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2018 November

November 28th, 2018


Light in Kolob Canyon                                                                                                                          (Patrick Dengate)

 
November 28, 2018

Dear CalUWild friends—

We hope you had a nice Thanksgiving holiday, remembering our good fortune to have such a wide variety and expanses of federal public lands, including Wilderness, here in the West.

CalUWild celebrates its 21st Anniversary this month. We are thankful for the support of all our members, some since the very beginning!

 
Was your INBOX filled with funding appeals yesterday for Giving Tuesday? We decided to hold off a day sending out this Update, so it wouldn’t get lost in the pile. Though dues are not required, we still need member contributions as well. We are in the process of sending out our annual member appeal over the next couple weeks, either by US Mail or email. Please contribute if you can.

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. Please print out and enclose a membership form if your address is not on the check. Either way, mail it to:

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

Thanks to everyone who has already sent in gifts; it saves on printing and postage.

 
As we’ve mentioned before, you can also support CalUWild by buying art! Patrick Dengate, whose painting appears above, is generously contributing 50% of the proceeds from paintings he sells to CalUWild. You can see some of the ones he’s offered here. Check out his website for more and to contact him.

Another CalUWild friend, Margie Lopez Read, contributes the proceeds from sales of her art to worthy organizations, and she’s including CalUWild on her list. For more information, visit her website.

 
Thanks again for all your interest and support. We’re looking forward to the years and challenges ahead!

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   Emery County Bill Update
          (ACTION ITEM)
2.    Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
          Management Planning Comments Due
          DEADLINE: Friday, Nov. 30
          (ACTION ITEM)
3.   Congressional Amicus Brief Filed
          In National Monuments Lawsuits
          Thank You Calls Needed
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
4.   Point Reyes National Seashore
          Ranch Management Planning
          Scoping Comments Due
          DEADLINE: Friday, Nov. 30
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN GENERAL
5.   Brief Election Summary
6.   Park Service Fee-Free Days Announced for 2019

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

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

IN UTAH
1.   Emery County Bill Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

We’ve written in detail previously (in our September Update and May Update) about H.R. 5727, Rep. Curtis’s (R-UT) “Not-So-Swell” bill for Emery County and its companion bill in the Senate, Sen. Hatch’s (R-UT) S. 2809.

With the election over, there is concern that the Utah delegation will try to get the bill passed in the lame duck session. The main objections to this bill are:

•   The bill protects only 1/3 of the lands eligible for wilderness designation, with important areas such as Muddy Creek, parts of Labyrinth Canyon, and the San Rafael Badlands left out.

•   It conveys management authority over federal land to the State of Utah for recreational uses around Goblin Valley, including the popular Crack and Chute canyons.

•   The House version contains a land exchange provision in the Ute Reservation that the Ute Tribe itself opposes.

So it’s important, once again, to let your representatives know that it’s a controversial bill and should not be passed in its present form. And unfortunately, Rep. Curtis has shown little interest in incorporating changes suggested by the conservation community. He has frozen us out just about every step of the way.

Contact information for the House may be found by following the links here and for the Senate, here.

When you call, please include the Thank You discussed in Item 3 if your representative is on the list there.

 
2.   Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
          Management Planning Comments Due
          DEADLINE: Friday, Nov. 30
          (ACTION ITEM)

The comment period for the shrunken Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument ends this Friday,   November 30. Please submit your comments! They are especially pertinent if you have visited either area or hope to some day.

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

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

To comment online, it’s best to create a text file first and then PASTE it into the comment box here. Follow the process through the next three pages, filling in the information in the required boxes with red asterisks.

Comments may also be submitted by U.S. Mail to:

U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Attn: Matt Betenson
669 S Hwy. 89A
Kanab, UT   84741

 
3.   Congressional Amicus Brief Filed
          In National Monuments Lawsuits
          Thank You Calls Needed
          (ACTION ITEM)

There’s not much we can do to support the litigation over the reductions in the Utah national monuments, but this month 118 Representatives and Senators took the unusual step of signing their names to amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs, circulated by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM).

The briefs were in support of the Plaintiffs’ main legal argument—one with which most legal scholars seem to agree: Only Congress has the authority to reduce national monuments. The language of the Antiquities Act itself only grants the president authority to designate monuments, not reduce them. Additionally, the Federal Lands Policy Management Act specifically says that the power is reserved to Congress.

Given the Constitution’s grant of authority to Congress to “make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory … belonging to the United States,” these cases have a strong separation of powers component. It is important that Congress is standing up for its rightful authority, especially when the Executive Branch attempts to usurp any of it.

The following Representatives from California signed on:

Jared Huffman (D-2)
John Garamendi (D-3)
Mike Thompson (D-5)
Jerry McNerney (D-9)
Mark DeSaulnier (D-11)
Nancy Pelosi (D-12)
Barbara Lee (D-13)
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-14)
Anna Eshoo (D-18)
Zoe Lofgren (D-19)
Jimmy Panetta (D-20)
Salud Carbajal (D-24)
Judy Chu (D-27)
Ted Lieu (D-33)
Grace Napolitano (D-32)
Jimmy Gomez (D-34)
Raul Ruiz (D-36)
Karen Bass (D-37)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-40)
Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-44)
Alan Lowenthal (D-47)
Susan Davis (D-53)

If you live in one of their districts, please contact their offices to say Thank You!

Both Senators Dianne Feinstein (D) and Kamala Harris (D) signed on, as well and deserve a Thank You, too.

Contact information for the House may be found by following the links here and for the Senate, here.

A full list of signers may be found at the end of Sen. Udall’s press release, which also contains further details about the briefs, including links to their full texts.

Though not directly related to the litigation, National Parks Traveler ran an editorial: Bears Ears And Grand Staircase-Escalante Are Today’s Hetch Hetchy.

 
IN CALIFORNIA
4.   Point Reyes National Seashore
          Ranch Management Planning
          Scoping Comments Due
          DEADLINE: Friday, Nov. 30
          (ACTION ITEM)

This month, Point Reyes National Seashore announced a 30-day scoping period on an amendment to its General Management Plan, covering ranch and Tule Elk management.

The timing is very short on this, and we have not been able to develop a comprehensive set of talking points, so this item may only be relevant to people who already have some knowledge of the issues involved. We discussed some of this in our August-September Update. There will be an opportunity to comment on the Draft Plan when it’s released, and we will try to have more specific suggestions then.

Dairy and beef cattle ranching has a long history at Pt. Reyes, dating back to the 1800s. When the Seashore was established in the 1960s, there was opposition from the ranching families, but in the end they agreed to a buyout-leaseback arrangement with the National Park Service. It was never the intent that ranching would continue indefinitely, though some people are claiming that now. In fact, there is no mention of ranching as being a purpose for the establishment of the Seashore in its enabling legislation:

In order to save and preserve, for purposes of public recreation, benefit, and inspiration, a portion of the diminishing seashore of the United States that remains undeveloped, the Secretary of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as the “Secretary”) is authorized to take appropriate action in the public interest toward the establishment of the national seashore.

Legislation was later passed giving the ranchers leases for 25 years or for the life of the rancher, whichever was longer. Rep. Jared Huffman’s (D-2) bill,   H.R. 6687, which we discussed in our August-September Update, is attempting to codify the revised intent.

In the 1970s, Tule Elk were released into areas of the Seashore, and there are now conflicts with the cattle operations. So the management plan will be addressing this as well.

The Park Service has released a proposal for scoping that includes six different alternatives (one of which is   “No Action,” meaning things would stay as they are). You can read about them here. The Park Service describes them as ranging from

twenty-year agricultural lease/permits with diversification and increased operational flexibility, to reduced ranching, no dairy ranching, and no ranching alternatives. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will also include a range of alternatives for the management of tule elk in the planning area, from elimination to active management to expansion of the Drakes Beach herd.

A couple of suggestions for comments:

•   Regarding Alternative B, “Continued Ranching and Management of the Drakes Beach Tule Elk Herd (NPS Proposed Action):” No expansion of commercial activities should be allowed. Ranchers have proposed having overnight stays, growing different kinds of crops and introducing other types of animals to their farms. These should not be allowed in the name of “ranch operational flexibility and diversification.”

•   Alternative C, “Continued Ranching and Removal of the Drakes Beach Tule Elk Herd,” should not be considered at all. It’s antithetical to the purpose of a national park.

Comments may be submitted online at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/poregmpa   or by mailing or hand delivering comments to:

GMP Amendment c/o Superintendent
Point Reyes National Seashore
1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

For more information, please see the GMP Amendment Frequently Asked Questions, the GMP Amendment website, or Point Reyes National Seashore’s website: www.nps.gov/pore.

More general information may be found at https://restoreptreyesseashore.org.

 
IN GENERAL
5.   Brief Election Summary

After this month’s election, we have hope that the next Congress will be friendlier to land protection and oversight of the administration. It’s likely that Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) will be chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. He’s a stalwart defender of America’s public lands and will be a welcome change from Utah’s Rep. Rob Bishop (R). (The Salt Lake Tribune ran an article on Mr. Bishop’s new status.)

In other welcome news, there is now a Diné (Navajo) majority on the San Juan County Commission, home to the Bears Ears National Monument. This was due to a court redrawing districts in the county. Diné are a slight majority of residents in the county and now hold two of the three seats on the Commission

Finally, in California, long-time senator Dianne Feinstein (D) was re-elected. She’s been a champion of the Mojave Desert (among other places) for many years. In the House, it looks like 45 of California’s 53 seats will be held by Democrats, who have been far more supportive of public lands protection than the GOP in recent years. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-12, San Francisco) will likely be the next Speaker of the House, and Kevin McCarthy (R-23, Bakersfield) will be House Minority Leader—so two Californians in the highest positions.

As we’ve said before, though, CalUWild is not a partisan organization. Party affiliations are included for identification purposes only. However, we do regret that land conservation has become such a highly partisan issue in Congress.

Here are links to some articles discussing the elections, Native American representation, and public lands:

In The Guardian: ‘They’re playing dirty’: Can Navajos win power after racial exclusion?

In High Country News: In southern Utah, Navajo voters rise to be heard

An article in Outside: In New Mexico, Public Lands Turned an Election Blue

 
6.   Park Service Fee-Free Days Announced for 2019

The Park Service announced that there will be five days in 2019 when entrance fees to all sites in the system will be waived. They are:

Monday, January 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Saturday, April 20 – First Day of National Park Week/
National Junior Ranger Day
Sunday, August 25 – National Park Service Anniversary
Saturday, September 28 – National Public Lands Day
Monday, November 11 – Veterans Day

The annual $80 America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass allows unlimited entrance to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas, including all national parks. There are also free or discounted passes available for senior citizens, current members of the U.S. military, families of fourth grade students, and disabled citizens.

 
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 Interior Department & Secty. Zinke

An   article in The Guardian: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of big business, with an op-ed the same day by Joel Clements, the scientist who resigned in protest, rather than be transferred to a position he was unqualified for: Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

From the Washington Post: Newly released emails suggest Zinke contradicted ethics pledge

A letter to the editor in the Washington Post from the Managing Director of the Vet Voice Foundation. Vet Voice has a been a strong supporter of the national monuments campaigns and public lands in general. It’s good to have them on our side! Zinke doesn’t represent the values of military veterans

The Washington Post reports: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke remains defiant amid ethics probes

An article/interview in the Washington Post about David Bernhardt, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, considered the likely secretary should Ryan Zinke leave at some point: ‘The man behind the curtain’: Interior’s No. 2 helps drive Trump’s agenda

An article in the New York Times: Energy Speculators Jump on Chance to Lease Public Land at Bargain Rates

Public Lands in General

An article in the New York Times: Scientists Warn That World’s Wilderness Areas Are Disappearing

An in-depth report by The Guardian: Crisis in our national parks: how tourists are loving nature to death. The statistics on the number of visitors are astounding.

An article in the New York Times: ‘Entering Burn Area’: Yosemite After the Fire

An article in the Sacramento Bee about SB 50, one of the laws passed to protect public lands in California from sales by the federal government: Trump scores victory over California in latest court battle over land

 
 
 
 
 
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 information on making a contribution to CalUWild, click here.

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

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2018 October

October 31st, 2018


Grandstaff Canyon, Utah                                                                                                                                        (Mike Painter)

 
October 31, 2018

Dear CalUWild friends—

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks in advance!

 
Best wishes,
Mike

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
2.   Emery County Bill Update
          URGENT
          (ACTION ITEM)

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

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

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

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

Contact information for California’s senators:

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

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

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

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

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

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

From our friends at Cal-IPC:

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

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

Full program online
Register

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

 
IN GENERAL
4.   Great Old Broads Annual Auction
          Through November 11

From our friends at Great Old Broads for Wilderness:

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

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

Start surfing now at auction.greatoldbroads.org.

 
5.   Job Listings
   a.   Western Environmental Law Center

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

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

Full listing here.

 
   b.   Southwest Environmental Center

Our friends at SWEC sent this out last week:

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

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

If a link is broken or otherwise inaccessible, please send me an email, and I’ll fix it or send you a PDF copy. As always, inclusion of an item in this section does not imply agreement with the viewpoint expressed.

The Department of the Interior & Secty. Zinke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public lands in general

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outreach

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

 
 
 
 
 
 
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 information on making a contribution to CalUWild, click here.

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

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2018 September

October 2nd, 2018

Aspens near Capitol Reef National Park, Utah                                                                                                    (Mike Painter)

 
September 29, 2018

Dear CalUWild friends—

It’s been an exhausting week, with the confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court taking center stage. The last couple of weeks have focused on his conduct against women, but earlier in the month the committee asked questions about his environmental record. He gave misleading answers then, too. For example, he claimed that he ruled in favor of environmentalists in many cases. In fact when he did, it was very often only on procedural issues while ruling against on substantive issues. You can read more in this blog post from our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council. For many reasons, then, he doesn’t deserve to be confirmed.

Remember: When it all gets to be too much, go out for a hike.

 
Many thanks to our members who have supported CalUWild over the last few months by buying a painting by our friend Patrick Dengate. He’s generously contributing 50% of the selling price to CalUWild. Some of his paintings can be seen here, and there are more on his website.

 
Finally, an administrative note: We had an involuntary migration of the CalUWild website over to a new host recently, and there were a couple of minor glitches. If you come across any broken links, please send me an email, and I will fix them right away.

 
Thanks for your interest and support!
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   Emery County Bill Update
          (ACTION ITEM)
2.   National Monuments Update
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINES: November 15 & 30
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
3.   Rep. Huffman’s Pt. Reyes Ranching Bill Passes House
4.   Vote NO on Prop. 3,
          The Water Bond on November’s Ballot
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN GENERAL
5.   Land & Water Conservation Fund Due to Expire
          (ACTION ITEM)
6.   Job Listing: National Parks Conservation Association
          Communications Manager

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

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

IN UTAH
1.   Emery County Bill Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

The bill for Emery County, which we reported on in our May Update had a markup hearing this week in Congress. The following comes from our friends at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

 
There were a few fireworks during the House Committee on Natural Resources markup of H.R. 5727, Rep. Curtis’s (UT-3) “Not-So-Swell” bill for Emery County.

Rep. Grijalva (AZ-3), the committee’s ranking member, issued a strong opening statement, acknowledging the work Rep. Curtis has put into this legislation, but highlighting all the many things still wrong with the bill. He specifically called for more protections for Labyrinth Canyon, Muddy Creek, and the San Rafael Badlands, and for resolution to the Ute Tribe’s concerns about the land exchange the bill facilitates.

At the outset, Rep. Curtis offered an amendment in the nature of a substitution (ANS), which serves to change the underlying bill being debated. The amendment fixed the travel plan we’d long had concerns about, but also made some things worse. For example, it downgraded the National Conservation Area in the San Rafael Swell to a National Recreation Area, which would put conservation on the backburner in the eyes of the BLM.

Some of Rep. Curtis’s fiercest critics came from his own side of the dais. Rep. Gosar (AZ-4) offered a string of amendments that would actually make this bill even worse, removing a mineral withdrawal and removing Wild and Scenic river protections. His amendments were all defeated squarely, but not before he offered at least one argument we agree with: that the lands in question are federal lands, and all Americans should have a say in their management. We couldn’t agree more, Rep. Gosar.

That’s why our champion in the House, Rep. Lowenthal (CA-47) offered a stirring defense of the special places that have been left out of the bill, and offered an amendment to add additional Wilderness protections for Labyrinth Canyon and Muddy Creek, and a National Conservation Area for the San Rafael Badlands. Rep. Curtis had complained earlier that nobody gets to have a “winner take all” bill, but the truth is, even if Lowenthal’s amendment was adopted, the bill would only protect half of what’s in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act. Unfortunately, the amendment did not pass.

Rep. Hanabusa (HI-2) offered an amendment that would ease the Ute Tribe’s concerns by defining Indian land as any land within an Indian reservation. This amendment was defeated on a party line vote, 21-17.

The bill ultimately passed out of committee, but not before the mark-up showed why no conservation organizations support this legislation. It’s a step backward for conservation, and Rep. Curtis doesn’t seem to want to fix that. He is still only catering to the desires of Emery County—in fact, he went as far as to say he would turn the land over to the county if he could: “If they had stewardship—believe me, I would love to wave a wand and give them the land, but this is the next best thing to it — to ask what they would do with the federal land in their area.”

But these are all American’s public lands. Keep emailing your members of Congress and asking them to oppose this legislation as it continues to move throughout both chambers.

 
Please call your representatives and ask them to oppose H.R. 5727 and your senators to oppose S. 2809, Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) companion Senate bill. Contact information for the House may be found by following the links here and for the Senate, here.

 
2.   National Monuments Update
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINES: November 15 & 30
          (ACTION ITEM)

The comment periods for the shrunken Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments are still open. It’s important that interested citizens submit their thoughts, especially if you have visited the areas or hope to some day.

Please see Item 1 in the last Update for detailed talking points and the links and addresses for commenting on the plans.

BLM has announced open houses in Utah for the planning processes.

Bears Ears NM

Tuesday, October 2
San Juan High School
311 N 100 E
Blanding
5 to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, October 3
Bluff Community Center
190 N 3rd St E
Bluff
5 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, October 4
White Horse High School
State Highway 262
Montezuma Creek
5 to 8 p.m.

Grand Staircase-Escalante NM

Monday, October 15
Escalante High School
70 N 1 W
Escalante
4 to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 16
Kanab Elementary School
41 W 100 N
Kanab
4 to 7 p.m.

In other news regarding the lawsuits filed against the administration’s shrinking of the monuments, Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled against the administration’s request for a change of venue from Washington, DC to Utah. Among the factors influencing her decision was that the “abundantly clear” and “substantial” national interest in the case outweighs the local interest.

Judge Chutkan also ordered the government to notify the plaintiffs if any proposals for hard-rock mining or other surface-disturbing projects are proposed within the original monuments.

This is good news for us. We’ll keep you posted on further developments.

The New Yorker published an article on the one of the Grand Staircase-Escalante lawsuits: Why Two Chefs in Small-Town Utah Decided to Sue President Trump.

 
IN CALIFORNIA
3.   Rep. Huffman’s Pt. Reyes Ranching Bill Passes House

In Item 4 of the last Update we reported that Rep. Jared Huffman (D-2) had introduced a bill directing the Secretary of the Interior to issue 20-year leases to ranchers at Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County. After some minor amendments, the bill passed the House last week.

It remains to be seen how the bill, if signed into law, will affect the Park Service’s ongoing general management plan updating process at the seashore. One of the alternatives mandated by the previous court settlement is a “no ranching” alternative. This legislation would seem on its face to prevent such an alternative from being considered. Rep. Huffman denies it will interfere with the planning process.

Although the bill appeared suddenly, it seems something has been in the works for a while. Here’s an article from earlier in the year in the East Bay Express with some background information that might shed some light on the issue: Point Reyes Ranchers Create Lobbying Group to Weaken Protections for Public Lands. Note the quote in the article: “‘We just want to change the founding legislation of the [Point Reyes National Seashore] so that ranchers are guaranteed they’ll always be able to farm out there. [emphasis added]’”

Legislation for the Seashore passed 40 years ago this Fall gave leasebacks to ranchers of 25 years or for the life of the rancher or spouse, whichever was longer. Restrictions were also placed on transfers of leases outside of ranchers’ families. It’s clear that ranching was never intended to continue at Pt. Reyes “always.”

Congress should not manage our public lands at that level of detail. That is why our agencies hire land managers. The bill also sets a bad precedent for Congressional representatives to introduce similar laws for their districts.

Unfortunately, the misleading language in Rep. Huffman’s original bill, concerning the directive to “the Secretary of the Interior to manage the Point Reyes National Seashore … consistent with Congress’ longstanding intent to maintain working dairies and ranches on agricultural property,” is already being used as an example to support viewpoints opposing future restrictions on public lands grazing elsewhere. This letter to the editorabout the Emery County, Utah bill discussed in Item 1 appeared earlier this month.

 
The Marin Independent Journal published two op-eds, one opposing the legislation, Huffman wrong to protect Point Reyes cattle ranchers, and one in support of it, Huffman is doing what a political leader should do.

 
4.   Vote NO on Prop. 3,
          The Water Bond on November’s Ballot
          (ACTION ITEM)

With early voting set to start before publication of our next Update, we’re joining the Sierra Club in coming out against Proposition 3 on the November ballot.

This statement from the Sierra Club, Proposition 3: A Fiscally Irresponsible Approach to California’s Water Problems, lists the reasons for voting against it. Some of them include:

• It was written and is being funded by groups that would receive bond money if it’s passed.

• Taxpayers would be paying for repairs to projects that are normally paid for by the recipients of the water.

• It could provide funding for raising dams and other environmentally harmful projects.

The San Francisco Chronicle published an editorial supporting the Club’s position and also pointing out that a similar proposal was defeated in 2002.

 
ALSO: Please make sure your voter registration is current. You can check it out at Vote.org, regardless of which state you live in. If you’re not registered for some reason, you can do it there, too. The deadline for registering in California is Monday, October 22, 15 days before the election.

 
IN GENERAL
5.   Land & Water Conservation Fund Due to Expire
          (ACTION ITEM)

The Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) will expire tomorrow, September 30, for the first time in its history. But all is not lost. The following (slightly edited) comes from Vicky Hoover, LWCF campaign director at the Sierra Club (and CalUWild co-founder):

 
In a surprise move earlier this month, the House Natural Resources Committee actually marked-up and voted on the bill to permanently reauthorize the Land & Water Conservation Fund, H.R. 502—-after its champion, Mr. Grijalva made a relatively minor compromise to overcome the chairman’s long-time hostility—and it was passed by the Committee!

This opens up the door to a full House vote.

Please thank the six Democrats from California who are on the Committee—and who vigorously defended the LWCF and fought off a few damaging amendments that were proposed by Rep. Gosar (R) of Arizona.

Jared Huffman (D-2): 202-225-5161
Jim Costa (D-16): 202-225-3341
Grace Napolitano (D-32): 202-225-5256
Jimmy Gomez (D-34): 202-225-6235
Alan Lowenthal (D-47): 202-225-7924
Nannette Barragán (D-44): 202-225-8220

The markup should really make it easier for more Republicans to cosponsor. And so far we still have only one from California — Steve Knight.

It STILL would be valuable and useful to get Walters, Royce, Issa and Duncan Hunter on as cosponsors of H.R. 502. The more cosponsors, the more effective political support. Please call the following

Ed Royce (R-39): 202-225-4111
Mimi Walters (R-45): 202-225-5611
Darrell Issa (R-49): 202-225-3906
Duncan Hunter (R-50): 202-225-5672

The more cosponsors, the more ammunition against damaging amendments, and against efforts to “rob” the LWCF to pay for parks maintenance—the final bill MUST leave dedicated funds for the LWCF alone and not waylay them into other programs—even if another new use for such funds—such as a new fund to address the maintenance backlog in our national park system—is a good use. It MUST be additive and totally separate from the LWCF.

 
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced that she would hold hearings next week to consider legislation to reauthorize the LWCF and a bill to fund maintenance in the national parks, too.

 
6.   Job Listing: National Parks Conservation Association
          Communications Manager

The position will be based in NPCA’s Oakland, CA office and will lead development and implementation of a national communications campaign related to oil and gas/harmful energy development near national parks. The manager will also lead communications strategy and outreach for the Southwest and Northwest regions.

For full details, click here.

 
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.

An article from the Center for Investigative Reporting: National park officials were told climate change was ‘sensitive.’ So they removed it from a key planning report

In The New Republic What the Public Lands Are Truly Worth: A new book argues that America’s forests and streams provide far more value than they cost to support. A review of In Defense of Public Lands: The Case against Privatization and Transfer

An article in The New Yorker: The Grand Canyon Needs to Be Saved By Every Generation

From the Taos News: Rio Grande Trail: Putting a 500-mile path on the ground

And in the New York Times: The Rio Grande Is Dying. Does Anyone Care?

 
 
 
 
 
 

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 information on making a contribution to CalUWild, click here.

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

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2018 August – September

September 10th, 2018


Canyon Blue Ribbon                                                                                                                                 (Patrick Dengate)

 
September 7, 2018

Dear CalUWild friends—

This Update is going out later than usual for several reasons: We were waiting for talking points to emerge regarding the monument planning processes (Item 1); New legislation was introduced late last week regarding Pt. Reyes National Seashore (Item 4); And finally, many people were on vacation in late August, and we didn’t want things to get lost in the email pileup.

And as you’ll see, relevant issues with deadlines keep coming in (Item 8). There’s a lot going on requiring attention, but don’t feel like you have to do all of them or all at once. Spread your actions out.

 
A reminder: September 22 will be the 25th annual celebration of National Public Lands Day. Standard entrance fees will be waived at all federal sites, though “enhanced” fees will still be charged in some places (e.g.,Cedar Mesa in the former Bears Ears, for day hiking). Many people celebrate by taking part in service activities on public lands. For an event near you, click hereand enter your zip code. At the moment, there are 748 listed nationwide. The California Coastal Cleanup will take place Saturday, September 15. To find an activity near you, click here.

 
There are still a number of Patrick Dengate’s paintings (above) available for purchase. Patrick has generously offered to contribute 50% of the purchase price of each to CalUWild. You may see some of his paintings here, and more are shown on his website. Contact Patrick via his website for more information.

And as we have also mentioned, another CalUWild friend, Margie Lopez Read, is also a painter and contributes the proceeds from sales of her art to worthy organizations, and she’s including CalUWild on her list. For more information, visit her website.

This is a great way to support CalUWild, the artists, and have some nice art to hang on your wall!

 
Fall is a great time to get away to enjoy our public lands in the West (though crowds seem to a constant nowadays). Get out if you can, if only for a weekend.

 
Thanks for your support as always,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   Draft Management Plans Released
          For Shrunken Bears Ears and
          Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments
          Comments Due November 15 & 30
          (ACTION ITEM)
2.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
3.   Two Bills Affecting Rivers Pass the Legislature
          Calls Needed to Gov. Brown
          DEADLINE: September 30
          (ACTION ITEM)
4.   Rep. Jared Huffman Introduces Bill
          To Support Pt. Reyes Seashore Dairies
5.   Wine Country Nature & Optics Festival
          Saturday, September 8,
          Sonoma Plaza
6.   Visions of the Wild / Wild & Scenic Film Festival
          September 20 – 23
          Downtown Vallejo

IN GENERAL
7.   Last Push for Land & Water Conservation Fund
          Reauthorization in Congress
          (ACTION ITEM)
8.   Mountain Bikes in Wilderness Survey
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
9.   Links to Articles of Interest

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

IN UTAH
1.   Draft Management Plans Released
          For Shrunken Bears Ears and
          Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments
          Comments Due November 15 & 30

Last month the Bureau of Land Management released Draft Management Plans for the new Bears Ears National Monument and the three units that were originally part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM), as well as those lands that were removed from GSENM.

The GSENM plan immediately drew widespread criticism because it included an alternative that would have sold off 1,600 acres near Kanab, adjoining property owned by Utah State Senator Mike Noel (R). Sen. Noel is one of the most vociferous opponents of federal public lands in Utah. The proposal flew directly in the face of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s many previous promises not to sell any federal land. After significant public outcry, the Interior Department said the proposal was made without the Secretary’s knowledge, that he opposed it, and it was removed. At the same time, BLM extended the comment period for GSENM by 15 days, hence the different deadlines for the two plans.

To no one’s real surprise, the draft plans offer less protection for the lands than before. Despite the fact that the new boundaries are still being contested in court (there is no progress to report there) it is critical that BLM hear from concerned citizens across the country.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance has prepared suggested comments, from which the talking points below are adapted. As more information comes in from other organizations, we will include them in future Updatesover the next two months if they add any significant new issues.

Pick and choose from those that are most meaningful to you. There’s no need for every person to cover every one. Write using your own words—comments with the same wording are easily distinguishable and are more readily discounted by the BLM. For the Bears Ears, though, it is critical that everyone stress the absolute need for full tribal participation in the management of the monument, as was envisioned by the original proclamation.

If you have visited the areas (or hope to) and have experiences that are relevant, mention them. Mention the need for future generations (your children, grandchildren, nieces & nephews, students, whoever) to have access to protected landscapes. Write as an individual citizen and not as a member of CalUWild or any other organization. We will be submitting comments on our own.

 
Bears Ears National Monument

• In developing a management plan for the Indian Creek and Shash Jaa’ units of Bears Ears National Monument, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) must prioritize consultation with the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Indian Tribe, who petitioned for the protection of the Bears Ears landscape. The BLM and the USFS must provide the interested Tribes with a meaningful voice in the co-management of the area.

• Proclamation 9681 is currently the subject of ongoing legal challenges. Because the BLM and USFS are only planning for 15% of the original Bears Ears boundaries in the current process, the most protective management possible for the area must be applied. All management decisions considered under the current process must prioritize the protection of the resources the Monument was designated to protect.

• Under BLM and USFS’s current plan, cultural resources are left at risk. BLM’s idea to develop cultural resource monitoring and management strategies two years down the road is not sufficient. BLM must proactively consult with interested Tribes to develop solutions to protect these resources before it is too late, by committing to develop an interim approach that can be implemented as soon as the management plan is completed. The agencies must also work with the Tribes to develop a broader plan and ensure the process is meaningful and inclusive of Tribal interests, not just condensed into the Trump administration’s arbitrary one-year timeline. The BLM should stop prioritizing speed and begin prioritizing Tribal involvement.

In completing a final plan, BLM should ensure it focuses on the following:

• BLM should manage for the protection of the entire Bears Ears landscape for cultural and paleontological resources–including ongoing inventory and management.

• The agency, in co-management with the interested Tribes, should maintain the option to close or reroute social trails when cultural resources are threatened, instead of relying primarily on educational principles for the public.

• BLM should manage identified lands with wilderness characteristics for wilderness values, as this provides protection for cultural resources, paleontological resources, and other irreplaceable Monument objects.

• BLM and USFS should consider one alternative that extends management for the entire Bears Ears National Monument boundaries, as outlined in President Obama’s 2016 proclamation. 85% of the original Bears Ears boundaries cannot be left out in the cold through this planning process while the legality of Trump’s Proclamation is being challenged in court.

Comments may be submitted by email to:

blm_ut_monticello_monuments [at] blm [dot] gov

or by U.S. Mail to:

BLM, Canyon Country District Office
Attn: Lance Porter
82 East Dogwood
Moab, Utah  84532

Comments are due November 15.

 
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

• In developing management plans for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (including the Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits, and Escalante Canyon Units) and the Kanab-Escalante Planning Area (KEPA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must prioritize protection of Monument objects, including where these same resources are now located outside of the invalidly reduced Monument boundaries.

• Proclamation 9682 is the subject of ongoing legal challenges. BLM should continue to manage for the entire 1.9 million acre area under the existing 1999 Monument Management Plan. Therefore, choose the No Action Alternative in its current planning process. To do otherwise is a waste of taxpayer dollars and risks the resources that the BLM continues to acknowledge deserve protection.

• GSENM was designated as a National Monument in 1996 to protect the incredible scientific, ecological, and paleontological resources within its 1.9 million acres. The Monument’s unique resources are inspiring, and its amazing geological and paleontological wonders deserve protection to ensure scientific and recreation opportunities for people who come from near and far.

While preparing the current management plans, BLM should prioritize the following:

• BLM should not open any lands to oil and gas development, coal and other mining, energy infrastructure, and widespread off-road vehicle use. These cause irreversible damage to the landscape. Designating the Little Desert area as an open off-road vehicle “play” area is unacceptable and should not be permitted.

• BLM should manage lands with wilderness characteristics to protect wilderness values, as this provides protection for paleontological resources, scenic vistas, and other irreplaceable Monument objects.

• All motorized travel routes within the planning area that were closed or limited under the 1999 Monument management plan must continue to be managed pursuant to that plan, and BLM should take the opportunity to close routes that are harming Monument objects. Widespread off-road vehicle use should not be allowed, and no additional routes should be designated in the planning area.

• Although the original proposal was removed, the sale or disposal of monument lands must not be considered again.

• To protect Monument objects and the wilderness, scenic, cultural, and ecological values of lands within the planning area, BLM should prohibit mechanical treatments of sagebrush, pinyon and juniper, and other vegetation, nor should BLM should use nonnative species for restoration seeding.

• The entire planning area is one of the most scenically-pristine areas in the United States, including for nighttime dark skies. BLM should not downgrade the scenic classifications (VRM) for lands within the planning area.

• BLM may take the opportunity to consider new proposals consistent with protecting Monument objects, such as designation of new areas of critical conservation concern, adopting a sustainable approach to grazing, or developing adaptive approaches to climate change.

• BLM should keep the Monument and KEPA closed to casual collection of fossils. As BLM admits, an open approach damages fossils and risks irreversible destruction to both known and yet to be discovered resources.

 
To comment online, it’s best to create a text file first and then PASTE it into the comment box here. Follow the easy process through the next three pages, filling in the information in the required boxes with red asterisks.

Comments may also be submitted by U.S. Mail to:

U.S. Bureau of Land Management
Attn: Matt Betenson
669 S Hwy. 89A
Kanab, UT  84741

Comments are due November 30.

 
Issues surrounding the Utah monuments continue to be reported in the press. Here is a sampling:

An article in The Conversation: Why Native Americans struggle to protect their sacred place

An article in E&E (Energy & Environment) News: Zinke ignores critics, creates Bears Ears advisory panel

An editorial in the Washington Post: Our national monuments deserve better. This was followed by a letter to the editorin response to the editorial’s suggestion “that the president has ‘wide discretion’ to undermine monuments.” One of the authors of the letter, Mark Squillace, was also co-author of a Virginia Law Reviewarticle clearly setting out the argument that the president lacks the authority to modify monuments downward. You may read that here.

 
2.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

Rep. Judy Chu (D-27) is the latest California representative to sign on as a cosponsor to America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, H.R. 2044. If you live in her district, please say “Thank you.”

Washington, DC Office:   202-225-5464
Other contact info here

The following representatives from California were cosponsors in the last Congress, but have not signed on this time around:

Tony Cárdenas (D-29)
Mark Takano (D-41)

If one of them is your representative, please ask him to become a cosponsor again.

A simple phone call will do, or send a note via an online comment form on the representative’s website. Complete contact information for representatives may be found by following the links here.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D) has not yet signed on as a cosponsor. Here is contact information for her:

Washington, DC Office:   202-224-3553
Online here

A full list of cosponsors nationwide may be found here.

 
IN CALIFORNIA
3.   Two Bills Affecting Rivers Pass the Legislature
          Calls Needed to Legislators and to Gov. Brown
          DEADLINE: September 30
          (ACTION ITEM)

Here is some good news, appropriate for the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the federal Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.

The California Legislature has passed several pieces of “safety net” legislation to counter the effects of possible rollbacks by the administration in Washington that would affect the state. The first was granting the state the “right of first refusal” on any lands that the federal government might put up for sale. Last month, the Legislature passed a bill that would allow the state to administratively (i.e., without a further vote by the Legislature) include any river that might be deprived of its federal Wild & Scenic designation in the state Wild & Scenic program. Governor Brown signed the bill into law.

Please say thank youto Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) for introducing AB 2975 and Gov. Brown for signing it. Assemblywoman Friedman may be reached at:

Sacramento office:   916-319-2043
Burbank office:   818-558-3043

You may contact Gov. Brown at:

Phone:   916-445-2841
By webform here
By email:   governor [at] governor [dot] ca [dot] gov
By U.S. Mail:

Governor Edmund G. Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

When you contact Gov. Brown’s office, please also urge him to signSB 1029 by Sen. Mike McGuire (D-North Bay / North Coast): The North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) Closure and Transition to Trails Act. The bill ends NCRA’s control over a rail line that runs partially along the Eel River, a designated Wild & Scenic River. It would convert the unused railway grade into a hiking trail, the Great Redwood Trail.

The San Francisco Chroniclerecently published an article on the proposal, with full details: Dying North Coast railroad could become world-class hiking trail.

Please call Sen. McGuire’s office to say “Thank you.”

Sacramento office:   916-651-4002
Other offices listed here.

 
4.   Rep. Jared Huffman Introduces Bill
          To Support Pt. Reyes Seashore Dairies

Last week, California Rep. Jared Huffman (D-2) introduced H.R. 6687, a bill with the purpose of “direct[ing] the Secretary of the Interior to manage the Point Reyes National Seashore … consistent with Congress’ longstanding intent to maintain working dairies and ranches on agricultural property as part of the seashore’s unique historic, cultural, scenic and natural values, and for other purposes.”

The bill is already provoking controversy because it comes in the middle of the general management plan update process for the seashore. The bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to complete the management plan without delay and “[c]onsistent with the purposes of [the] Act” to “issue leases and special use permits of 20 years for working dairies and ranches on agricultural property.’’ It further specifies that the Park Service shall “ensure separation [of Tule Elk] from the working ranches or dairies” by working with Indian Tribes to relocate, allow Tribal hunting, or other “suitable and feasible” means.

Three organizations—the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, and the Resource Renewal Institute—had sued and settled with the Park Service, resulting in the new update planning. They claim that the bill is an attempt to predetermine the outcome to preserve ranching for the next 20 years and that it works against the re-establishment of Tule Elk, a native species across their former range.

Rep. Huffman’s office has said this is not the case.

(Full disclosure: Resource Renewal Institute is CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor, handling our tax-deductible contributions and grants. However, CalUWild is otherwise completely separate organizationally and was not involved in the lawsuit.)

You may read further reporting in this article in the Marin Independent Journal.

So far, the bill has one cosponsor, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, of which Rep. Huffman is a member.

 
5.   Wine Country Nature & Optics Festival
          Saturday, September 8
          Sonoma Plaza Barracks

Our friends at Sonoma Birding are hosting the 8th Annual Wine Country Optics & Nature Festival, Saturday, September 8, at the Sonoma Plaza Barracks in Downtown Sonoma. Ten optics companies (such as Nikon, Celestron, Zeiss, and others) and 50 nonprofit organizations will have information tables, and various artists will be exhibiting, too. California State Parks is co-hosting the festival.

There’s a lot of history in Sonoma, and it’s a nice day trip from many places in Northern California.

CalUWild will be there. Please stop by!

 
6.   Visions of the Wild / Wild & Scenic Film Festival
          September 20 – 23
          Downtown Vallejo

The 5th Annual Visions of the Wild Festival: Wild & Scenic Trails and Rivers takes place starting Thursday, September 20 and running through Sunday, September 23. CalUWild has helped plan the Festival every year since it began in 2014. The U.S. Forest Service and the Vallejo Community Arts Foundation are the main sponsors.

One of the highlights this year will be the Wild & Scenic Film Festival “On Tour,”a screening of thirteen short films about rivers and trails. That will take place on Friday evening, 7:30 p.m., at the Empress Theatre, 330 Virginia Street.

Also, as in years past, the Nature Discovery Zonewill be Saturday morning, September 22, in conjunction with the Vallejo Farmers’ Market on Georgia Street. It includes activities for kids and adults, as well as information tables of organizations working to protect our public lands and animals.

CalUWild will be there, too, so please stop by!

Several art galleries will be hosting special exhibitions, as will the Vallejo Naval & Historical Museum.

A full schedule of all activities and events along with details may be found on the Festival homepage. All events are FREE, except the River Cruises, but please register for tickets online via the website, to help us plan for audience size.

 
IN GENERAL
7.   Last Push for Land & Water Conservation Fund
          Reauthorization in Congress
          (ACTION ITEM)

As we’ve reported over the last several years, the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), established in 1965, provides funding for land acquisition for parks and other recreation and preservation purposes. The funding comes from royalties paid on offshore oil and gas development. No taxes are involved. The LWCF has been authorized to spend up to $900 million a year, though Congress has only rarely appropriated the full amount, although it is one of the most popular programs—almost every congressional district has benefitted.

The LWCF is due to expire at the end of September 2018 unless it is reauthorized. To date, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) has refused to allow any legislation through the House Natural Resources Committee, despite the fact that a bill, H.R. 502, by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Ranking Member (most senior in the Minority) on the Committee, has 232 cosponsors.

All California Democrats have signed on as cosponsors, but only one Republican. The following are good possibilities still:

Ed Royce (R-39):   202-225-4111
— Brea district office: 714-255-0101

Mimi Walters (R-45):   202-225-5611
— Irvine district office:    949-263-8703

Darrell Issa (R-49):   202-225-3906
— Vista district office:    760-599-5000

If you live in one of their districts, please call them and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 502. (Or if you know anyone who lives in their districts, ask them to call.)

Our friends at the Center for Western Prioritieshave produced a comprehensive report on the LWCF, A data-driven look at the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s recent accomplishments and what’s at stake in 2018, along with a map of LWCF-funded projectsfrom 2014 – 2017.

 
8.   Mountain Bikes in Wilderness Survey
          DEADLINE: September 20
          (ACTION ITEM)

The use of mountain bikes in wilderness is an issue that never seems to go away. CalUWild believes that the Wilderness Act has always been clear in prohibiting them, via the language that states: “[T]here shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area (emphasis ours).” Some in the mountain biking community disagree with that interpretation. The International Mountain Biking Association(IMBA), however, does not support opening up existing wilderness areas to biking, nor does it advocate for amending the Wilderness Act, though it does believe that mountain biking as an appropriate form of recreation in wild places. IMBA does support new wilderness designations where they don’t conflict with existing trails.

The following arrived just yesterday from our friends at Wilderness Watch. If you are a mountain biker and interested in the issue, please fill it out before September 20.

 
The issue of opening Wilderness areas to mountain bikes has generated a lot of controversy in recent years, as has the conflicts between new wilderness designations and mountain biking. These issues have split the mountain biking community between those who want more access and those who lean toward greater protection for wildlands.

The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) has initiated the National Mountain Biking Surveyseeking the diverse opinions of America’s mountain bikers to understand their habits, access to trails, and levels of engagement.

Up until September 20, anyone and everyone who rides a mountain bike—from the professional to the casual—is encouraged to take the survey. Wilderness Watch strongly opposes efforts to open Wilderness to mountain bikes—and advocates for more protection for wildlands—and we believe it’s important for our members and other wildland supporters to share your views on this survey.

The survey is a joint effort among the IMBA, the SRAM Cycling Fund and Ohio University. The survey is open to U.S. residents ages 18 and older. The survey may only be taken once per person and answers will be anonymous.

According to the IMBA, while much is known about the habits and priorities of passionate and engaged mountain bikers, much less is understood about the experiences and desires of those who ride only occasionally and casually, and those who might not even ride at all but are interested peripherally in mountain biking.

Aside from user experience, IMBA also asks about what respondents believe are the biggest threats to gaining trail access, about electric-mountain bikes (e-MTB) use on mountain bike trails, and views on bike access in federal Wilderness Areas, which is prohibited in the Wilderness Act of 1964.

IMBA will own the data and says they will use it to guide their efforts. A high-level summary of the findings will made available online via IMBA.comafter late October 2018.

Link to survey, which closes 9/20: https://ohio.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_e8ugn6H4uebaBRH

 
IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
9.   Links to Articles 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 and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

An article in E&E Newsabout a Secty. Zinke’s reaction at a protest in Colorado: Zinke tussles with Colo. protester: ‘You haven’t served’. The Western States Director for the Vet Voice Foundation made a pointed reply: “Secretary Zinke’s insinuation that military service is a prerequisite for having a voice is insulting…” Read the entire statement here. The Vet Voice Foundationhas been a stalwart ally these last few years in various campaigns to protect public lands in the West, as places of healing and peace for veterans.

An article in The Guardian: US interior secretary’s school friend crippling climate research, scientists say

An article in The Hill: Zinke hires Endangered Species Act critic for senior post

CNN reports: “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke held nearly 50 official meetings in May and June that, in sharp contrast to previous months, were so vaguely described on his official calendar that the public is unable to tell what he was doing or with whom he was meeting.” Read the complete article: Latest Zinke calendars stripped of most details about his meetings

An article in the Washington Post: Top interior staffer who backed shrinking national monuments to join BP

An op-ed in High Country News: Zinke is letting corporations profit off our national parks

Public lands in general

An op-ed by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Timeson the last installment of his six-year exploration of the Pacific Crest Trail with his daughter: Six Years, Four Feet, 2,650 Miles

Good news for sage grouse populations living in the Bodie Hills: US Judge Reinstates Proposed Listing Of Bi-state Sage Grouse

An article from the New York Timeson potential energy development in Utah: A Plan to Unlock Billions of Barrels of Oil From Utah’s Sands

An op-ed in the New York Timeson fires and logging, by Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, and Chad Hanson of the John Muir Project: Using Wildfires as an Excuse to Plunder Forests

An article in Outside: Yosemite Finally Reckons with Its Discriminatory Past

An op-ed in the New York Times: Summer Road-Tripping While Black

 
 
 
 
 
 
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 information on making a contribution to CalUWild, click here.

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

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2018 July

July 31st, 2018

Grandstaff (formerly Negro Bill) Canyon, Utah                                                                                                     (Mike Painter)

 
July 31, 2018

Dear CalUWild friends and supporters—

I’m reading Mark Harvey’s book Wilderness Forever: Howard Zahniser and the Path to the Wilderness Act. I came across something written in 1940 by Zahniser, the author of the Wilderness Act, which still seems relevant today:

The fact is that it is the land that has made us all Americans, and the moral is that it is the land which must be preserved to save our Americanism. Soil erosion, forest exploitation, and wildlife destruction are more insidious anti-American activities than Communism, Fascism, or foreign propagandizing. We foster self-preservation more truly, I believe, by conserving our natural resources—in bounty and beauty—than we do by combating the isms that will surely be survived or satisfactorily assimilated if only our land lives. (p. 45)

Fortunately we now also recognize the importance of working with Native American tribes to protect the landscapes that are culturally important to them. This has been one of the exciting aspects of the Bears Ears campaign. Part of conserving natural resources is being involved in the processes of government. So in addition to protecting wilderness and public lands, CalUWild also works to provide the information you as citizens need to be effective advocates.

As you’ll see in Item 5 below, there continues to be a lot of press attention to public land issues, especially to the administration’s ethical lapses and its various attempts to roll back monuments and regulations. Most of the press is supportive of protection, so it’s always a good idea when you see an article to write a letter to the editor expressing thanks (or disagreement, if necessary). Even if your letter doesn’t get published, the editor still knows that people are reading and concerned about the issues.

The House of Representatives will be on summer recess for the month of August. (The Senate is not recessing this summer.) Look out for scheduled town hall meetings and other events. They are excellent opportunities to voice support for public lands!

 
In our April Update we mentioned that the Bureau of Land Management was proposing to lease lands near Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. National Parks Traveler reports that the proposed leases have been deferred. Thanks to everyone who took the time to write in.

And thanks for your continued interest and support for CalUWild and wilderness!

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
IN CALIFORNIA
1.   Rep. Jared Huffman Introduces Wilderness Bill
          For Northern California
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN GENERAL
2.   Land & Water Conservation Fund Legislation
          (ACTION ITEM)

3.   Interior Department Documents Confirm Suspicions
          That National Monuments Review Was a Farce

4.   Administration Proposing Changes
          To Endangered Species Act Regulations
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: September 24

          (ACTION ITEM)

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

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

IN CALIFORNIA
1.   Rep. Jared Huffman Introduces Wilderness Bill
          For Northern California
          (ACTION ITEM)

After working on the proposal for five years—involving local citizens, businesses, and various conservation and outdoor recreation groups—last week Rep. Jared Huffman (D-2) introduced the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act in the House.

The following description is taken from the press release issued by Rep. Huffman. The bill would:

•   Protect roughly 260,000 acres of federal public lands as wilderness by expanding nine existing wilderness areas and establishing eight new ones.

•   Designate 379 miles of new wild and scenic rivers and mandate federal agencies to create management plans for 101 miles of existing wild and scenic rivers.

•   Designate a 730,000-acre South Fork Trinity-Mad River Restoration Area in the South Fork Trinity River, Mad River, and North Fork Eel watersheds in Trinity and Humboldt counties.

•   Establish a partnership of federal, state, and local entities that can help to clean and restore federal public lands in northwestern California affected by illegal trespass marijuana grows.

•   Authorize old-growth redwoods restoration in Redwood National and State Parks through partnerships between the Department of Interior and state and local stakeholders.

•   Require federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to cooperate and coordinate in managing fires in northwestern California’s wilderness areas.

You may read the full press release here.

Please contact Rep Huffman’s office to say thank you.

DC office phone:   202-225-5161
Links to Rep. Huffman’s other office phone numbers (and webform for constituents only) here.

 
IN GENERAL
2.   Land & Water Conservation Fund Legislation
          (ACTION ITEM)

We’ve written frequently about the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), one of America’s most successful environmental programs. The Fund uses royalties from offshore oil & gas development (i.e., no taxpayer dollars) to purchase land for urban parks and other parcels, such as inholdings in national parks, forests, and monuments. For some reason, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) is opposed to the Fund, even though it is very popular in Congress. (Even Mr. Bishop has gotten funds from it for his district when he wanted!) The fund is due to expire September 30 of this year, unless Congress acts to extend it.

H.R. 502, introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, would make the Fund permanent and authorize full funding for it every year. The bill currently has 232 cosponsors in the House, 38 of whom are Republicans. Rep. Steve Knight (R-25) is the only California GOP House member signed onto the bill.

The following alert (slightly edited) comes from Vicky Hoover, Chair of the Sierra Club’s LWCF task force and one of CalUWild’s cofounders.

 
If Steve Knight can sign on to the LWCF bill and be a supporter, why not other Republicans from California?  A couple, for example, who are not running again for office this fall may have nothing to lose and if urged by a few constituents—what’s to keep them from helping?  Even if they do seek reelection—now could be a good time to ask for their support. After all, California has received more funding via the Land & Water Conservation Fund than any other state. EVERY Congressional district has benefited.

If you are in the district of one of the California members of Congress listed below, please call their DC office or local office during the August recess and urge that the boss sign on as a cosponsor to H.R. 502 when Congress returns just after Labor Day.

Ask for the DC staffer who works on this issue, and give the message to the receptionist if the staffer is not available or leave it on the staffer’s voice mail. Follow up by direct email to staffer. Staff email addresses generally follow the format of  firstname [dot] lastname [at] mail [dot] house [dot] gov.

If there is a chance for an in-person meeting with the Representative during the August recess, it would be a perfect time to bring up the Land & Water Conservation Fund!

Reps. Cook and Denham are both on Rep. Bishop’s Natural Resources Committee and would seem the least likely to cosponsor the bill—but they can be asked at least to talk personally with Speaker of the House Ryan—which could well be as good or even more valuable at this stage late in the Congress.  Also, there is one conservative republican (from North Carolina) on Bishop’s Committee who has cosponsored H.R. 502.  He was probably lobbied heavily by sportsmen—who rely on easements and purchases by the LWCF to give them access across some private lands to places they like to hunt and fish.

Paul Cook (R-8):   202-225-5861
— Apple Valley district office:   760-247-1815

Jeff Denham (R-10):   202-225-4540
— Modesto district office:   209-579-5458

Ed Royce (R-39):   202-225-4111
— Brea district office:   714-255-0101

Mimi Walters (R-45):   202-225-5611
— Irvine district office:   949-263-8703

Darrell Issa (R-49):   202-225-3906
— Vista district office:   760-599-5000

Duncan Hunter (R-50):   202-225-5672
— El Cajon district office:   619-448-5201
— Temecula district office:   951-695-5108

 
Here’s an op-ed in the Denver Post by Colorado’s two senators supporting the LWCF: Coming together for public lands and the conservation fund that protects them

 
3.   Interior Department Documents Confirm Suspicions
          That National Monuments Review Was a Farce

No one really believed that the Interior Department’s review of national monuments last year would support the designations made since 1996, when the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) was established. And the results confirmed that, at least with respect to the Bears Ears and GSENM.

In a very interesting development last week, documents provided to our friends at the Center for Western Priorities under the Freedom of Information Act showed that officials in the Department of the Interior systematically rejected information supporting the monuments, such as economic benefits or the numerous scientific discoveries. Many of the documents had sections marked for redaction, with the explanation that they showed the rationale and strategy behind the review.

What made the documents stunning, however, was the fact that the redactions were never actually implemented. So there is now clear proof that the outcome was pre-ordained and that the review itself was a sham.

The Interior Department realized its mistake and removed the documents the next day, substituting the redacted versions. But it was too late—the unredacted documents had already been downloaded.

It’s not clear what impact this development will have on the litigation over the monument rollbacks, but it definitely provides political ammunition to supporters of all our national monuments. We’ll keep you posted on future developments.

The Washington Post was the first major newspaper to cover the story: Trump administration officials dismissed benefits of national monuments.

This article in the Pacific StandardPublic Lands Advocates Respond to New Revelations from the DOI’s ‘Sham Review’ of National Monuments contains reactions from various conservation organizations.

 
On a related topic, the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed looking at various facets of the debate over Bears Ears National Monument: Bears Ears is waiting for a ruling: Will we protect this land or exploit it?

 
4.    Administration Proposing Changes
          To Endangered Species Act Regulations
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: September 24

          (ACTION ITEM)

Though we occasionally cover wildlife issues, especially when they overlap with wilderness concerns, we generally do not get involved with Endangered Species Act issues. However, the administration is proposing a major overhaul of how it enforces the law, and there is an open public comment period.Realizing its importance and the fact that some people might be interested in submitting comments, we’re including the following, giving background on the issues, followed by the link to the online comments page.

An article in the Washington PostEndangered Species Act stripped of key provisions in Trump administration proposal

An op-ed in The GuardianTrump’s next target? The endangered species that define America

Click here for the Interior Department’s comment page.

Please submit comments if you’re interested. Thanks!

 
IN THE PRESS
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.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the Department

The latest ethics problem: The Hill reports on an investigation by CNN: Zinke left some details off public calendar: report

An article in Politico regarding another ethics investigation: Interior watchdog opens probe of land deal linking Zinke, Halliburton chairman

An article in the Washington Post on an end to mitigation payments by lessees on public lands: Trump team stops asking drillers and miners to pay for damage to federal lands

An article from The Center for Investigative Reporting: Top Interior officials ordered parks to end science policy, emails show

The President pardons the Hammonds, ranchers in Oregon

An article in The GuardianTrump pardons Oregon ranchers whose case sparked 2016 militia standoff

An op-ed in the Washington PostThis is the message that Trump’s latest pardon sends to the radical right

Utah public lands

An article in Outdoor LifeSenator Mike Lee Pledges Long-Term Attack on Public Lands

George Pyle, editorial page editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, wrote: Keep your hands off my land, Mike Lee

California public lands

An article in the Los Angeles Times: A changing climate at Mono Lake could mean more dust storms in the Eastern Sierra — or less water for L.A.

An article in the Modesto Bee: Interior Secretary Zinke visits reservoirs, signaling federal interest in water fight

An article in Courthouse News about litigation over Hetch Hetchy: Appeals Court Rejects Effort to Drain Yosemite Reservoir

A New York Times slide show on Manzanar National Historical Site, a WW II Japanese internment camp, an interesting stop for anyone visiting the Eastern Sierra: Returning to Manzanar

General interest

An obituary in the Washington Post for former Interior official Nathaniel Reed: Nathaniel P. Reed, leader in efforts to protect endangered wildlife and wetlands, dies at 84 and a remembrance written by Huey Johnson: Remembering Nathaniel P. Reed, ‘a great environmentalist’. Huey is a member of CalUWild’s Advisory Board.

An op-ed in the Denver Post by Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia and Land Tawney of Back Country Hunters & Anglers: Hunters, hikers unite to protect beloved public lands, waters

An article in the New York Times‘The New Normal’: Wildfires Roar Across the West, Again

An article in OutsideSacred Native American Sites Are Not Your Playgrounds

An article in The Guardian: ‘Bad things happen in the woods’: the anxiety of hiking while black

An article in the Health section of the New York TimesWriting Prescriptions to Play Outdoors

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 information on making a contribution to CalUWild, click here.

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

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2018 June

July 4th, 2018


Mountain Juniper, Yosemite National Park                                                                                                           (Mike Painter)
 

July 2, 2018

Dear CalUWild friends—

There are no new Action Items this month, so this Update consists of links to articles and other items of interest. Some of the subjects are developments in stories we’ve mentioned before, and some are new. However, if you haven’t contacted your representatives or senators in regard to the bad San Rafael Swell/Emery County, Utah bill discussed in last month’s Update (ITEM 1), please do so!

Thanks to those who responded to our announcement last month of the generous offer by Patrick Dengate to contribute half of the proceeds from the sale of his paintings. You can still have the chance to own some nice art and support CalUWild. Click here to see a catalog of paintings or go to Patrick’s website for more. And don’t forget that Margie Lopez Read sells her art solely in support of nonprofit organizations, including CalUWild. Check out her website and contact Margie for more information.
 

Best wishes,
Mike
 

IN UTAH

The biggest news this month was that a Canadian company made several mining claims in an area of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, near Capitol Reef National Park, that was taken out by the administration. It’s not clear yet how big a threat this poses. The BLM has said the area will continue to be managed under the original monument management plan until a new plan is in place. We’ll keep you posted as things develop. Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune’s report: A Canadian firm wants to start mining on Utah lands that used to be part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

The local politics in San Juan County, where the Bears Ears National Monument is located, are shifting as the result of redrawn districts for local commissioners, following a voting rights lawsuit. Two out of the three districts now have Navajo majorities. An article in Indian Country Today: One election winner this week: Bears Ears

The New York Times published an article today about Arches National Park, containing significant discussion of Edward Abbey and his book Desert Solitaire, which was published 50 years ago: The Balancing Act of Arches

IN CALIFORNIA

Friends of the Inyo has their Summer Events Calendar online. Check it out for hikes, service projects, and other happenings.

An article appeared in the New York Times about the restoration and reopening of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in Yosemite National Park: A Renewed View of Some of the World’s Oldest Trees.

Forbes has an article, The Most Beautiful Sunsets In The World, about the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

Some promising news in the Los Angeles Times: Born in a zoo, released into the San Gabriels, a rare Los Angeles frog bounces back

Tech arrives at the national parks, as the Los Angeles Times reports: Yosemite now accepts electronic entrance passes that can be scanned from your cellphone

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

The Department of the Interior and Secretary Ryan Zinke continue to be the focus of scrutiny by the press and Congress.

Politico reported in a series of articles on a possible conflict of interest with a proposed commercial development in Whitefish, Montana and foundation run by his wife:

Politico also reported further on the controversy surrounding Secty. Zinke’s purported threats of retaliation against Alaska, attempting to pressure Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R) into voting to repeal Obamacare. Watchdog closes Zinke threat probe, citing lack of cooperation from Interior

In Outside Magazine, an article on the Land & Water Conservation Fund: Ryan Zinke Is Sabotaging Our Best Public Lands Program

Our friends at the Center for Western Priorities detailed misstatements that Secty. Zinke made to the press on a recent trip to his home state of Montana: The biggest whoppers from Ryan Zinke’s softball media tour of Montana

FactCheck.org posted about Secty. Zinke’s claim that the Navajo living near the Bears Ears National Monument “were all in support” of the Administration’s decision to reduce the monument’s size: Navajo Didn’t Support Shrinking Bears Ears

Many in the Interior Department failed to properly fill out conflict of interest forms: These Trump Staffers — Including an ex-NRA Lobbyist — Left Their Financial Disclosure Forms Blank

Secty. Zinke is trying to reassign Yellowstone’s superintendent on the eve of his retirement. Many suspect retaliation in the move. National Parks Traveler reports: Dan Wenk Being Forced Out Of Yellowstone National Park. Read one Park Service employee’s letter to Secty. Zinke, reacting to the news here.

Lastly, some good news, and unexpected, too, since Secty Zinke had included the program in a list if things contributing to budget problems in the department. National Parks Traveler reports: Secretary Zinke Reauthorizes Every Kid In A Park.

IN GENERAL

Headwaters Economics has developed an extremely useful website, with data on visitation, spending, jobs, and income for each unit of the National Park Service: Economic Impact of National Parks

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 information on making a contribution to CalUWild, click here.

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

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2018 May

May 27th, 2018


Juniper & Overlook                                                                                     (Patrick Dengate, oil on wood panel, 9″ x 12″)
 

May 26, 2018

Dear CalUWild friends—

It’s the Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start of the summer vacation season. Our national parks are more crowded (and more popular) than ever. That shouldn’t necessarily dissuade you from visiting, but remember that there are many other federal public lands out there, uncrowded and worthy of visitation. Find some time this summer to enjoy them!
 

You can support CalUWild and own some artwork at the same time! Two CalUWild members have generously offered to contribute proceeds from sales of their art to CalUWild.

Patrick Dengate, whose painting is above and whom we’ve featured in the Update previously (here, here and here), is an artist and one of the founders of Michigan Friends of Redrock Wilderness. He works in various media and has a series of paintings of the West, including Juniper & Overlook. Patrick will contribute 50% of the sales price to support CalUWild’s work. Click here for a catalog of 14 paintings. Visit his website to see more of his varied work.

Margie Lopez Read is a longtime Utah wilderness activist and artist who splits her time between Utah and California. She sells her art strictly as a way to support worthy nonprofit organizations, and she would like to include CalUWild among those. Her website is here. Check it out, and if there’s something you might be interested in, contact Margie through her website for more information on pricing and payment.

Finally, we still have a very limited number of Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary posters, featuring a block print by renowned California artist Tom Killion. The poster measures 18″ x 24″, and the price is $10 apiece, plus postage and shipping ($5 for 1 or 2, $5.50 for 3). If you’re interested, send a check for the proper amount, along with your name and address, to:

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

 
As always, thanks for your interest in and support for our wilderness and public lands!
 

Best wishes,
Mike
 

IN UTAH
1.   Bad San Rafael Swell Bill Introduced
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
2.   Carrizo Plain National Monument Oil Exploration
          Letters Needed
          (ACTION ITEM)
3.   Ballot Measure Endorsement
          YES on Prop. 68
          Don’t Forget to Vote June 5
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN ALASKA
4.   Rep. Jared Huffman Introduces Bill
          To Stop Drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN GENERAL
5.   National Monuments Review Documents Released
          And Monument Photos Needed
          (ACTION ITEM)
6.   Job Announcements
          a.   Western Environmental Law Center
          b.   Oregon Natural Desert Association
          c.   Bay Area Wilderness Training
          d.   SUWA Service Project Volunteers

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

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

IN UTAH
1.   Bad San Rafael Swell Bill Introduced
          (ACTION ITEM)

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) and Rep. John Curtis (R) have introduced the Emery County Public Land Management Act of 2018, companion bills S. 2809 and H.R. 5727, in the Senate and House respectively. The legislation is a follow-up to Rep. Rob Bishop’s (R-UT) failed Public Lands Initiative (PLI) of 2016, but in reality it’s worse than what was proposed then.

The bill makes permanent all the existing routes in both the NCA and wilderness areas, meaning that the BLM will not be able to manage those areas with conservation and wilderness priorities. A management advisory council for the NCA will be created that allows for disproportionate local representation.

Although the act establishes the “San Rafael Swell Western Heritage and Historic Mining National Conservation Area” and the “Jurassic National Monument,” it only designates about one third of the wilderness included in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act. This amount is even less than was in the PLI. Furthermore many of these areas already have some level of protection as wilderness study areas (WSAs) or natural areas. Important areas in the Swell, such as Muddy Creek, the Mussentuchit Badlands and Molen Reef are completely ignored. Labyrinth Canyon on the Green River receives protection only on its west bank, because it is in Emery County.

The bill also transfers management of federal land near Goblin Valley State Park to the State of Utah.

You may read the text of the House bill here.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance has a page with its analysis of the bill, and also photos of some of the spectacular affected areas.

It looks like we have a good fight ahead, either to improve the bill, as happened with the Washington County bill in 2009, or to defeat it totally. Complicating the situation is the fact that Sen. Orrin Hatch is retiring this year, so some members may feel influenced to give him a retirement “gift.”
 

Regardless, we oppose the legislation as it stands now. Please contact your senators and congressional representatives to let them know that.

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

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

If you live in a state other than California, contact information for your senators may be found here.

Full contact information for California members may be found by following the links here, and for other states by following the links here.
 

IN CALIFORNIA
2.   Carrizo Plain National Monument Oil Exploration
          Letters Needed
          (ACTION ITEM)

The following alert comes from our friends at Los Padres ForestWatch. Please write a letter to California State BLM Director Jerry Perez. Use the talking points below, but please, in your own words. If you have been to the Carrizo Plain, make sure to mention, saying what you found special about the place!

The Department of the Interior has approved a new oil well and pipeline at the base of the Caliente Mountains in the Carrizo Plain National Monument. This is the first new oil development approved in the national monument since it was established in 2001, and the approval comes just months after the Trump Administration considered revoking the Carrizo Plain’s protected status altogether.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — the agency responsible for approving the new oil well — failed to consult with its sister wildlife agency, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, to examine ways to lessen impacts on rare plants and animals such as the San Joaquin kit fox, California condor, giant kangaroo rat, San Joaquin antelope squirrel, and Kern mallow — all critically endangered species. The BLM also approved the new well and pipeline despite the fact that neither are consistent with the Management Plan for the Carrizo Plain National Monument.

This decision is in stark contrast to a decision by the BLM two years ago to allow the oil company to abandon an existing well so that the agency could reclaim the oil pad and access road, remove its rusty equipment, and restore the area to natural conditions. The Trump Administration is now backtracking on those plans.

You can help stop the new oil well and pipeline from going forward. Send a letter to BLM State Director Jerry Perez to let him know that you are strongly opposed to new drilling on the Carrizo Plain National Monument and that the agency should instead move forward with their previous plans to restore the oil pad to natural conditions.
 

Talking points:

• This is the first new oil well and pipeline on the Carrizo Plain since the area was designated a national monument in 2001. Please reconsider this decision.

• The new well and pipeline aren’t consistent with the management plan for the Carrizo Plain National Monument. This plan was developed after years of public input, and its provisions should be followed.

• The well and pipeline would also be visible from the Caliente Mountain Wilderness Study Area and when driving along Route 166. These and other impacts require more robust review.

• BLM didn’t consult with federal wildlife agencies to ensure the protection of imperiled species like the San Joaquin kit fox, California condor, giant kangaroo rat, San Joaquin antelope squirrel and Kern mallow.

• BLM should proceed with the 2016 plan to remove abandoned equipment from this same area where the new oil well and pipeline would be installed and restore the area to natural conditions. This would be consistent with the Carrizo Plain’s management plan, which requires prompt abandonment and reclamation of non-producing facilities in the national monument.

Letters should be addressed to:

Mr. Jerry Perez
California State Director
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W1623
Sacramento, CA 95825

Via email: castatedirector@blm.gov
 

3.   Ballot Measure Endorsement
          YES on Prop. 68
          Don’t Forget to Vote June 5
          (ACTION ITEM)

Statewide, voters are being asked to approve a bond measure, Proposition 68, in support of the state parks and other parks, as well as other environmental needs. Our parks are always underfunded and we have many other long-term needs, both conservation-related and in the general environment. If passed, 15 – 20% of the bonds’ funds would be dedicated to projects in lower-income communities. All the major newspapers and conservation organizations in the state support Prop. 68.
 

IN ALASKA
4.   Rep. Jared Huffman Introduces Bill
          To Stop Drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge
          (ACTION ITEM)

This week, California Rep. Jared Huffman (D-2), one of strongest congressional supporters of wilderness and public lands, introduced the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act. The following information is taken from an alert sent our by our friends at the Alaska Wilderness League.
 

Representative Jared Huffman has introduced the “Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act” to keep oil rigs out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Arctic Refuge drilling only passed as part of December’s heinous tax bill because Republican leadership used it to lock up Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski’s swing vote. Drilling and the tax bill remain deeply unpopular with the American people.

The “Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act” repeals Arctic Refuge drilling from the tax bill. It prevents the sacrifice of our wildest landscape so that oil companies and billionaires can get even richer.

Stand up for the Gwich’in people who rely on the Arctic Refuge and the calving caribou that raise young there. The Arctic Refuge and its coastal plain also supports denning polar bears and their cubs, wolves, foxes, muskoxen, and more than 200 migratory and resident bird species. This is not a place to drill for oil.

CalUWild friend Erik DuMont wrote an op-ed piece in The Hill this week about the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge and Rep. Huffman’s bill.
 

Please contact your representative and ask them to support Rep. Huffman’s bill. Full contact information for California members may be found by following the links here, and for other states by following the links here.

Please also contact Rep. Huffman’s office to thank him for introducing the bill.

Washington, DC office:

1406 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5161

For Rep. Huffman’s local offices or to comment via webform, follow the links here.
 

IN GENERAL
5.   National Monuments Review Documents Released
          And Monument Photos Needed
          (ACTION ITEM)

As the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Department of the Interior has released a large number of documents related to the national monument review process and the president’s executive order mandating it.

It can all be found here. Here are the monument- and content-specific links.

Monument/Topic Specific FOIA Docs (May 2018)

Basin and Range NM
Bears Ears NM
Bears Ears Zinke Staff Correspondence
Carrizo Plain NM
Giant Sequoia NM
Gold Butte NM
Grand Staircase-Escalante NM
Katahdin Woods and Waters NM
Meetings Held by Zinke Staff
Mojave Trails NM
National Monument Report
Northeast Canyons and Seamounts NM
NRDC
Process for Reviewing Public Comments
Public Comment Review
Review of National Monuments under EO 13792

One of the more notable revelations, though not really that surprising, is that one of the officials involved in the review, Randal Bowman, said—one week after the initial executive order was released— that it was very unlikely that they would learn anything new from the comments submitted. “Essentially, barring a surprise, there is no new information that’s going to be submitted,” Bowman is quoted as saying.

In other words, the fix was in from the beginning. You can read more details in this article in The Hill.
 

And a reminder from last month: Throughout the month of May, the monumentsforall.org website is asking monument supporters to upload photos from places protected by the Antiquities Act. Pictures with people enjoying and exploring our monuments are especially welcome. Also pictures of historic and cultural monuments, not just landscape monuments, are particularly needed.

Deadline: May 31

Thanks for your submissions!
 

6. Job Announcements
          a.   Western Environmental Law Center

The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 25-year legacy of success using the power of the law to safeguard the public lands, wildlife, and communities of the American West in the face of a changing climate. We seek a dynamic, experienced attorney to join our team. This position will use a full complement of legal advocacy tools to: (1) protect public lands, wildlife, and communities from fossil fuel projects; (2) engage federal and state legislative, policy, and rulemaking processes to advance climate action; and (3) support a just transition for communities away from fossil fuels. This full-time position will be located in our Taos, New Mexico office and will be filled as soon as possible.

Requirements and qualifications for the position include:

• Deep familiarity with Western U.S. climate, fossil fuel, and public lands legal issues, with knowledge of New Mexico’s legal framework, communities, and lands a significant plus.
• At least six years of litigation experience, with administrative advocacy and strategic/policy campaign experience a significant plus.
• Ability and willingness to use a complete set of legal advocacy tools including litigation, collaboration, administrative engagement, and rule and policy development.
• Admission to and good standing with a state bar and willingness to obtain membership to the New Mexico bar, if not already admitted, at the earliest opportunity after hiring.
• A science or technical background in climate, energy, or public lands-related issues is a significant plus.
• Creative, strong-willed capacity to achieve objectives in the face of adversity.
• Exceptional research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
• Strong interpersonal skills to foster relationships with our clients, partners, funders, and allies.
• Demonstrated commitment to the public interest and to WELC’s mission and strategies.
• Demonstrated commitment to conceptualizing and executing legal strategies that further WELC’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice.
• A positive, friendly, and enthusiastic attitude towards making the world a better place.
• A love and respect for the public lands, wildlife, and communities of the Western U.S.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning June 6, 2018 until the position is filled, with a start date no later than September 2018. To apply, please email the following as PDF attachments to jobs@westernlaw.org:

(1) cover letter addressed to Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, Executive Director;
(2) resume; and
(3) minimum of three references

Cover letters should clearly communicate the applicant’s commitment to WELC’s mission and advocacy and their motivation to work in the public interest legal field. Please do not reiterate qualifications communicated by your resume. No phone calls or in-person visits please.

Western Environmental Law Center is an equal opportunity employer. We value diversity and our programs and employment are open to all. We offer a friendly, team-based environment, highly competitive salaries, and an excellent benefits package.
 

          b.   Oregon Natural Desert Association

From the Oregon Natural Desert Association:

Oregon Natural Desert Association Executive Director Brent Fenty will be shifting into a new role as head of the Oregon Desert Land Trust and ONDA’s board of directors has launched a nationwide search for our next leader.

Our executive director job description is now ready.

We’re seeking candidates who are:

• Passionate about Oregon’s high desert
• Solutions-oriented with a strong work ethic
• Committed to celebrating teamwork and maintaining the organization’s unique and effective culture, based on mutual respect, trust, and the beliefs of the organization
• Proficient in fundraising, communications and development
• Knowledgeable about conservation issues, policies and practices

View Job Description

Anyone interested in applying for this position should contact The Forest Group, by emailing Mary Mallif, mary@theforestgroup.com.

With a committed and growing membership base, a seasoned and passionate board and staff, and a slate of compelling initiatives, ONDA is an effective and thriving organization. We look forward to interviewing candidates who will help us become an even stronger force for conservation.

P.S. For future opportunities to work at or intern for ONDA, keep an eye on our careers page or follow us on LinkedIn.
 

          c.   Bay Area Wilderness Training

Our friends at Bay Area Wilderness Training have two job openings. Below are the position summaries, with links to further information.

Program Director
The Program Director, who reports directly to the Executive Director, has broad and deep responsibilities to ensure that Bay Area Wilderness Training is fully meeting the goals set forth in the organizations mission and vision. It has been said that the Program Director is the “heart beat” of the organization and as such they play a key role in supervising and hiring program staff, creating and ensuring high quality programs, and maximizing organizational reach, capacity, and efficiency. Top areas of responsibility include supervision and management, program development, oversight of client services, partnerships, growth, data tracking and reporting, and support of organizational operations. Currently, the Program Director oversees a team of four staff with the potential to grow.

For more information on the position and qualifications, click here.

Program Associate
Program Associate will directly report to the Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) Gear Library & Operations Manager and will support ongoing operations of the Oakland, San Francisco, and South Bay (Milpitas) outdoor equipment gear libraries. The highest level of independence is expected. Initiative and a proactive approach are a must. The top priority responsibilities associated with this position are as follows: gear inventory control and maintenance, coordinating gear pick-ups and drop-offs, trip report & invoice tracking, client support and correspondence, client (teacher & youth worker) recruitment and relationship management, volunteer outreach and support, and efficient operations overall.

Learn more about the position here
 

          d. SUWA Service Project Volunteers

From our friends at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance:

Into the Field: Volunteer with SUWA this Summer
Summer is upon us and our Field Crews are gearing up for a season of high elevation volunteering! Several spots remain open on our first batch of June-July-August Projects and I invite you to join the ranks of our 111 volunteers who have put in over 1,255 service hours to date in 2018! Scroll down this page for an overview of our early to midsummer project calendar.
 

IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
7.   Links to Articles 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, Dept. of the Interior & Secty. Ryan Zinke

In the New York Times: Patagonia v. Trump

In the Washington Post: Trump administration moves to weaken protections for this unique American bird

In The Economist: The parable of the sage grouse

Good news: The 9th Circuit ruled that the he Bi-State population of sage grouse in the Mono Basin had been improperly delisted. See this article in Courthouse News.

An op-ed in the Washington Post: Walk with us, Ryan Zinke, and see the folly in what you’ve done

An article in MediaMatters: A timeline of scandals and ethical shortfalls at Ryan Zinke’s Interior Department

An op-ed in Mountain Journal: Ryan Zinke Now Claims To Be A Born-Again Conservationist

Scientific American and E&E News: Interior’s Handling of Science Gives Climate Advocates a Sense of Déjà Vu

An article in Science: Drilling boom threatens web of ancient roads in Southwest

The Los Angeles Times: The Trump agenda has Native American tribes feeling under siege

Other topics

The Sacramento Bee on the Klamath Basin: Can an uneasy truce hold off another water rebellion on California’s northern border?

An op-ed in the New York Times on ecological balance in the Great Basin: Let Mountain Lions Eat Horses

An op-ed in High Country News: The playground of Lake Powell isn’t worth drowned canyons

 
 

We haven’t been including links to videos recently because they trigger SPAM filters at various ISPs, and it’s very difficult to get around them. Sorry if you’ve missed them!
 
 
 
 
 

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 information on making a contribution to CalUWild, click here.

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

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2018 March

April 3rd, 2018


Looking over Cedar Mesa, “Former” Bears Ears National Monument, Utah                              (Mike Painter)

 
March 30, 2018

Dear CalUWild friends—

With Congress’s focus on the spending bill, there’s not much to report from Capitol Hill this month. Likewise, the administration has not made any further announcements on the fate of other national monuments. So this month’s Update is relatively short (especially if you’ve already submitted comments on the management plans for the shrunken monuments in Utah—see ITEM 1).

This was a very busy month for the press, however, examining Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on many different issues. It seemed that every day some new controversy reared it head. Thus there is quite a large collection of news articles in ITEM 3, IN THE PRESS. It is encouraging to see the press covering these issues in detail, though the sheer number of different problems they report is discouraging. Please read the articles to bring yourself up to date on those topics. When you’re done reading, share your thoughts with your elected officials in Washington and with the editors of your newspapers!

 
National Parks Week is April 21-29. This year, there is free admission to all Park Service fee sites on April 21. (Secretary Zinke blames too many fee-free days for some of the budget woes of the Park Service, but enjoy it if you can.)

 
As always, your enthusiasm and efforts to protect our wilderness and public lands are much appreciated!

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   National Monuments Planning Update
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINES: April 11 for Bears Ears
          April 13 for Grand Staircase-Escalante NM
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
2.   Early Kickoff for the Fifth Annual
          Visions of the Wild Festival
          Downtown Vallejo: April 12

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

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

IN UTAH
1.    National Monuments Planning Update
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINES: April 11 for Bears Ears
          April 13 for Grand Staircase-Escalante NM
          (ACTION ITEM)

As we mentioned in our last two Updates (January and February), the BLM is currently undertaking planning processes for the replacements for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah.

BLM held four public meetings this week in Southern Utah and the deadlines for comments were extended 15 days beyond the last meetings for each. If you haven’t submitted comments yet, please do so. Detailed talking points are below. They are verbatim what we included last month.

(If you have submitted comments, you may skip to the press articles on the Utah monuments at the end of this section.)

 
According to High Country News, the BLM offices have been instructed to ignore comments demanding that they put off planning until litigation is finished. You should include that point, regardless. It lets BLM know that people are paying attention, and it gets the illegality and waste of planning resources into the public record, which may be useful publicity in the likely case that the administration loses in court.

Please use your own words, and if you have been to any of the areas under discussion, please say so and explain why they are important to you.

 
For both Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

— The proclamations issued to shrink the original monuments are illegal. The president has no authority under law to reduce monuments once they have been designated. Only Congress has that authority. Most legal commentators agree with that position.

— These rollbacks have been challenged in federal court. It is not appropriate to be undertaking large-scale planning because of this ongoing litigation. Should the plaintiffs win their cases, there will be a large waste of time and money. In times of reduced budgets, that is doubly inexcusable.

— Citizens do not support these rollbacks. See the overwhelming support for all our monuments shown by the 2.7 million comments submitted during last summer’s review. 97% recommended that all monuments remain intact.

 
Bears Ears National Monument — April 11

— Any interim actions planned within the original and legitimate Bears Ears National Monument boundary should only be done for the purpose of protecting Monument resources as set out in President Obama’s proclamation, Proclamation 9558 (December 28, 2016). This includes vegetation removal projects for supposed grazing range enhancements.

— In developing a management plan for the Shash Jáa and Indian Creek management units—and in order to ensure protection of cultural and natural resources—BLM must consider alternatives that permanently close Arch Canyon, Lavender Canyon, and Davis Canyon to motorized vehicle use.

— In order to ensure adequate public review and comment, the public comment period should be extended to 90 days after the last BLM or Forest Service public hearing.

— In addition to Bears Ears National Monument gateway communities, public hearings should also be held in Salt Lake City, Utah; Flagstaff, Arizona; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Denver, Colorado; and Washington, D.C.

The planning homepage is here and the direct link to the online comment form is here.

By Email: blm_ut_monticello_monuments [at] blm [dot] gov

Comments may also be submitted by U.S. Mail to:

Attn: Field Office Manager
Monticello Field Office
Bureau of Land Management
P.O. Box 7
Monticello, UT 84535

 
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument — April 13

— Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was designated in 1996, with its primary purpose to protect the incredible scientific, ecological, and paleontological resources within its 1.9 million acres. Any interim actions within the original and legitimate Monument boundary should only be done for the purpose of protecting Monument resources as set out in the original proclamation.

— BLM’s 1999 Monument management plan was the result of a deliberate and collaborative process that involved scientific scrutiny and intense public participation. Any interim actions within the original and legitimate Monument boundary must comply with the 1999 management plan.

— All motorized travel routes within the original Monument boundary that were closed or limited under the 1999 Monument management must continue to be managed pursuant to the management plan. For example, the Paria River—a fragile riparian corridor within a Wilderness Study Area that was purposely excluded from President Trump’s monument boundaries in order to facilitate ATV use—must remain closed to all motorized vehicles.

— Contrary to what some have said, the designation of GSENM has been important for local communities, which have grown economically more than other rural counties in this region. The monument as is, is a critical factor in the local community. There are proposals to allow coal mining in original GSENM. However, coal is dead in this region, as demonstrated by the upcoming closing of the nearest coal-fired power plant and the fact that other states, such as California, are not interested in providing a market for it, or even providing shipping facilities for export, as is the case in Oakland, California. No coal mining in the area should be considered. The future is in taking care of these remarkable lands and bringing renewable energy to local communities.

— Do not allow current and future vegetation removal projects, in particular “chaining,” within the original Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This practice negates BLM’s obligation to protect natural resources and wilderness values from irreversible human-caused harm.

The homepage for the project is here, and comments may be submitted here.

By Email: BLM_UT_CCD_monuments [at] blm [dot] gov

Comments may also be submitted by U.S. Mail:

Attn: Monument Manager
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Bureau of Land Management
669 S Hwy. 89A
Kanab, UT 84741

 
Utah monument press

The New York Times filed a Freedom of Information Act request and then had to sue the Department of the Interior to obtain release of documents relating to the national monuments in Utah. It received some 25,000 pages of emails and other correspondence. 20,000 were from the Obama administration regarding the creation of the monuments, and the remainder from the current administration’s attempts to roll them back. The Times analyzed them and on March 2 published the following report: Oil Was Central in Decision to Shrink Bears Ears Monument, Emails Show.

This confirmed what many suspected. It also showed that the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) had approached the administration in March 2017 about reducing the size of the Bears Ears, more than a month before the executive order authorizing the review of the monuments. The documents also show that a major reason for the attempt at splitting up the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument was the presence of the large coal reserves in the Kaiparowits Plateau.

You may download the complete document trove (all 38.6 MB of it) here. A selection of documents relating only to the Bears Ears may be found here.

High Country News had an article looking behind the scenes at other issues related to the monuments in Utah: The danger of local hands on public lands: When it comes to monuments, Utah lawmakers have conflicts of interest

 
IN CALIFORNIA
2.   Early Kickoff for the Fifth Annual
          Visions of the Wild Festival
          Downtown Vallejo: April 12

CalUWild is working with the U.S. Forest Service and the Vallejo Community Arts Foundation for the fifth year, planning and hosting the Visions of the Wild Festival in downtown Vallejo. It began in 2014 as a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act and has turned into an annual event, each with a different theme and focus. This year we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers and National Trails System acts.

The main part of the festival will be September 21 – 23, but a few extra events are planned between now and then. The first will be the screening of two films, one on the Noatak River in Alaska and the second on Nevada City in California, by CalUWild friend and filmmaker John de Graaf.

The April 12 event has two segments:

First will be a presentation by Heather Bartlett and colleagues about the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge. They will talk how their Alaska preserve connects with our local San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge. We’ll show a short film about Wild & Scenic River in Alaska called the Noatak.

Explore the Noatak, one of Alaska’s wildest rivers, through the eyes of the people whose lives and livelihoods have long depended on its waters and wildlife, and discover the national conservation program that ensures that this and many other wild rivers will provide these values forever.

This will be followed by a screening of the film Redefining Prosperity: The Gold Rushes of Nevada City, followed by an in person discussion with the film’s director John de Graaf. This film features a segment on the Yuba River, a Wild & Scenic River in California.

Born in the California Gold Rush, Nevada City was once the scene of some of the most destructive environmental practices on earth. By the 1960s, the town was a backwater, its extractive industries dying. Then it was discovered by the “back to the land movement.” It was a second gold rush but with a different idea of gold based on nature, community and a sense of place. The Yuba River brought conflicting factions of the community together while different ideas about the meaning of wealth have led to changes in local food production, education, arts, music and a commitment to building community. Redefining Prosperity: The Gold Rushes of Nevada City includes two dozen of Nevada City’s most active citizens and their stories.

Details:

Empress Theatre
330 Virginia St.
Vallejo, CA 94590

Date: Thursday, April 12
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: $10

Online tickets are available here.

The film will also be shown in Nevada City the following weekend:

Nevada Theatre
401 Broad St.
Nevada City, CA 95959

Date: Sunday, April 15
Time: 7:00 p.m.

 
IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
3.   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.

California national monuments

The San Francisco Chronicle on the potential shrinking of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument: Along California-Oregon border, debate over protected lands is clash of values

The Los Angeles Times on the Sand to Snow National Monument: Feral cattle terrorize hikers and devour native plants in a California national monument

The Interior Department and other politics

Good news first: Zinke Cancels Chaco Canyon lease sale in the Albuquerque Journal. You may read the BLM press release here.

Unfortunately, this was followed by a lease sale in Southeastern Utah on lands containing many archeological sites and close to Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients national monuments. The Washington Post wrote this article: National Park Service warned lease sale Tuesday could harm national monument in Utah

Washington Post opinion columnist Dana Millbank wrote: All hail Ryan Zinke, our imperial viceroy

An article in The Hill: Zinke signed order in January making ‘acting’ directors official

An article in the Washington Post: A mining firm executive griped to Zinke about federal pollution rules. The secretary apologized.

CNN reported: White House scolds Cabinet officials after embarrassing ethics reports. Secretary Zinke was included among them.

A Washington Post article: Oversight panel seeks details on Interior’s pricey doors. The Interior Department plans to spend $139,000 to replace double doors in the Secretary’s office.

Our friends at the Center for Western Priorities report: Documents reveal Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke uses a private email address for official business

The Democrats on the House Natural Resource Committee released a statement stating that a letter held up by Secty. Zinke in a hearing was not what he claimed it to be, nor had such a letter ever been sent. Secretary Zinke Testified Falsely Today – Said Letter to Chairman Bishop Responded to Rep. Barragan’s Ethics Concerns

An article in The Hill: Zinke and his wife took security detail on vacation to Turkey, Greece: report

From CNN: Sources: Zinke tells employees diversity isn’t important

A Washington Post article: Zinke creates new outdoor recreation panel made up almost entirely of industry advisers

From CNN: Zinke says ‘Konnichiwa’ after hearing story about WWII Japanese internment

An article in Outside: Congress Just Ignored Trump’s Public-Land Cuts

An op-ed in The Hill by Peter Metcalf of Black Diamond: Secretary Zinke, you’re no Teddy Roosevelt

In Nevada

From Reuters: States’ rights rancher Ryan Bundy to run for Nevada governor

General

An op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News, by our friend Ryan Henson of the California Wilderness Coalition: Opinion: Trump’s ruthless attack on California’s desert lands

An essay in High Country News reflecting on Edward Abbey and the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Desert Solitaire: Balancing the pulls of domesticity and wilderness

 
 
 
 
 

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 information on making a contribution to CalUWild, click here.

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

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2018 February

March 3rd, 2018


In the Needles, Canyonlands National Park, Utah                                                                       (Mike Painter)
 

February 28, 2018

Dear CalUWild friends—

The administration continues its thinly-disguised reviews of monuments, plans, and regulations in the hopes of overturning many of the decisions enacted over the last few years. (See ITEMS 1 & 3.) Almost all of these had been made with substantial public input, and there is no rational reason for them to be revisited. The only explanation is that opponents of public land protection (and many other environmental issues) have the ears of the current administration and Congress.

We’re confident that they won’t be successful in all their attempts to roll back the clock, but it will require many people to be vigilant and active.

CalUWild remains committed to providing the information people need to speak out effectively in defense of our public lands, whether to Congress, the administration, or the press.

Thank you for your interest and efforts!
 

Best wishes,
Mike
 

IN UTAH
1. National Monuments Update
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: March 19
          (ACTION ITEM)
2. Central Wasatch National Conservation
          & Recreation Area Act
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
3. Desert Renewable Energy Plan Under Attack
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: March 22
          (ACTION ITEM)
4. 4 Wheel Bob — Film Showing in:
          San Rafael (March 18)
          Albany (March 21)

IN GENERAL
5. Job Listings
          a. Friends of Nevada Wilderness
          b. Mono Lake Committee

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

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

IN UTAH
1. National Monuments Update
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: March 19
          (ACTION ITEM)

As we mentioned in last month’s Update, the BLM is currently undertaking planning processes for the replacement national monuments in Utah. We have some more detailed talking points below. The deadline for comments is currently March 19, though if additional public meetings are scheduled, the deadline will be extended at least 15 days after the last meeting. But it’s better not to take any chances.

According to High Country News, the BLM offices have been instructed to ignore comments demanding that they put off planning until litigation is finished. You should include that point, regardless. It lets BLM know that people are paying attention, and it gets the illegality and waste of planning resources into the public record, which may be useful publicity in the likely case that the administration loses in court.

Please use your own words, and if you have been to any of the areas under discussion, please say so and explain why they are important to you.

For both Bear Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

— The proclamations issued to shrink the original monuments are illegal. The president has no authority under law to reduce monuments once they have been designated. Only Congress has that authority. Most legal commentators agree with that position.

— These rollbacks have been challenged in federal court. It is not appropriate to be undertaking large-scale planning because of this ongoing litigation. Should the plaintiffs win their cases, there will be a large waste of time and money. In times of reduced budgets, that is doubly inexcusable.

— Citizens do not support these rollbacks. See the overwhelming support for all our monuments shown by the 2.7 million comments submitted during last summer’s review. 97% recommended that all monuments remain intact.

Bears Ears National Monument

— Any interim actions planned within the original and legitimate Bears Ears National Monument boundary should only be done for the purpose of protecting Monument resources as set out in President Obama’s proclamation, Proclamation 9558 (December 28, 2016). This includes vegetation removal projects for supposed grazing range enhancements.

— In developing a management plan for the Shash Jáa and Indian Creek management units—and in order to ensure protection of cultural and natural resources—BLM must consider alternatives that permanently close Arch Canyon, Lavender Canyon, and Davis Canyon to motorized vehicle use.

— In order to ensure adequate public review and comment, the public comment period should be extended to 90 days after the last BLM or Forest Service public hearing.

— In addition to Bears Ears National Monument gateway communities, public hearings should also be held in Salt Lake City, Utah; Flagstaff, Arizona; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Denver, Colorado; and Washington, D.C.

The planning homepage is here and the direct link to the online comment form is here.

By Email: blm_ut_monticello_monuments@blm.gov

Comments may also be submitted by U.S. Mail to:

Attn: Field Office Manager
Monticello Field Office
Bureau of Land Management
P.O. Box 7
Monticello, UT 84535

An ironically-timed article appeared in the Washington Post: Spectacular fossils found at Bears Ears — right where Trump removed protections

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

— Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was designated in 1996, with its primary purpose to protect the incredible scientific, ecological, and paleontological resources within its 1.9 million acres. Any interim actions within the original and legitimate Monument boundary should only be done for the purpose of protecting Monument resources as set out in the original proclamation.

— BLM’s 1999 Monument management plan was the result of a deliberate and collaborative process that involved scientific scrutiny and intense public participation. Any interim actions within the original and legitimate Monument boundary must comply with the 1999 management plan.

— All motorized travel routes within the original Monument boundary that were closed or limited under the 1999 Monument management must continue to be managed pursuant to the management plan. For example, the Paria River—a fragile riparian corridor within a Wilderness Study Area that was purposely excluded from President Trump’s monument boundaries in order to facilitate ATV use—must remain closed to all motorized vehicles.

— Contrary to what some have said, the designation of GSENM has been important for local communities, which have grown economically more than other rural counties in this region. The monument as is, is a critical factor in the local community. There are proposals to allow coal mining in original GSENM. However, coal is dead in this region, as demonstrated by the upcoming closing of the nearest coal-fired power plant and the fact that other states, such as California, are not interested in providing a market for it, or even providing shipping facilities for export, as is the case in Oakland, California. No coal mining in the area should be considered. The future is in taking care of these remarkable lands and bringing renewable energy to local communities.

— Do not allow current and future vegetation removal projects, in particular “chaining,” within the original Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This practice negates BLM’s obligation to protect natural resources and wilderness values from irreversible human-caused harm.

The homepage for the project is here, and comments may be submitted here.

By Email: BLM_UT_CCD_monuments@blm.gov

Comments may also be submitted by U.S. Mail:

Attn: Monument Manager
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Bureau of Land Management
669 S Hwy. 89A
Kanab, UT 84741

 
In ITEM 2 of last month’s Update we mentioned The ANTIQUITIES Act of 2108, S. 2354. Unnoticed in the information provided by Sen. Tom Udall and omitted from our discussion is a provision in the bill that would congressionally designate all 1.9 million acres of the original Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition proposal, rather than the 1.3 million that was designated by Pres. Obama. That’s even more reason to support it!
 

2. Central Wasatch National Conservation
          & Recreation Area Act
          (ACTION ITEM)

Much of CalUWild’s work in Utah has focused on areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management. But Utah has significant national forest lands, as well, and some of it is even wilderness! One important area is the Wasatch Front, the mountains behind Salt Lake City and stretching south from there.

A Utah organization, Save Our Canyons, has put forward a proposal that would, in their words

protect 80,000 acres of public land through the designation of the “Central Wasatch National Conservation & Recreation Area.” Once passed, this legislation will connect fragmented land with areas currently under federal protection, designate additional wilderness areas, and limit future development in the Wasatch, all while protecting our shared values of natural places.

More information on the proposal may be found here, and a series of maps detailing various aspects of the proposal may be found here.

Finally, there is an online petition in support of the proposal. Please sign it here.

We’ll keep you posted as the proposal develops further, including any legislation.
 

3. Desert Renewable Energy Plan Under Attack
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: March 22
          (ACTION ITEM)

The Bureau of Land Management last month announced plans to review the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), put into place after years of discussion and compromise among many interested parties. The administration said it would like to allow more renewable energy installations, off-road vehicle use, and mining and grazing. The DRECP covers almost 11 million acres of BLM lands in seven California counties: Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego. See below for more background on the DRECP.

BLM is holding scoping meetings at the following locations over the next week.

Friday, March 2, 2018
3pm – 5pm
Fairfield Inn & Suites
503 E Danenberg Dr., El Centro, CA 92243

Monday, March 5, 2018
1pm – 3pm
DoubleTree Hotel
2001 Point West Way, Sacramento, CA 95815

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
5pm – 7pm
Bakersfield Field Office
3801 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93308

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
5pm – 7pm
UC Riverside, Palm Desert Center, Auditorium
75080 Frank Sinatra Dr., Palm Desert, CA 92211

Please attend if you can!

The following comes from our friends at the California Wilderness Coalition:

ACTION ALERT: 4.2 million acres of protected desert lands under attack

Defending the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) is a visionary blueprint for balancing conservation, energy development, and recreation on our priceless desert public lands. While protecting desert lands for recreation and wildlife, the DRECP dedicates an area larger than the city of Los Angeles for renewable energy projects – which California energy regulators say is ample for meeting the state’s renewable energy goals. Despite this, the Trump administration claims that even more land may be required for development.

Re-opening the DRECP puts at risk over four million acres of protected conservation lands, including Silurian Valley, Chuckwalla Bench, Conglomerate Mesa, and Panamint Valley, and will undoubtedly harm the scenic vistas, dark skies, wildflower displays, and the myriad recreational opportunities these lands provide. Revising the DRECP could also greatly harm many iconic species such as desert bighorn sheep and desert tortoise.

During the more than eight-year planning process, federal, state and local governments, conservationists, energy producers, recreationists, and desert residents participated in about a dozen public meetings to help create the DRECP. In addition, BLM took into consideration more than 16,000 public comments when it finalized the plan. The fact that the DRECP was never challenged in court is a testament to the buy-in that was achieved as a result of this careful listening process. Please join our coalition members in declaring this process unnecessary, counter-productive, and ultimately detrimental to California’s precious desert lands and state efforts to grow renewable energy.

Talking points adapted from CWC:

— Oppose any attempt to re-open the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP). The DRECP should be implemented as is.

— There is no justification for re-opening this Plan that was only finalized about 17 months ago. Re-opening the DRECP to years of arguing, uncertainty, and litigation is a waste of taxpayer dollars and valuable government resources. I strongly urge the Department of the Interior to leave it alone.

— There was broad public support for the plan and more than eight years of collaboration between federal, local, and state government, energy producers, conservationists, and recreationists helped produce it.

— The Department of Interior must maintain protections for the special lands that were designated as California Desert National Conservation Lands and Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. These wild lands encompass many spectacular and outstanding values such as colorful wildflower displays, endangered wildlife habitat, and opportunities for recreation and solitude that should be preserved for future generations. The DRECP’s conservation and recreation aspects not only protect special places but also bring significant tourism dollars into California, which drives local economies.

Submit comments on issues and planning criteria

via Email to BLM_CA_DRECP@blm.gov

or by U.S. Mail to:

Mr. Jerry Perez
BLM-California State Director
2800 Cottage Way, Rm W–1623
Sacramento, CA 95825

 
In related news, the administration is also opening up 1.3 million acres of desert lands to mining, reversing a withdrawal that the Obama administration put in place in 2016. You may read details in this San Bernardino Desert Sun article: Trump administration opens millions of acres of California desert to mining
 

4. 4 Wheel Bob — Film Showing in:
          San Rafael (March 18)
          Albany (March 21)

One frequently hears from opponents of wilderness that its designation shuts out people who can’t hike. However, people are able to explore in various other ways, whether on horseback, canoes, rafts, or kayaks, or even wheelchairs (which are allowed, despite a general prohibition on mechanical transport). Here’s a film about one man’s adventure:

At the Smith Rafael Film Center:

Bay Area filmmaker Tal Skloot will present his film portrait of Bob Coomber, who will join him for discussion. 4 Wheel Bob follows Coomber, an intrepid adventurer who sets out to be the first wheelchair hiker to cross the 11,845-foot Kearsarge Pass in the Sierra Nevada. Bob had grown up in Piedmont in a family of avid backpackers and, while hiking in his early 20s, shattered his leg in a struggle related to juvenile diabetes and subsequent osteoporosis. After a period of depression, Bob adopted a philosophy of “no excuses” and, confined to his wheelchair, took increasingly strenuous hikes, using only his arms to get around. And as you will see, the Kearsarge Pass can be a dangerous climb. (2017) 72 min. plus discussion.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Sunday, March 18
1118 Fourth St, San Rafael, CA 94901
4:15 p.m.

The film will also be shown at the Albany Film Fest on

Wednesday March 21
Albany Twin Theatre
1115 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706
7:30 p.m.

Go to the film’s website to view a trailer. There are no other screening listed, but there is a mailing list you can join.
 

IN GENERAL
5. Job Listings

          a. Friends of Nevada Wilderness

From our friends to the east:

Friends of Nevada Wilderness is hiring for the 2018 summer field season! We are happy to announce that we currently have 13 seasonal positions available. If you or someone you know would be interested in spending the summer in living and working in some of Nevada’s most wild areas, please consider applying for one of the positions listed here.

          b. Mono Lake Committee

From our friends at the Mono Lake Committee:

Mono Lake Committee seasonal jobs available

If you’ve always wanted to spend a summer at Mono Lake, now is your chance—we still have open seasonal staff positions for summer 2018, including Mono Lake Intern, Canoe Program Coordinator, Outdoor Education Instructor, and Information Center & Bookstore Assistant. Summer at Mono Lake is… the busiest and most activity-filled season, and seasonal staff jobs include leading interpretive tours, helping visitors in the bookstore, and canoeing on Mono Lake, among many other varied tasks. We accept applications from people of all ages, whether you’re looking for an internship between college semesters, or you’re interested in a post-retirement summer of work.

To apply, please send a cover letter and résumé to Office Director Jessica Horn, either by email or by mail to PO Box 29, Lee Vining, CA 93541.
 

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

If a link is broken or otherwise inaccessible, please send me an email, and I’ll fix it or send you a PDF copy. As always, inclusion of an item in this section does not imply agreement with the viewpoint expressed.

To see how deep the anti-public lands sentiment runs among Utah’s politicians, read this Salt Lake Tribune article: Bill seeks to limit how Utah city and local officials speak up in favor of public-lands protections

In response to one argument made by the federal pubic lands opponents, John Leshy, Professor Emeritus at UC Hastings and former Interior Department Solicitor has written this comprehensive law review article: Are U.S. Public Lands Unconstitutional. Follow the link on the page to see the full article. It’s long but the pages are short with lots of footnotes. It’s very readable.

An op-ed in the NY Times: Protecting America’s Last Great Animal Migrations

New national parks in Chile: Protecting Wilderness as an Act of Democracy

 
 
 
 
 

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