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

The House Natural Resources Committee released this detailed fact sheet about each of the overall bill’s components.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where there is no companion bill yet.

 
ONLINE
6.   7th Annual Visions of the Wild Festival Continues
          Wednesday, March 17, 6:00 p.m. (PDT)

Our exploration of the 38th Parallel continues with a discussion: Nature, Sculpture, Community, with:

Steve Oliver, curator of the Oliver Ranch in Sonoma County and former Chairman of the Board of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art;
Dana Turkovic, curator of exhibitions and manager of the permanent collection of the Laumeier Sculpture Park; and
Karen Mullen, Laumeier’s Curator of Education.

Please join us for a visit to two beautiful places along the 38th parallel. Both feature large outdoor sculptures, several by the same artists, and they share a mission of doing civic good. We’ll learn about their collections and how they engage with communities around them.

Oliver Ranch (38.72°N) is located in Sonoma County, California. The 100-acre property is home to 18 site-specific installations by some of the most recognized contemporary artists. Steve and Nancy Oliver bought it in 1981 to graze a few extra sheep for, as Steve says, “My daughter’s 4-H project gone bad.”

Laumeier Sculpture Park (38.55°N) is located in St. Louis County, Missouri. Founded in 1976 from the gift of Matilda Laumeier, it is one of the first and largest dedicated sculpture parks in the country. It features more than seventy large works spread across 105 acres.

The event is free, but you need to register in advance here. More information about the presentation and links to several projects may be found on the registration page.

Earlier presentations were Travelling the 38th Parallel, a Global Plastic Art Challenge, the Silk Road, daguerreotypist Solomon Carvalho, Tajikistan, Land Art, and the film The Sacramento, at Current Speed and a discussion following are archived on the Visions of the Wild homepage.

An upcoming event, Landscape Music: Earth Year, is scheduled for April 21. Registration for it is open here.

 
7.   Friends of Nevada Wilderness: Wild Speaker Series
          Thursday, March 4, 6: 45 p.m. (PST)

Join Friends for their March Wild Speaker Series, “Beautiful Gold Butte: A Hidden Gem In The Mojave Desert” online in a Zoom presentation. Brenda Slocumb, Operations Manager for the Friends of Gold Butte, will be the guest speaker. Gold Butte National Monument covers nearly 300,000 acres of remote and rugged desert landscape in southeastern Nevada, where dramatically chiseled red sandstone, twisting canyons, and tree-clad mountains punctuate desolate stretches of the Mojave Desert. The area is sacred to the Moapa Band of Paiute Indians and the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe and includes thousands of petroglyphs, and traces of human habitation, such as agave roasting pits and shelters, dating back over 12,000 years.

More information and registration here.

 
IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
8.   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 Administration

An op-ed in The Guardian, part of its “This Land Is Your Land” project: Trump’s assault on the environment is over. Now we must reverse the damage

An article in the New York Times: Restoring Environmental Rules Rolled Back by Trump Could Take Years

The Washington Post is keeping a running count: Tracking Biden’s environmental actions

An interview in the Salt Lake Tribune with author David Gessner: Presidential ‘superpower’: the federal Antiquities Act and its use in carving out national monuments Mr. Gessner wrote Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness and All the Wild That Remains: Abbey, Stegner & the American West

An op-ed in The Hill by Theresa Pierno, president of the National Parks Conservation Association: For Biden’s climate agenda to succeed, he must start with parks

Land & Water Conservation Fund

An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by CalUWild friend Tim Palmer: We need open space, and Washington can help us get it

An article in Roll Call: Congressional mandates unfulfilled by Trump’s Interior Department

Interior Announces Plans to Strengthen LWCF

In California

An op-ed in Bay Nature: Point Reyes: Planning or Performance

News from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife: Dispersing Gray Wolf Travels from Oregon to the Central Sierra Nevada. This is the farthest south a wolf has come into California from Oregon.

And other wolves in this article in the Mt. Shasta News: Wolves in California: Siskiyou is home to a new pair

An article in the Los Angeles Times about the Mono Lake Kutzadika Paiute tribe: A century-old fight for tribal recognition simmers over the eastern Sierra Nevada’s Mono Lake. The Bodie Hills, which CalUWild is working to protect with our friends in the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership, lie just north of Mono Lake.

In Montana

An article in the Missoulian discussing the transfer of the National Bison Range to the Flathead Indian Reservation: Bison range officially transferred to CSKT

In Oregon

An article from Oregon Public Broadcasting: Hammonds’ grazing permit rescinded by Biden administration. It was the Hammonds’ jail sentences that provoked the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by the Bundys and others.

An article in The Oregonian: Armed occupation of Malheur refuge was ‘dress rehearsal’ for violent takeover of nation’s Capitol, extremist watchdogs say

A related article in The Guardian’s “This Land Is Your Land” section: Capitol attackers have long threatened violence in rural American west

 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated. 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. If your address is not on the check please print out and enclose a membership form.

Either way, mail it to:

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

 
 

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 membership information, click here.

Please “Like” and “Follow” CalUWild on Facebook.

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2021 January

February 4th, 2021


United States Capitol, March 4, 2017                                                                                                                (Mike Painter)

 
January 7, 2021

Dear CalUWild friends and supporters—

From the time of its founding, CalUWild has said we’re as much a pro-Democracy organization as pro-Wilderness. We’ve been committed to giving people the tools and information they need to effectively take part in our democratic system. Yesterday saw an attack on our Democracy, the gravest since 9/11 (an event for which I was in Washington, DC)—only this time it was a domestic attack. And unfortunately, the attack did not just come from armed and angry protestors, but from within the Congress itself. While the loss of life yesterday was thankfully far less than in 2001, in other ways the attack was more serious, because it was directed at the basis for our entire system of governance.

And I know I speak for many of my colleagues with whom I have spent hours walking the marble floors of the Capitol and House and Senate office buildings, talking to and getting to know Senators, Representatives, and even more importantly, their staffs, that this feels personal, too.

But we must not give up. In fact, no time is more important than now to amplify our voices in defense of Democracy. However, this cannot be a partisan endeavor, though very obviously the situation has a partisan aspect to it, since the attack and its supporters come from only one political party.

So this Update has only one ACTION ITEM: Make it clear to your Senators, Representatives, and fellow citizens that this kind of action is unacceptable and that there must be severe consequences for everyone, at whatever level of involvement. Please make at least one phone call to Congress or write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper stating your concerns.

 
CalUWild’s updated Congressional Information Sheet is online here. (We will list the status of important legislation as well as contact information here as the 117th Congress progresses.) Contact information for Representatives and Senators not from California may be found at https://www.house.gov/representatives and https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact, respectively.

 
Thank you for your concern and your support,
Mike

 
 
 

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 membership information, click here.

Please “Like” and “Follow” CalUWild on Facebook.

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2020 December

January 2nd, 2021


Petroglyphs, Utah                                                                                                                                    (Mike Painter)

 
New Year’s Eve, 2020

Dear CalUWild friends—

A tumultuous and stressful 2020 is drawing to a close, and a new year is beginning. Our hope is that 2021 will be a little bit more stable, with Joe Biden’s administration coming in and vaccines to help deal with our public health crisis. (We do need to get through the run-off elections in Georgia and the tabulation by Congress of the Electoral College votes, though …) A new Congress—the 117th—will be sworn in this weekend. We will post updated contact information on our website next month.

The good news for public lands is that President-elect Biden has indicated his interest in reversing many of the rollbacks of the current administration. We expect the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments to be restored. He promised a ban on new oil & gas leasing on public lands during the campaign. Other possibilities include reversing endangered species and NEPA regulations. But he will need the support of all of us to bring this all about.

Most notable in the transition was Mr. Biden’s choice of Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM) to be Secretary of the Interior. As has been widely reported, Rep. Haaland will be the first Native American to serve as Interior Secretary. This is especially noteworthy because the Interior Department oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs and because it is only very recently that Native American voices have played any significant part in the discussions about public lands (as we know, originally inhabited by Indigenous peoples).

In addition, Rep. Haaland is committed to public lands protection. She is the lead sponsor of H.R. 1050, the ANTIQUITIES Act, which states clearly that only Congress may reduce a national monument, not a subsequent president. It also would restore the shrunken monument boundaries in Utah (and actually enlarge Bears Ears to it original proposed boundaries). She is also the lead House sponsor of H.Res. 835, the “30×30” resolution to protect 30% of America’s land and oceans by the year 2030.

The Washington Post ran this article: With historic picks, Biden puts environmental justice front and center, and this article was in The Guardian: ‘I’ll be fierce for all of us’: Deb Haaland on climate, Native rights and Biden.

Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris has also been a supporter of public lands protection, having introduced companion bill in the Senate for all the local wilderness and public lands House bills introduced for California.

We look forward to both women being strong voices for conservation in the Administration, and we will do what we can to give them the support needed to push ahead.

 
There are no Action Items this month and only a couple of announcements, but see IN THE PRESS for updates on several issues we’ve covered recently: A temporary halt to a helium project in Utah and denial of a proposed expansion of the Air Force’s Nevada Test & Training Range.

 
A big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far to CalUWild’s Annual Membership Appeal. Your support is invaluable. If you’d still like to contribute, please see the information at the end of this Update. As always, contributions are voluntary but appreciated.

Thank you for efforts and interest in protecting our Western Wilderness!

 
Best wishes for the new year to you and your families,
Mike
 
 
ONLINE
1.   7th Annual Visions of the Wild Festival Continues

IN COLORADO
2.   Job Listing: Wilderness Workshop
          DEADLINE: January 22, 2021

IN THE PARKS
3.   Six fee-free days in 2021

IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
4.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

ONLINE
1.   7th Annual Visions of the Wild Festival Continues

Our exploration of the 38th Parallel continues with a discussion: Land Art

Wednesday, January 20
7:00 p.m. (PST)

with Bill Fox, director of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno.

Two remote desert monuments along the 38th parallel inspired this program. Göbeklitepe in central Turkey is believed to be the oldest known temple. The 11,000-year-old massive carved stones predate Stonehenge by 6,000 years. And “City,” located in a remote corner of Nevada, is arguably the world’s largest sculpture. Artist Michael Heizer has been working on it for most of his adult life.

The event is free, but you need to register in advance here. More information about the presentation and links to several films may be found on the registration page.

Earlier presentations were on travelling the 38th Parallel, a Global Plastic Art Challenge, the Silk Road, daguerreotypist Solomon Carvalho, and Tajikistan are archived on the Visions of the Wild homepage. An upcoming event on the Sacramento River is scheduled for February 17. Registration for it is open here.

 
IN COLORADO
2.   Job Listing: Wilderness Workshop
          DEADLINE: January 22, 2021

Our friends at Wilderness Workshop in Carbondale are looking for a Field Director. Click here for full information.

 
IN THE PARKS
3.   Six fee-free days in 2021

Mark your calendars! Six days in 2021 will be entrance-fee-free days in the National Park System:

Monday, January 18 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Saturday, April 17 – First Day of National Park Week
Wednesday, August 4 – One year anniversary of
          the Great American Outdoors Act
Wednesday, August 25 – National Park Service Birthday
Saturday, September 25 – National Public Lands Day
Thursday, November 11 – Veterans Day

The Bureau of Land Management has also announced six fee-free days, but they are somewhat different. You can see its schedule here.

 
IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
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 item in this section does not imply agreement with the viewpoint expressed.

The Old Administration

An article in the “This Land Is Your Land” series in The Guardian: Grand Junction is ‘darn hard to get to’: ranchers split on public lands agency’s move west

An article in the Washington Post: Interior Secretary David Bernhardt tests positive for coronavirus

In Utah

A Salt Lake Tribune article on a delay for the helium project we wrote about in our October Update, inside the newly-established Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness: Judge taps brakes on drilling in Utah wilderness on eve of federal OK

An article in the Deseret News: San Juan County Commission wants Biden to restore Bears Ears boundaries

I don’t make too many editorial comments about press articles, but the irony in this one from the Salt Lake Tribune is astounding: As Rep. Rob Bishop leaves Congress after 18 years, he says his biggest beef is no one there listens anymore. Rob Bishop was the biggest “non-listener” of them all. We won’t miss him.

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Federal land manager pulls plug on Utah tar sand lease because of conflict of interest.

In Indian Country

An article in High Country News: Trump’s impact on Indian Country over four years

A controlled demolition took down the 3 towers of the Navajo Generating Station in Page, Arizona. The coal-fired plant was a major contributor to haze and other air pollution across the Colorado Plateau. AZCentral reported on it: 3 massive coal stacks that long towered over Lake Powell demolished as crowds watched. The article contains a video. EcoFlight also took aerial video of the demolition, which you can watch on YouTube. Search for “Navajo Generating Station Demolished.”

In Nevada

Good news regarding the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, which we wrote about in our November Update an article in the Las Vegas Sun: Congress acts to shield Nevada public lands from ‘military seizure’. Although the National Defense Authorization Act was passed with veto-proof margins, Trump vetoes defense bill, teeing up holiday override votes in Congress as reported in the Washington Post. He was upset that the bill includes “provisions that fail to respect our veterans’ and military’s history,” presumably referring to requirements that the Defense Department changing the names of military installations named after Confederate figures.

In New Mexico

Good news reported in an article in National Parks Traveler: Omnibus Bill Carried Protection For Chaco Culture National Historical Park

On the Border

An article from the Associated Press, in the Los Angeles Times: Environmental damage from border wall: blown-up mountains, toppled cactus

 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated. 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. If your address is not on the check please print out and enclose a membership form.

Either way, mail it to:

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

Or you can use Zelle to deposit directly to CalUWild’s account (non-deductible contributions only). Our identifier is info@caluwild.org.

 
 
 

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 membership information, click here.

Please “Like” and “Follow” CalUWild on Facebook.

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2020 November

December 1st, 2020


On Boulder Mountain, overlooking Capitol Reef National Park, Utah                                                  (Mike Painter)

 
November 30, 2020

Dear CalUWild friends—

I hope you had a nice and safe Thanksgiving, with a chance to reflect on the many things we have to be grateful for—among them our expansive wilderness areas and public lands here in the West and across the country. CalUWild is grateful for your support and interest in protecting these places.

We’re also grateful that on January 20, 2021 an administration will be installed that will be far more supportive of public lands and the environment in general than what we’ve faced the last four years. Fortunately, courts have often ruled against some of this administration’s worst decisions, and the incoming Biden Administration has said it will reverse many of the others.

Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris was a strong supporter of public lands here in California, so we hope that will continue in the new administration. So far, Gov. Gavin Newsom has not appointed her replacement.

The current administration did make one good decision last week, when the Army Corps of Engineers denied a final permit for the Pebble Mine in Alaska. Indigenous tribes and conservationists had long opposed the project, which threatened one of Alaska’s largest salmon fisheries, as did Donald Trump, Jr. and Tucker Carlson of Fox News. See the Washington Post article in ITEM 4 for details.

Here in California, the election resulted in one significant flip of a Congressional seat: Rep. TJ Cox (D-21) lost his race to David Valadao (R), who was his predecessor. Rep. Cox was a member of the Natural Resources Committee. Rep. Mike Garcia (R-25) retained the seat he had won in a special election to replace Rep. Katie Hill (D), who resigned.

Other districts had changes in representation:

— District 8, Jay Obernolte (R) took the seat of retiring Rep. Paul Cook (R).
— Disrict 39, Young Kim (R) took the seat of Gil Cisneros (D).
— District 48, Michelle Steel (R) took the seat of Harley Rouda (D).
— District 50, Darrell Issa (R) returned to Congress, replacing Duncan Hunter (R), who had resigned after being charged with campaign finance violations.
— District 53, Sara Jacobs (D) replaced Susan Davis (D), who retired.

California’s delegation in the upcoming 117th Congress will consist of 42 Democrats and eleven Republicans.

 
As we mentioned last month, November is the beginning of CalUWild’s Annual Membership Appeal. Dues have never been required to receive CalUWild’s Monthly Update, but we do rely on the support of our readers. Thank you to those who have contributed already! If you’ve made a contribution in recent years, please watch your mail. More information is at the bottom of this Update.

 
Many thanks,
Mike

 
IN CONGRESS
1.   30×30 Resolution Gains Cosponsors
          (ACTION ITEM)
2.   National Defense Authorization Act
          (ACTION ITEM)

ONLINE
3.   7th Annual Visions of the Wild Festival Continues

IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
4.   Links to Articles and Other Items of Interest

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

IN CONGRESS
1.    30×30 Resolution Gains Cosponsors
          (ACTION ITEM)

H.Res. 835, supporting the concept of protecting 30% of U.S. land and oceans by 2030, continues to attract attention. So far, 17 California representatives have signed on as cosponsors in the House. (Both California senators are cosponsors of the companion resolution in the Senate, S.Res. 372.)

A listing of cosponsors may be found on our online California Congressional Information Sheet. Please call your representative and ask them to sign on as a cosponsor or to thank them if they are a cosponsor already. Contact information may be found on the sheet as well.

The lead sponsors in both House and Senate, Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM) and retiring Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), are reportedly under consideration for Secretary of the Interior in the Biden Administration. The New York Times published an article, A Push Emerges for the First Native American Interior Secretary about Rep. Haaland.

Our friends at the Center for Western Priorities just released a compilation of all their 30×30 interactive “storymaps”, describing the projects as follows:

Each storymap explores a different approach to or angle of the 30×30 goal, from the role of national parks and wildlife refuges to wildlife corridors and the ways in which 30×30 can open up land access for sportsmen and women. Although a number of conservation approaches are featured, there are certainly many, many others.

The report highlights a number of conservation case studies and examples across America, celebrating successes while pulling out lessons for the future.

Contents include: National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, BLM National Conservation Lands, Tribal Land Management, State Parks, the DRECP, Private Land Conservation, Wildlife Corridors, Public Access for Sportsmen and Women, and Urban Conservation.

The Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution to include support for federal and state programs that would work toward achieving the 30×30 goal.

 
2.   National Defense Authorization Act
          (ACTION ITEM)

Every year Congress passes a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a law setting defense spending levels and programs. Often public lands bills are attached, since it’s considered must-pass legislation by the end of a congressional session. This year is no different, as we wrote in our July Update<https://www.caluwild.org/archives/5403>.

The House version of the NDAA contains bills that it has already passed separately:

— The Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act.
— The Central Coast Heritage Protection Act.
— The San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act.
— The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act.
— The Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
— The Colorado Wilderness Act.

The first four bills are for California, and together all six bills would protect more than 1.3 million acres of wilderness and designate more than 1,000 miles of Wild & Scenic Rivers, among other things.

The Senate’s NDAA does not contain these bills, so the difference must be negotiated in a conference committee. 17 California representatives are on the committee:

Jared Huffman (D-2)
John Garamendi (D-3)
Jackie Speier (D-14)
Ro Khanna (D-17)
Zoe Lofgren (D-19)
Jimmy Panetta (D-20)
Devin Nunes (R-22)
Salud Carbajal (D-24)
Mike Garcia (R-25)
Adam Schiff (D-28)
Brad Sherman (D-30)
Gil Cisneros (D-39)
Mark Takano (D-41)
Maxine Waters (D-43)
Harley Rouda (D-48)
Juan Vargas (D-51)
Susan Davis (D-53)

If your representative is on this list, please call them and request that the Protect America’s Wilderness Act (Division O) be included in the final version of the NDAA. Contact information may be found on our online California Congressional Information Sheet.

 
ONLINE
3.   7th Annual Visions of the Wild Festival Continues

Our exploration of the 38th Parallel continues with a discussion: Art & Nature: Dispatch from Tajikistan

Wednesday, December 16
7:00 p.m. (PST)

with Lolisanam Ulugova, independent curator/art manager from Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan

We will hear about Tajikistan’s rich history, its traditional decorative and applied arts, colorful embroidery and carpets, as well as a contemporary art scene and the problems artists encounter in the state-controlled environment.

The event is free, but you need to register in advance here. More information about the presentation and a link to a film may be found on the registration page.

Earlier presentations on travelling the 38th Parallel, a Global Plastic Art Challenge, the Silk Road, and daguerreotypist Solomon Carvalho are archived on the Visions of the Wild homepage. An upcoming event on land art is scheduled for January 20. Registration for it should be open soon.

 
IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
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 item in this section does not imply agreement with the viewpoint expressed.

The Administration

An article in the Washington Post: Senior Justice Dept. official stalled probe against former interior secretary Ryan Zinke, sources say

The administration is forcing local governments to approve sales under the Land & Water Conservation Fund, made by willing sellers: New Interior order undermines conservation bill Trump campaigned on, critics say, even though there is no such requirement in the law.

In Utah

A metal sculpture was discovered in redrock country and quickly disappeared. The New York Times published several articles: A Weird Monolith Is Found in the Utah Desert; Did John McCracken Make That Monolith in Utah?; and finally: That Mysterious Monolith in the Utah Desert? It’s Gone, Officials Say

In California

An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, by CalUWild friend Jacques Leslie, reporting on good news: A victory for salmon, two tribes and the Klamath River. An article on the topic was published in the San Francisco Chronicle: Klamath River dams closer to removal after Newsom, Oregon governor sign deal

In Alaska

As mentioned in the introduction: Good news in an article in the Washington Post: Army Corps says no to massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska. We’ve written on the Pebble Mine in past issues of the Update.

In Arizona

An article in The Guardian‘s “This Land Is Your Land” section: Revealed: Trump officials rush to mine desert haven native tribes consider holy

In Colorado

An article about the CORE Act, from Colorado Public Radio: Protections For 400,000 Acres Of Colorado Public Lands Are Closer To Becoming Law, But Roadblocks Remain

In the Northwest

An article in Audubon: An Indigenous Effort to Return Condors to the Pacific Northwest Nears Its Goal

Book Reviews

In National Parks Traveler: a reviewof Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness by David Gessner, author of All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West;

and a review of Wonders of Sand and Stone: A History of Utah’s National Parks and Monuments by Frederick Swanson.

 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated. 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. If your address is not on the check please print out and enclose a membership form. Suggested dues levels are:

$20 Limited
$30 Regular
$60 Supporting
$120 Outstanding
Other

Either way, mail it to:

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

 
 
 

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 membership information, click here.

Please “Like” and “Follow” CalUWild on Facebook.

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