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2020 May

June 3rd, 2020


Near Lunar Crater, Nevada                                                                                                                                     (Mike Painter)

 
May 31, 2020

Dear CalUWild friends—

In this time of public health challenges, political uncertainty, and social unrest, it is especially critical to let our representatives know that there are other concerns that must be addressed at the same time. The administration continues its attacks on our environment, and Congress is the main shield available to citizens, though many organizations are resorting to action in the courts (and successfully, too!).

Please take a few minutes to call your representatives and senators, letting them know your concerns in general and also regarding the two specific issues below, in ITEMS 1 & 2. Contact information may be found on our online California Congressional Information Sheet. In District 25, Santa Clarita, Mike Garcia (R) was elected to fill the term of Rep. Katie Hill (D), who had previously resigned. It remains to be seen what happens with her various cosponsorships.

 
In the meantime get outdoors as much as you can. While parks and other public lands are beginning to open up again, there are concerns that it might be too soon, exposing employees and the public to increased health risks. So please observe any social distancing and mask requirements.

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill Gets 2 New California Cosponsors
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN NEVADA
2.   Desert National Wildlife Refuge Protection Bill
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN GENERAL
3.   Oppose E-Bikes on Public Lands
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: June 9
          (ACTION ITEM)

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

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IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill Gets 2 New California Cosponsors
          (ACTION ITEM)

America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (H.R. 5775) gained two new cosponsors from California this month: Reps. Mike Thompson (D-5) and Tony Cárdenas (D-29). They joined 14 other California representatives and lead sponsor Alan Lowenthal (D-47) on the bill. Sen. Kamala Harris (D) is not on the bill yet, despite her otherwise strong public land credentials. There are now 81 House cosponsors and 19 in the Senate.

Please contact their offices to say thank you. And if your representative is not on the bill yet, urge them to become a cosponsor. With everything else that’s going on, they often need an extra push from their constituents.

A full list of current and former California cosponsors may be found on our online California Congressional Information Sheet.

A full list of cosponsors nationwide may be found here.

 
IN NEVADA
2.   Desert National Wildlife Refuge Protection Bill
          (ACTION ITEM)

The Air Force is proposing to expand its operations in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge north of Las Vegas. Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate that would preserve the Refuge for wildlife: H.R. 5606 and S. 3145, the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and Nevada Test and Training Range Withdrawal and Management Act.

Our colleagues at Friends of Nevada Wilderness sent out the following alert requesting people to call their representatives in support of the legislation:

May 20th marked the 84th anniversary of the creation of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, located in southern Nevada. The 1.6 million acre refuge was established by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936 to protect the iconic desert bighorn sheep, Nevada’s official state animal. Located just north of Las Vegas, the Desert Refuge is the largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska. This pristine, wild landscape must be preserved not only for the sake of the wildlife who depend on it, but also for the public who recreates there, and to protect and honor the incomparable historic and cultural resources present throughout the refuge. Currently the Air Force shares jurisdiction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of over 800,000 acres of the western portion of Refuge. The military’s use is intended solely for training purposes and these areas are closed to the public. Now the Air Force is asking Congress to expand their reach in this rich desert landscape.

The US Fish & Wildlife Service needs to retain full management of the entire refuge and no more land in the refuge should be given over to the military. Opening up more land for the potential bombing of critical bighorn sheep habitat and sacred Native American sites is not acceptable. Please don’t lock the American people out of the remainder of this incredible wildlife refuge.

While national defense is important to all of us, a balance must be established that includes cultural and historical preservation and conservation of wildlife habitat and public access. The Nellis Test and Training Range already has 2.9 million acres that are off limits to the public. We ask that when the time comes, please vote in the interest of Nevada’s wildlife and the public. Protect the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.

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

 
IN GENERAL
3.   Oppose E-Bikes on Public Lands
          Comments Needed
          DEADLINE: June 9
          (ACTION ITEM)

The Bureau of Land Management has an open comment period on a proposal to allow electric bikes (e-bikes) to be classified as ordinary bicycles under some circumstances. Please submit comments. Our friends at Wilderness Watch sent out the following alert and talking points:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is undergoing rule-making to open up our federal public lands to electric bikes, or e-bikes. This means that all trails open to bikes will now be open to motorized bikes, and although individual managers can close individual trails to e-bike use, most will be loathe to do so. This rule-making effort is being made to implement Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt’s Secretarial Order from August 2019 to do so.

E-bikes are bicycles turned into motorbikes. They use an electric motor, rather than a gas-powered one, to propel the bike forward. On some bikes, the electric motor provides an assist while peddling, on others the electric motor alone can power the bike. E-bike use has taken off in recent years, and new technologies are now being developed to manufacture e-bikes that can drive up to 55 miles per hour.

For far too long conservationists have ignored the threat that mountain biking poses to wildlands, wildlife and Wilderness. Modern bikes employ technological advances in suspensions, materials, drivetrains, brakes, and even tires that allow mountain bikers to access backcountry areas that would have been unheard of a decade or two ago. Even today, many conservationists err in promoting mountain biking as a benign “human-powered” activity, even though the human power is enhanced with a great deal of high-tech machinery that allows even average riders to reach places unreachable not long ago. Motorized, electric-powered bikes—e-bikes—are becoming the norm and will greatly exacerbate the ecological and political problems created by mountain bikes.

Like all recreation, mountain bikes displace wildlife. Because they travel farther and faster than hikers or equestrians, then can impact a much greater area in the same amount of time. They also have a very asymmetrical impact on foot travelers, who are seeking a quiet, contemplative, non-motorized and non-mechanized experience and are disrupted by a machine racing by. But beyond these direct impacts to nature, a significant segment of the mountain biking community has become one of the most ardent opponents of Wilderness designation and, more significantly, is pushing to open existing Wildernesses to bikes. This push will presumably include e-bikes if they’re treated like non-motorized bikes on public lands.

The new rule-making efforts pose significant problems for wildlife, other trail users, and protected areas like Wilderness. Please submit comments to the Bureau of Land Management expressing your opposition to opening up non-motorized trails on federal public lands to motorized e-bikes.

 
1. E-bikes should be treated as motorbikes, not bicycles. New e-bikes are being developed now that will drive up to 55 mph. E-bikes should instead travel only where motor vehicles are allowed.

2. Because of their speed and quiet nature, e-bikes can travel much farther into the backcountry, and startle and disturb wildlife over far greater distances.

3. Because of their speed and quiet nature, e-bikes also conflict with other non-motorized trail users like hikers, horseback riders, and bicyclists.

4. Because there is almost no enforcement now for trespass, illegal off-trail riding, and illegal trail development by some bikers, e-bikes will increasingly trespass into Wilderness and other protected areas with no consequences. This illegal use will degrade the wild character of these lands and should not be permitted.

Please submit comments to the BLM by June 9. Use your own words and identify your comments with this code:

RIN 1004-AE72

You may submit your comments by clicking on the Comment Now! button here as well as finding more information about the proposed rule on that page.

You may also comment by U.S. Mail at this address:

U.S. Department of the Interior
Director (630), Bureau of Land Management
Mail Stop 2134 LM
1849 C St. NW, Attention: RIN 1004-AE72
Washington, DC 20240

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

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

The Administration

An article in The Hill: Interior sued over temporary appointments of top officials. National Parks Traveler posted a copy of the complaint on its website.

An article in The Hill: Court sides with California, blocking Trump’s water diversion

An article in The Guardian, from its “This Land is Your Land” project: He opposed public lands and wildlife protections. Trump gave him a top environment job

An op-ed in High Country News by former California BLM State Director Jim Kenna: Bureau of Land Management leaders have lost their way

In Alaska

An article in the Washington Post: EPA opts not to delay controversial Alaska mine for now.

In Arizona

An article in the Arizona Daily Sun: Feds approve initial Little Colorado River dam permits; developer eyes third permit

In Nevada

An article in E&E News about the Bundy family and Gold Butte National Monument: Bundy’s trenches may force confrontation with BLM

In Oregon

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle: Hammonds drop appeal to compete for lost grazing allotments The Hammonds are the ranchers whose jail sentences kicked off the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.

National Parks

An article in National Parks Traveler: Court Orders National Park Service, Federal Aviation Administration To Develop Air Tour Guidelines

An article by Jeremy Miller in The Guardian, from its “This Land is Your Land” project: ‘We’ve never seen this’: wildlife thrives in closed US national parks

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Crowds cause Arches National Park to shut gates just three hours after opening

Wildlife

An article in the Los Angeles Times: Desert mystery: Why have pronghorn antelope returned to Death Valley?

An article in Courthouse News about a lawsuit filed by Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund: Endangered Jaguar at Crux of New Border-Wall Fight

 
 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated. Dues payable to CalUWild are not tax-deductible, as they may be used for lobbying. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please make your check payable to Resource Renewal Institute, CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor. If your address is not on the check, please print out and enclose a membership form.

Either way, mail it to:

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

 
 

As always, if you ever have questions, suggestions, critiques, or wish to change your e-mail address or unsubscribe, all you have to do is send an email. For membership information, click here.

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

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2020 March

April 1st, 2020

Globe Mallow, Cedar Mesa, Utah                                                                                                              (Mike Painter)

 
March 31, 2020

Dear CalUWild friends—

Welcome to the strange new world of coronavirus. I hope everyone and their families are able to stay healthy and safe. That needs to be the first priority.

However, we still need to pay attention to what’s going on in Washington, DC and elsewhere. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and the rest of the administration are insisting on pushing full steam ahead with their anti-environmental agenda of NEPA rollbacks, oil and gas leases, and more. This comes despite pleas from employees who need to take time off and from Congress and citizens who need to be attending to other matters. Meanwhile the oil and gas industry is requesting leniency on enforcement, since many of them are now short of workers because of the virus. We’ll see what the response is to those requests.

So while we’re in for rough times ahead on many fronts, we all will need to do our best to get through. See ITEM 4 for ideas for things to do to that provide for some balance and relaxation.

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN COLORADO
2.   Wilderness Bill Introduced for Southern Colorado

IN IDAHO
3.   Job Opportunity: Western Watersheds Project

IN GENERAL
4.   The Pandemic and Public Lands

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

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

IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

There is only one new cosponsor for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act this month from California: Rep. Katie Porter (D-45). (Many of you may have seen video of Rep. Porter, in a Congressional hearing, forcing the head of the Centers for Disease Control to agree to free testing for the coronavirus.)

Please call her office to say thank you: 202-225-5611

We hope to get most of California’s representatives signed on soon as cosponsors, so please look at the California Congressional Information Sheet on our website and see where your representatives stand. And then call to thank or ask them, as appropriate.

A full list of cosponsors nationwide (74 in the House and 17 in the Senate) may be found here.

 
IN COLORADO
2.   Wilderness Bill Introduced for Southern Colorado

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) has introduced the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Additions Act (S. 3320), which would add some 40,000 acres to the existing wilderness area (of the same name) in the Rio Grande National Forest.

Sen. Gardner has faced criticism because he has not been a supporter of wilderness and public lands since being elected in 2015. Sen. Gardner has not spoken in favor of the CORE Act, introduced by Sen. Michael Bennet (D), which we wrote about in our January 2019 Update. The League of Conservation Voters says that in 64 out of 75 votes, Sen. Gardner voted against conservation interests. Conservation Colorado published an analysis of Sen. Gardner’s environmental record, which you can read here. Sen. Gardner is, however, credited with having changed White House thinking on funding for the Land & Water Conservation Fund.

Conservation and outdoor recreation are important issues in Colorado, and Sen. Gardner is facing a tough re-election campaign this year. Therefore, many people there feel that this bill is merely a way to shore up his credentials, risk-free, since its acreage is a large proportion of the recommendation (58,000+ acres) already made by the Forest Service in its preferred alternative of the management plan for the forest.

We’ll see how it all plays out and keep you posted.

 
IN IDAHO
3.   Job Opportunity: Western Watersheds Project

Our friends at Western Watersheds Project are looking for …

… an Idaho Director to continue and expand WWP’s campaign to protect and restore public lands and wildlife in Idaho, with an emphasis on livestock grazing and related environmental problems. The position will entail administrative and legal oversight of federal decisions, fieldwork, data collection and analysis, participation in agency planning processes, media outreach and legislative advocacy. The ideal candidate will be highly organized, self-motivated, be able to synthesize and understand ecological and biological concepts, and have strong written and oral communication skills.

Full details are on WWP’s website here.

 
IN GENERAL
4.   The Pandemic and Public Lands

With the coronavirus spreading around the U.S. and the world, many states, including California, issued orders restricting people’s activities to those considered “essential.” Fortunately, this included getting out for exercise. Unfortunately, many people decided this was reason to visit our public lands, near and far from their homes. The Park Service encouraged this by waiving entrance fees at all national parks and monuments.

Many areas found themselves overrun with visitors, defeating the purpose of stay-at-home orders for reducing transmission. Local roads were overwhelmed, severely restricting the ability of emergency agencies to function. Local officials put shutdowns into effect at some places immediately. Eventually, many national parks and monuments were closed to prevent public transmission of the virus but also to protect the employees of the sites.

However, the Park Service so far has refused to close Grand Canyon National Park, despite calls from its superintendent, park employees, and local and national officials. It’s unclear what the reasoning might be.

So in short, this is not the time to plan a trip to Moab or the Bears Ears. Neither place has the capacity to handle any problems that visitors might have on top of expected coronavirus patients. (Moab’s hospital has a total of 17 beds.) The Navajo Nation needs its facilities for its own citizens. In recognition of this, the SE Utah Health Department issued an order closing all restaurants, bars, and movie theaters for 30 days. In addition, it directed that all lodging be rented only to only “essential” or primary residents of Carbon, Emery, and Grand counties.

In California, all National Forest and State Park campgrounds are closed, though hiking trails are open. However, long-distance driving for hiking is not considered “essential.”

So what to do instead? Use your local parks and open spaces for exercise, obeying all travel and parking restrictions. Maintain your distance and awareness when you’re out. Wash your hands when you get home!

And afterward there’s no need to be bored at home.

Many national parks and other places have webcams, which you can watch over the Internet, so you can check in on some of your favorite places. (No webcams in wilderness, however!) A CalUWild friend sent in a link to a page from which you can take virtual tours of some of the most well-known national parks. (Google Earth is required.)

Many arts organizations, museums, and other institutions are making their archives available free of charge.

For example, the Metropolitan Opera will be streaming CalUWild Advisory Board Member John Adams’s opera Nixon in China on Wednesday, April 1, beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The MET is streaming one opera every night from its Live in HD movie theater screenings, and they are available for the following 23 hours. Details may be found by following the links here.

The Smithsonian announced Smithsonian Open Access—“where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking.”

The California Academy of Sciences has Academy @ Home

The Internet Archive announced this week it was making a “National Emergency Library” available with over 1.4 million volumes, free of charge.

Google Arts & Culture has virtual tours of reportedly 2,500 museums!

For the younger folks in your life: Open Culture has an archive of 6,000 historical children’s books and coloring books from 113 museums available for free download. They have lots of other free materials of interest, too.

Please support your local arts organizations and businesses as much as you can during the time ahead!

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

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

The Administration

An article from the New York Times: Coronavirus Doesn’t Slow Trump’s Regulatory Rollbacks, as mentioned in the introduction.

Specifically related to the BLM headquarters move:

An article in The Hill: BLM exodus: Agency loses half of DC staff slated for relocation

An article in the Washington Post: Trump’s bid to move hundreds of jobs from D.C., possibly separating families, was based on unsupported assumptions, report says

An article in The Hill: Natural Resources chair threatens to subpoena Interior Department

Utah

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Cattle could return to Escalante tributaries under new Grand Staircase monument plan. This is on the same topic as the op-ed by John Leshy in the New York Times that we linked to last month.

The Atlantic published a photo essay on Utah.

Nevada

An article in the Reno Gazette Journal: District court judge deals blow to Las Vegas pipeline plan. We’ve written on the proposed pipeline and its potential effects on Spring Valley in Nevada and Snake Valley on the Utah-Nevada border previously.

Wyoming

An article in the Washington Post on wildlife crossing for animals encountering freeways: Safe Passages

Related to Coronavirus and Public Lands

An op-ed in National Parks Traveler: The National Park Service’s Battle With Politics And Common Sense

An article in the Los Angeles Times: This Trump agency downplayed coronavirus. Two days later, it praised his ‘decisive’ response

CalUWild friend writer Jon Mooallem had an op-ed in the New York Times adapted from his new book on the 1964 Alaska Earthquake: This Is How You Live When the World Falls Apart. Jon’s book “This Is Chance! The Shaking of an All-American City, a Voice That Held It Together,” was published this month and is available from your local bookseller or Amazon.

Public Lands in General

An article in Courthouse News: National Monuments Shown to Boost Economy of American West

An article in the New York Times: A Mustang Crisis Looms in the West

 
 
 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated.

Dues payable to CalUWild are not tax-deductible, as they may be used for lobbying.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please make your check payable to Resource Renewal Institute, CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor.

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

 
 
 

As always, if you ever have questions, suggestions, critiques, or wish to change your e-mail address or unsubscribe, all you have to do is send an email. For membership information, click here.

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

 

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2019 December

January 8th, 2020


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

 
December 31, 2019

Dear CalUWild friends—

As another year comes to a close today, we’re grateful for our public lands here in the U.S. And we look to another year of being able to enjoy them and to work to protect them.

Last month CalUWild celebrated its 22nd anniversary, bringing citizens the information and the tools they need to engage effectively with the various levels of decision makers in the administration, in Congress, as well as other important players. In our Monthly Updates we have also included many more press articles and other items, bringing other public lands topics to your attention, even if there’s no action to be taken on them. Coverage of public lands has increased dramatically these last few years, no doubt in response to the administration’s attempts to roll back protections. Thank you for your efforts!

And a special Thank You to everyone who has supported CalUWild with contributions over the years, especially responding to our latest Membership Appeal. It’s never too late to make a contribution, though; information is at the bottom of this Update.

 
Best wishes for a Happy New Year and on into 2020!
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
2.   Cosponsors Added to Three California Wilderness Bills
          (ACTION ITEM)
3.   Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50) to Resign
4.   Job Opportunities: California Native Plant Society

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

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IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act on December 16. We expect California Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-47) to reintroduce the House companion bill soon. So our cosponsor campaign is heating up.

The bill in this Congress reflects the changes brought about by the designation of large areas of wilderness in Emery County in the Dingell Public Lands bill of last February. And other lands, claimed by the Ute Indian Tribe in the Uncompahgre area and currently the subject of litigation brought by the tribe have been left out, at their request. Otherwise, the bill remains the same as previously.

Please ask your Senators and Representatives to become cosponsors. There are already 10 in the Senate, though neither senator from California is yet. In the House, representatives should contact Rep. Lowenthal’s office requesting to be original cosponsors before reintroduction.

A complete list of California offices, with DC phone numbers, may be found here on CalUWild’s website. Previous cosponsors are listed there and are the most likely offices to become original cosponsors this time around.

 
IN CALIFORNIA
2.   Cosponsors Added to Three California Wilderness Bills
          (ACTION ITEM)

As we reported in ITEM 2 last month, the House Natural Resources Committee passed three California wilderness bills. Since that Update, a few representatives have added their names to the cosponsor lists.

H.R. 2250, Northwest CA: Ro Khanna (D-17), Adam Schiff (D-28), Pete Aguilar (D-31) & Harley Rouda (D-48)

H.R. 2199, Central Coast: Ro Khanna (D-17) & Harley Rouda (D-48)

H.R. 2215: San Gabriel Mountains: Harley Rouda (D-48)

Please thank them. A full list of cosponsors for these (and other) bills may be found here on CalUWild’s website. If your representative is not on the list for a particular bill, please ask them to sign on!

 
3.   Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50) to Resign

Rep. Duncan Hunter, Jr. (R-50) announced he would resign from the House of Representatives “after the holidays,” following his plea of guilty to campaign financing violations. No firm resignation date was set, however. Gov. Newsom has not announced any decision regarding a special election, since Mr. Hunter is still officially in office, but because Rep. Hunter did not resign before the deadline for a mandatory special election, the delay makes it possible that his district will have no representative in Congress for all of 2020.

[NOTE: Mr. Hunter submitted his resignation January 7, 2020, effective January 13, 2020.]

 
4.   Job Opportunities: California Native Plant Society

Our friends at CNPS have a few positions open around the state. Click here for details.

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

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

The Administration

An article in National Parks Traveler: NPS To Develop List Of Lands With Significantly Restricted Or No Public Access

An op-ed in Politico by Bob Abbey and Jim Caswell, former directors of the BLM: The Stealth Plan to Erode Public Control of Public Lands

An op-ed in the Las Vegas Review-Journal by CalUWild friend Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds Project: BLM interim director sympathetic to Sagebrush Rebellion crowd

An article in the New York Times: Interior Official Broke Ethics Rules, Government Watchdog Concludes. It’s getting repetitious.

California

An article in the Los Angeles Times: Amid the wasteland of the Salton Sea, a miraculous but challenging oasis is born

Alaska

An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, by CalUWild friend Jacques Leslie, on a topic about which we’ve written before, the proposed Pebble Mine: Will pristine Bristol Bay be the Trump administration’s next sacrifice?

Oregon

An article in Courthouse News: No Grazing Permits for Trump-Pardoned Arsonists, Judge Rules. It was these ranchers’ jail sentences that precipitated the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016. The lawsuit was brought by our friends at Western Watersheds Project, the Center for Biological Diversity, and WildEarth Guardians.

In General

An article in Courthouse News with good news about the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off Cape Cod: Atlantic Ocean’s First Marine Monument Survives Court Challenge

An article in the New York Times: Fractured Forests Are Endangering Wildlife, Scientists Find

 
 
 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated.

Dues payable to CalUWild are not tax-deductible, as they may be used for lobbying.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please make your check payable to Resource Renewal Institute, CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor.

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

 
 
 
 
 

As always, if you ever have questions, suggestions, critiques, or wish to change your e-mail address or unsubscribe, all you have to do is send an email. For membership information, click here.

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

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2019 October

November 5th, 2019


Lehman Caves, Great Basin National Park, Nevada                                                                                              (Mike Painter)

 
October 31, 2019

Dear CalUWild friends—

First of all, I want to express concern for everyone who has been affected by the fires in Northern and Southern California. Please stay safe.

There are a few Action Items this month, all involving Congress. Feel free to combine any or all of them in one call or message posted to your representative’s and senators’ comment forms on their websites.

 
Toward year-end, we send out our membership appeal, and we’ll be doing that again in November and December. Dues have never been required to receive CalUWild’s Monthly Update, but we do rely on support from our readers. If you’d like to help us save on printing and postage expenses for our mailing, you can send in a contribution ahead of time, 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 has always been to make that as easy for you as possible.

 
Finally, as Thanksgiving comes around, please don’t forget to give thanks for our public lands—our birthright as Americans— and all the other gifts we enjoy here.

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   State Update
          A.   America’s Redrock Wilderness Act
                    (ACTION ITEM)
          B.   National Monuments Litigation
          C.   Off-Highway Vehicle Use in Utah’s National Parks

IN CONGRESS
2.   Legislative Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN GENERAL
3.   Park Service Committee Proposes to “Improve” Camping
          And Reduce Senior Pass Discounts
          (ACTION ITEM)

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

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IN UTAH
1.   State Update
          A.   America’s Redrock Wilderness Act
                    (ACTION ITEM)

There is no firm date yet for the reintroduction of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act. However, the chief sponsors in the House and Senate, California Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-47) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) respectively, are committed to the legislation.

If you haven’t contacted your Senators or Congressional representative, now would be a good time to do so, with a request that they become original cosponsors of the bills. That means they are listed as cosponsors on the day the bills are introduced. High numbers of cosponsors indicate that members think a bill is important, sending a political signal to Congressional leadership, as well as to federal land management officials that Congress is paying attention to their actions.

Full contact information may be found on CalUWild’s Online California Congressional Information Sheet.

          B.   National Monuments

The litigation over the reduction of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments continues in Washington, DC. Supporters of the monuments won a victory when Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled against the government’s motion to dismiss the case. At the same time, Judge Chutkan asked the plaintiff tribes and conservation groups to clarify their standing (right to sue) in the case. We’ll keep you posted at things proceed.

The Bears Ears National Monument was added to the 2020 World Monuments Watch List (along with Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris) in recognition of the threats to its cultural and archaeological significance by the administration’s attempts to reduce its size. You can read an article about that in the New York Times: Bears Ears and Notre-Dame Named to 2020 World Monuments Watch.

          C.   Off-Highway Vehicle Use in Utah’s National Parks

As we reported last month, the Park Service made a proposal to allow off-road vehicles in the national parks in Utah. The proposal aroused the opposition of many citizens, conservation groups, local governments, and employees and officials within the Park Service itself. Doing an about-face, the Park Service reversed its decision.

The proposal received a lot of press, some of which are included here:

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune, Park managers balk at plan to let ORVs in Utah national parks.

An editorial in the Tribune: The Mighty Five are not for your noisy toys, boys.

And another article in the Tribune: Grand County, Moab unite against plan to allow ORVs in Utah’s national parks

 
IN CONGRESS
2.   Legislative Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

In ITEM 1 of last month’s Update we gave descriptions of bills that we are tracking and that could use cosponsors, too. A few of them have added cosponsors, and we’ve updated our Online California Congressional Information Sheet. Please check the table for your representative and senators and either thank them for cosponsoring or ask them to become a cosponsor the bills listed, if you haven’t already. You can call the number listed for their DC office or contact them with your comments via their websites at house.gov or senate.gov.

Please note that Rep. Katie Hill (D-25) is resigning. It’s not yet clear exactly when a special election might be called for her district. She was a cosponsor of all of the bills except H.R. 2250, Rep. Huffman’s Northwest California bill.

 
In other news, we’re happy to report that the House passed three public lands protection bills this week. The CORE Act for Colorado passed 227-182. Our friends at the Wilderness Workshop in Carbondale describe it as follows:

It will create new and sustainable recreation opportunities, expand Wilderness in the White River and San Juan National Forests, permanently close the Thompson Divide to new oil and gas leasing, honor veterans and founding-members of the modern ski industry by establishing the nation’s first National Historic Landscape at Camp Hale, and increase public access to, and management of, fishing areas in the Curecanti National Recreation Area.

The Grand Canyon Centennial Act passed by a vote of 236-185. It would permanently withdraw more than 1 million acres around the park from mining, particularly of uranium. The White House has issued a veto threat, saying that it opposes “such a large, permanent withdrawal, which would prohibit environmentally responsible development.” There is no companion bill in the Senate.

The Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, H.R. 2181, sets up a 10-mile wide buffer around Chaco Canyon in which oil and gas development would be permanently prohibited. That bill passed on a 245-174 vote. It has a companion bill, S. 1079, in the Senate.

We’ll keep you posted on these bills as they progress.

 
IN GENERAL
3.   Park Service Committee Proposes to “Improve” Camping
          And Reduce Senior Pass Discounts
          (ACTION ITEM)

An Interior Department advisory committee, made up almost solely of recreation industry representatives, has sent a letter to Interior Secretary Bernhardt making recommendations regarding the future of camping in our national parks. Not surprisingly, given the make-up of the “Made in America Committee” (which can be found toward the bottom of the page here), it proposes increased use of public–private partnerships, allowing concessionaires to run campgrounds, increased WiFi availability, equipment rentals, mobile food services including food trucks, and more.

The committee also recommends the introduction of blackout periods during peak seasons when the 50% Senior Pass discounts would not apply.

These recommendations fundamentally change the traditional notion of camping in out national parks. And all of them would push camping fees even higher than they already are by forcing people to pay for the site and cover both the concessionaires’ fees to the Park Service and their profit on top of that. While the Forest Service has turned some campsite management over to concessionaires, the Park Service has generally not, except for a few specialized campgrounds. The BLM manages all of its own campgrounds. There is well-founded concern that this is a push to privatize campgrounds across the board.

The Committee is recommending that the Park Service begin implementing parts of its recommendations by December 1, 2019, with no formal opportunity for public or congressional input.

The committee’s page has an email link and a U.S. Mail address at the very bottom where you can make your opinions known:

Email form here

U.S. Mail
Joshua Winchell, Designated Federal Officer
Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee
MS-2659, Office of Policy
National Park Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

Please also call your Congressional representative and Senators to let them know about this proposal, being undertaken without consulting either the public or Congress. Click here for DC phone numbers or go to their websites at house.gov or senate.gov.

 
You can read the full letter here. National Parks Traveler offered a comprehensive look at the recommendations, and the comments following the article may give you ideas for your own comments to make to the committee and Congress.

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

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

The Administration

An article in The Hill: BLM move would split apart key public lands team

An article in Bloomberg Environment: Public Lands Decisions Best Made in D.C., Acting BLM Chief Says. This directly contradicts the rationale for moving the BLM headquarters to Grand Junction, Colorado, which claimed that officials should be closer to the lands about which they are making management decisions.

An article in Westwise from our friends at the Center for Western Priorities, analyzing the administration’s deregulation agenda in response to industry input: Scoring the Trump Interior Department’s deregulatory hit list

An article by ProPublica (formerly the Center for Investigative Reporting): The Trump Administration Says It Has Violated Its Own Ethics Pledge

Utah

An article in The Atlantic: The Forest Service Is About to Set a Giant Forest Fire—On Purpose

California

An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by Terry Tempest Williams, who is on CalUWild’s Advisory Board: Yosemite’s Sequoias have a vital message. Listen to them, urges Terry Tempest Williams. Terry also has a new book out, Erosion: Essays of Undoing, reviewed by Diane Ackerman in the New York Times: One Environmentalist’s Warning: Think Globally, Act Accordingly

A press release from the California BLM: Community of Lone Pine Celebrates Alabama Hills National Scenic Area

An article in the Marin Independent Journal: Trump criticizes Drakes Bay Oyster Co. closure before signing transparency orders

An article in Courthouse News: Chinook Salmon Flocking to Revitalized San Joaquin River. At the same time: Trump Administration Moves to Lift Protections for Fish and Divert Water to Farms, as the New York Times reports. Unfortunately, Gov. Gavin Newsom just vetoed SB 1, which would have authorized state protections for endangered species in just this kind of circumstance.

Alaska

An article in Courthouse News about the proposed Pebble Mine: Lawsuits Pile Up Over EPA’s Green Light for Mine Near Pristine Alaskan Bay. We’ve written about this mine several times before, most recently in August and May of this year.

An article in the Washington Post: Critics gear up for response to lease sale in Arctic refuge

In General

An article by Roger Kaye, long-time Alaska U.S. Forest Service staffer, including state wilderness director, in Rewilding: Wilderness in the Anthropocene: What Future for its Untrammeled Wildness?

An article in the Washington Post: Americans would rather reduce oil and gas exploration than ‘drill, baby, drill’

An article in The Nation: The Once Common Republican Environmentalist Is Virtually Extinct

 
 
 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated.

Dues payable to CalUWild are not tax-deductible, as they may be used for lobbying.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please make your check payable to Resource Renewal Institute, CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor.

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

 
 
 

As always, if you ever have questions, suggestions, critiques, or wish to change your e-mail address or unsubscribe, all you have to do is send an email. For membership information, click here.

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2019 June

July 3rd, 2019


The Bears Ears (right), Utah                                                                                                                                  (Mike Painter)

 
July 2, 2019

Dear CalUWild friends—

There has not been much recent public lands activity in Congress. There will be a recess for August, though, giving people a good opportunity to attend public events with members. You can also set up in-district meetings to discuss issues, as offices will remain staffed for phone calls and meetings.

There were a lot of articles and other resources that came along last month, on a wide variety of topics, They’re included in ITEM 4—not exactly summer reading and too many to read all at once. But please read some of them to keep current on events.

I hope you are able to get out and enjoy some of our wonderful public lands in the West this summer, while at the same time helping to protect them.

 
Have a happy Fourth of July,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.    Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
2.    Bodie Hills Campout
          July 20-21

IN GENERAL
3.    Mining Reform Bill Introduced in Congress
          (ACTION ITEM)

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

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

IN UTAH
1.    Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

We are still waiting for a firm reintroduction date for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act. It should happen sometime soon. The various interested parties are still working out boundary adjustments resulting from the passage of the public lands package in February, which included major legislation for Emery County.

There is still time to get your representative and senators signed on as original cosponsors, an important signal of support for the bill itself and for the protection of Utah’s BLM wilderness lands in general.

So please call your House representative and senators, requesting that they sign on. They should contact the bills’ chief sponsors in both the House and the Senate: Rep. Alan Lowenthal and Sen. Dick Durbin, respectively.

Telephone numbers for California’s congressional delegation Washington, DC offices may be found on CalUWild’s Online California Congressional Information Sheet.

 
IN CALIFORNIA
2.    Bodie Hills Campout
          July 20-21

Here’s a chance to explore a bit of the Bodie Hills, sponsored by the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership, of which CalUWild is a member, though a scheduling conflict will prevent me from participating.

 
SAVE THE DATE: Bodie Hills Bonanza and Campout
July 20-21st 2019

Join us in July for this new first-time volunteer stewardship event at the new East Walker State Recreation Area. We will be based and camping at the “Elbow.”

Participants will meet Saturday morning for a volunteer cleanup project at the East Walker River: the Elbow campground.

After the stewardship project we will have various workshops and talks including a fly-fishing demo, wildlife tracking and viewing with optics, and cultural resources. More details coming soon. Meals will be provided and reservations and rsvp required for meals and camping.

Contact April at april [at] bodiehills [dot] org or Russell at California [at] backcountryhunters [dot] org for more information and questions.

 
IN GENERAL
3.    Mining Reform Bill Introduced in Congress
          (ACTION ITEM)

In last month’s Update, we included a link to an op-ed in The Hill by John Leshy, discussing pending legislation to reform the Mining Act of 1872. The bill has been introduced, so please join CalUWild, Wilderness Watch, and other organizations in calling for an end to hardrock mining in Wilderness. Ask your representative in Congress to cosponsor and support the Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act of 2019 (H.R.2579). The following information and talking points come from Wilderness Watch.

 
The 1872 Mining Act — one of the most outdated and obsolete pieces of legislation on the books — still allows countless acres of America’s public lands, Wilderness areas, and pristine waters to be polluted by toxic mining every year. Believe it or not, this 147 year-old law still governs mining on public lands, including within Wilderness!

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the mining industry is America’s largest toxic polluter—40 percent of the West’s headwater streams have been polluted by mining.

Adding insult to environmental injury, the 1872 Mining Law allows mining companies — including foreign-owned companies — to use and abuse American public lands for free. That’s right! Mining companies pay no royalties whatsoever. More than 300 billion dollars-worth of minerals have been mined from our public lands, including within Wilderness, without paying taxpayers a dime.

Fortunately, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-NM) has introduced the Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act of 2019 (HR 2579) that would reform and replace the 1872 Mining Act. The bill prohibits new mining activity within the National Conservation System, which includes Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas. The bill also makes existing mining claims in Wilderness invalid and void after 10 years if no plan of operation has been approved.

You may not think hardrock mining is currently a threat to Wilderness, but it is. In a recent case, Wilderness Watch scored an important legal victory for the famed Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho when a judge ordered the Forest Service to conduct further analysis of proposed mining exploration and evaluate less invasive alternatives for activities in the Wilderness. In response to this ruling, in May 2018 the Forest Service released a recommendation to limit mining-related activities (including disallowing and limiting much of the drilling and trenching) at the Golden Hand Mine, which originally proposed extensive drilling, bulldozing, and road construction.

Talking points:

• As your constituent, I urge you to co-sponsor and support the “Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act of 2019” (HR 2579).

• This bill would reform and replace the 1872 Mining Act—one of the most outdated and obsolete pieces of legislation still on the books in America. The 147 year-old law still governs mining on public lands, including within Wilderness. Currently, the 1872 Mining Act allows countless acres of America’s public lands, Wilderness areas, and pristine waters to be polluted by toxic mining every year.

• According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the mining industry is America’s largest toxic polluter—40 percent of the West’s headwater streams have been polluted by mining.

• Adding insult to environmental injury, the 1872 Mining Law allows mining companies— including foreign-owned companies—to use and abuse American public lands for free. To date, more than 300 billion dollars-worth of minerals have been mined from our public lands, including within Wilderness, without paying taxpayers a dime.

• Fortunately, HR 2579 would reform and replace this outdated system. The bill would prohibit new mining activity within the National Conservation System, which includes Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas. The bill also makes existing mining claims in Wilderness invalid and void after 10 years if no plan of operation has been approved.

 
California cosponsors so far are:

Jared Huffman (D-2)
John Garamendi (D-3)
Grace F. Napolitano (D-32)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-40)
Alan S. Lowenthal (D-47)
Mike Levin (D-49)

Contact information for all offices may be found on CalUWild’s Online California Congressional Information Sheet.

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

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

The Department of the Interior & Other Administration News

A column from the Washington Post Energy 202: Congress wants to know when Trump will fill all the vacant positions at Interior.

An article in The Hill: Trump directs agencies to cut advisory boards by ‘at least’ one-third.

An article in Roll Call about Interior Department practices regarding Freedom of Information Act requests: Interior held back FOIA’d documents after political screenings. The Hill requested documents and found them incomplete: Exclusive: Trump administration delayed releasing documents related to Yellowstone superintendent’s firing.

An article in the Washington Post: Trump administration backtracks on closure of Job Corps program after bipartisan opposition from Congress. We reported on the original plan to shutter the program last month.

An analysis by CNN News: Interior has 5 versions of the secretary’s schedule — but they don’t always match.

In our January Update we linked to an article concerning the use of recreation fees to keep the national parks open during the government shutdown. National Parks Traveler reports that Rep. Raúl Grijalva, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee has written a letter to Secty. Bernhardt asking for an explanation of the money’s use. You can read the letter here.

A post at the Environmental Law Institute‘s blog, responding to Secty. Bernhardt’s assertion (reported last month) that he is under no obligation to do anything about climate change (and blaming Congress for his inaction, too!): Secretary Bernhardt Says He Doesn’t Have a Duty to Fight Climate Change. He’s Wrong.

Just made public, a letter from last December, reported in The Hill: Federal investigators concluded Ryan Zinke’s MAGA socks violated Hatch Act.

Utah

From the Washington Post Energy 202: A federal watchdog is investigating Trump administration’s decisions on Utah monument.

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase remain in limbo as lawsuits move slowly and legislation stalls.

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Trump could revive Utah’s uranium mines any day now, but activists worry about the industry’s toxic legacy.

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Endangered condor may have hatched in Zion National Park.

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: How the actions of Utah’s rural officials connect to an increase in violence toward federal employees.

An article in the Los Angeles Times: Life on Mars gets a test run in the Utah desert. Factory Butte, which we mentioned and pictured last month, can be seen in the upper right corner of the fifth picture.

California

An article in the Los Angeles Times: Court throws out federal approval of Cadiz water pipeline. Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, headed up the natural resources division at the law firm which had the Cadiz Company as a lobbying client before his appointment. He has denied personally lobbying for them.

An article in the Palm Springs Desert Sun: Nestlé is still taking national forest water for its Arrowhead label, with feds’ help.

An op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle by CalUWild friend Dan Gluesenkamp, Executive Director of the California Native Plant Society, and former governor Jerry Brown: Finding hope in the face of extinction.

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle about potential tribal public land: PG&E owns land across California. What will happen to it?

Colorado

An op-ed in the Grand Junction Sentinel about a Colorado wilderness bill in Congress: CORE Act will protect wildlife across the state. It passed its first legislative test last week: CORE Act, which would preserve land in Eagle County, passes House committee in this article from the Vail Daily.

Minnesota

Not in the West, but still an important national issue: An article in the New York Times about a mining proposal bordering the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota: A Plan to Mine the Minnesota Wilderness Hit a Dead End. Then Trump Became President.

Nevada

An article in the New York Times about the Air Force’s proposal to expand into the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, north of Las Vegas: Bombing Range or Nature Preserve? A Battle for Control of the Nevada Desert.

New Mexico

In the Albuquerque Journal, an article on Chaco Culture National Park: BLM reverses position on Chaco protection bill. The bill discussedwould create a 10-mile buffer around Chaco, in which no energy production would be allowed. This is a step beyond Secty. Bernhardt’s 1-year moratorium on energy leases announced previously.

Oregon

An article in Courthouse News on the Hammonds’ ranching lawsuit in Oregon, which we mentioned in our May Update: Judge Blocks Grazing Permits for Pardoned Arsonists.

Public Lands in General

Our friends at Headwater Economics have assembled a page with an interactive map from the U.S. Geological Survey data on public lands and their protective status. The page also contains links to reports that Headwater Economics has prepared on public lands.

The BLM has published a series of online maps of popular climbing areas on lands that it manages. Click here.

An article in the New York Times: Who Gets to Own the West—A new group of billionaires is shaking up the landscape.

 
 
 
 
 

Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated.

Dues payable to CalUWild are not tax-deductible, as they may be used for lobbying.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please make your check payable to Resource Renewal Institute, CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor.

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

 
 
 
 
 

As always, if you ever have questions, suggestions, critiques, or wish to change your e-mail address or unsubscribe, all you have to do is send an email. For membership information, click here.

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

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2019 May

June 4th, 2019


Factory Butte at Sunrise, Utah                                                                                                                           (Mike Painter)

 
May 31, 2019

Dear CalUWild friends—

Summer is just about here, so many people will be visiting our public lands. National parks especially have been experiencing greatly increased visitation, but you can still get away from the crowds if you try. Regardless, it’s important to continue working to protect special places of all kinds, especially those that remain wild.

Many people have been focused on investigations in Washington, but there has been a lot going on in other areas requiring attention, too. It’s important not to let those things slip by. Below are a few where you can have an impact.

And this month, as always, there are articles—a few more than usual—to keep you up to date on all sorts of topics. You’ll find links to them in ITEM 6. (You’re not expected to read them all!)

 
As always, thanks for your interest and support,
Mike

 
IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
         (ACTION ITEM)
2.   BLM Opens Factory Butte Area to Off-Road Vehicles
         (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
3.   BLM Proposes Fracking in California
          COMMENTS NEEDED
          DEADLINE: June 10
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN GENERAL
4.   Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act Introduced
          (ACTION ITEM)
5.   Job Listings: California League of Conservation Voters

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

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

 
IN UTAH
1.   Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

We originally though that America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act would be introduced in May. So far that hasn’t happened though we do expect it soon. That gives us a bit more time to line up original cosponsors for the bill.

Please call your representative and senators and request that they become original cosponsors. They should contact the principal sponsors, Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-47) of California or Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to be added to the list.

We don’t have a list of those who have committed to cosponsoring the legislation when it is introduced, but a call now can’t hurt. Either it requests or reminds them to do so, or it acts as support for the decision they’ve already made.

Contact information for all of California’s representatives and both senators may be found on our online California Congressional Information Sheet.

 
2.   BLM Opens Factory Butte Area to Off-Road Vehicles
          (ACTION ITEM)

The Bureau of Land Management unexpectedly decided to open the area around Factory Butte, one of Southern Utah’s geological landmarks, to off-road vehicle use, reversing a decision made in 2006. Our friends at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance sent out the following Action Alert. Please email or call the Richfield office to object. And if you’ve visited the area, mention that also.

 
BLM OPENS SCENIC FACTORY BUTTE AREA TO OFF-ROAD VEHICLE DESTRUCTION

Without prior notice or opportunity for public input, the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Richfield Field Office announced on Wednesday, May 22, 2019—just before Memorial Day weekend—that it is has opened 5,400 acres of public lands surrounding Utah’s iconic Factory Butte to unfettered cross-country off-road vehicle (ORV) use.

The BLM’s decision reverses the agency’s 2006 closure of the area to ORV use and will allow unrestricted motorized travel throughout the designated “play area.” At the time BLM implemented the 2006 closure it explained that “Factory Butte itself is an iconic formation, highly visible from Highway 24 and is often photographed.”

Take Action!

Call or email Joelle McCarthy, the BLM’s Richfield Field Office Manager:

435-896-1501
email: jmccarth [at] blm [dot] gov

Tell her what you think of the BLM’s decision to open Factory Butte to unrestricted off-road vehicle abuse!

Talking points:

•   It’s ridiculous that the agency re-opened Factory Butte to motorized use after being closed for nearly 13 years without seeking public input beforehand and without giving any advance notice. The BLM manages places like Factory Butte on behalf of the public and is accountable for its decisions.

•   Fence them in! ORV riders—even those that are well intentioned—won’t stay in the newly designated “open area” if that area is not easy to distinguish on the ground. The BLM has placed no signs on the inside of the “play area,” meaning there is nothing to keep riders off the butte itself.

•   The BLM is destroying an iconic landscape! The BLM’s decision ensures that one of Utah’s most recognizable landscapes will be defaced and damaged for years to come. Contrary to popular myth, these tracks don’t simply disappear after the next rain!

Longtime SUWA members will recall that protecting Factory Butte was a major fight in the late 90s and early 2000s. The closure of the area to ORV abuse in 2006 gave the land a much-needed chance to recover.

The BLM’s decision is further proof that the Trump administration has found its legs, and that no previous environmental victory is safe from those who would destroy Utah’s wildlands.

 
More information can be found on SUWA’s Factory Butte page.

Click here for a video of a rider parachuting off a motorcycle near Factory Butte, which you can see as he takes off and flies through the air. (WARNING: One bit of coarse language at the end!)

 
IN CALIFORNIA
3.   BLM Proposes Fracking in California
          COMMENTS NEEDED
          DEADLINE: June 10
          (ACTION ITEM)

In late April, the administration announced plans to begin allowing fracking on land, both public and private, in central California. (Private land could be included because of what is known as a “split estate,” where a private party owns the surface rights, but the federal government has retained subsurface mineral rights.) The area affected is more than one million acres in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura counties.

A court-ordered five-year moratorium on fracking was in effect while the government supposedly evaluated environmental risks associated with fracking. The administration lost no time in proposing fracking once the court order expired.

Our friends at the California Wilderness Coalition suggest writing to BLM State Acting Director Joe Stout to make your opposition known. Here are CWC’s talking points (but please use your own words):

•   Fracking presents unacceptable risks to our health and safety. A 2015 report from the California Council on Science and Technology concluded that fracking in California happens at unusually shallow depths, dangerously close to underground drinking water supplies, with unusually high concentrations of toxic chemicals that are harmful to human health and the environment.

•   Moreover, new drilling and fracking would do even further damage to air quality in Central California, particularly in the San Joaquin air basin, where communities of color and low-income communities are already harmed daily by toxic air pollution.

•   To prevent the worst effects of climate change, we cannot afford to sell off any more public lands to oil companies. Like a household budget, the planet has a carbon budget and it is entirely spent. Now more than ever, we must keep fossil fuels in the ground.

•   California has some of the most diverse public lands in the country and oil and gas drilling will permanently damage our natural heritage and an important driver of sustainable economic opportunity.

You may reach Mr. Stout by email at:

castatedirector [at] blm [dot] gov

or U.S. Mail at:

Mr. Joe Stout
Acting State Director
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1623
Sacramento, CA 95825-1886

 
The fracking proposal is included in a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement prepared by the BLM’s Bakersfield Field Office. The comment period on the plan is open until June 10. Please also submit your comments to Mr. Stout to the Bakersfield office, so they can be incorporated into the formal legal record.

You could also add a specific request that BLM adopt Alternative C or D. Alt. C “emphasizes conserving cultural and natural resources, maintaining functioning natural systems, and restoring natural systems that are degraded,” and Alt. D goes further and “eliminates livestock grazing for the life of the plan from the public lands where the 2014 RMP provides administrative direction for the livestock-grazing program.” Neither of these was selected in the previous Draft Plan, but it’s good to let BLM know that resource protection is important to many people regardless. Either of these is preferable to BLM’s preferred Alternative B.

To submit comments electronically, follow the directions here.

(The window stays open for 60 minutes, but if have your comments ready to COPY and PASTE, that should not be a problem.)

You may also submit comments by U.S. Mail to:

Bureau of Land Management
Bakersfield Field Office
Attn: Bakersfield Hydraulic Fracturing Analysis
3801 Pegasus Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93308

 
IN GENERAL
4.   Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act Introduced
          (ACTION ITEM)

In mid-May, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2019 (S.1499) in the Senate, with nine cosponsors. Both California senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, are original cosponsors of the bill. Please thank them! A companion bill was introduced in the House (H.R.2795) by Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), with no additional cosponsors.

The Act would:

•   Grant authority to key federal agencies to designate wildlife corridors managed for the persistence, resilience, and adaptability of native species.

•    Mitigate harm to wildlife and threats to public safety where wildlife corridors cross roadways by implementing wildlife overpasses and underpasses and other strategies.

•   Establish the Wildlife Corridors Stewardship and Protection Fund to support the management and protection of wildlife corridors.

•   Provide incentives for private landowners to protect wildlife corridors using funds from Department of Agriculture conservation programs.

•   Create a Wildlife Connectivity Database that will be freely available to states, tribes, federal agencies, and the public to support decisions about wildlife corridors.

 
More information about the bill maybe found on the Wildlands Network webpage, from which the above description comes.

222 organizations, including CalUWild, supported the introduction of the bills. You can read our group letter here.

Contact information for both California senators may be found on our online California Congressional Information Sheet.

 
5.   Job Listings: California League of Conservation Voters

Our friends at CLCVhave three positions open:

Communications Director
Director of Philanthropy
Major Gifts Officer

The jobs are based in either Oakland or Los Angeles. For full descriptions, click here.

 
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.

Interior Secretary Bernhardt and the Administration

In the Washington Post: The Energy 202: Interior secretary blames Congress for lack of action on climate change. The Energy 202 is an excellent daily newsletter on environmental matters, especially public lands and energy.

An article in the Washington Post based on an interview with Interior Secretary David Bernhardt: Facing Democratic resistance, Interior secretary promotes oil and gas drilling

An article in Politico on the Interior Department’s failures to provide information requested by Congress: Rep. Grijalva: House panel considering subpoenas for Interior information

California’s Rep. Jared Huffman (D-2) is the “Dem” referred to in the headline of this article in The Hill: Dem criticizes newest calendars for Trump Interior chief as ‘fake’

An article from our friends at the Center for Western Priorities: How Interior’s top lawyer is paving the way to drain California’s desert and deliver millions to Secretary Bernhardt’s former law firm

An article from Associated Press: Interior boss: No monument changes planned, but up to Trump

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Did Interior break the law in eyeing oil, gas leases in the former Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument? Dems want new probe.

An article in the Washington Post: Trump administration to pull out of rural Job Corps program, laying off 1,100 federal workers

California

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle: New dam proposal in Sierra Nevada stirs debate over California energy policy

An article in the Los Angeles Times: A war is brewing over lithium mining at the edge of Death Valley

An article in CityLab on Bodie: What It’s Like to Live in a California Ghost Town. CalUWild is a member of the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership, working to develop a protective scheme for the Bodie Hills, which surround the old town.

Alaska

An op-ed in the New York Times on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska: ‘The Wrong Mine for the Wrong Place’. We linked to an op-ed in The Guardian on the Pebble Mine in last month’s Update.

Colorado

An article in the Denver Post: “This may be the year”: Colorado legislators push to protect 1 million acres of wilderness through 2 bills in Congress

Nevada

An article on Las Vegas and water in eastern Nevada, an issue that has been around for a long time—we last wrote about it in 2013: Measure feared to boost LV water grab dies in Carson City

New Mexico

“Interior Secretary David Bernhardt expressed amazement” at Chaco Canyon, as reported in this article from the Farmington (NM) Daily Times: Interior Secretary David Bernhardt visits Chaco Canyon amid oil, gas development debate. After his visit, Secty. Bernhardt announced a one-year moratorium on leasing in a 10-mile buffer zone around Chaco Canyon while the BLM updates its Resource Management Plan and to allow a bill protecting the Chao area to move Congress. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) hosted Mr. Bernhardt at Chaco and is a cosponsor of the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, S.1079, introduced by his colleague Tom Udall (D-NM). Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) has introduced a companion bill, H.R.2181, in the House.

An article in The Guardian about Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico: ‘It’s my homeland’: the trailblazing Native lawmaker fighting fossil fuels

Oregon

An article from The Oregonian, following up on the story mentioned in our April Update: Environmental groups sue BLM to block renewal of grazing permit for Hammond Ranches and an op-ed in the Seattle Times by CalUWild friend Erik Molvar, Executive Director of Western Watersheds, explaining the lawsuit: Why we filed suit to overturn Zinke’s last act of malfeasance

Utah

An article in High Country News: Bears Ears’ only visitor center isn’t run by the feds

An op-ed in the New York Times by Mike Dombeck, former chief of the U.S. Forest Service, looking at Utah’s attempt to roll back the Roadless Rule there: Utah Continues Its Assault on Federal Lands

From the Editorial Page editor of the Salt Lake Tribune: The free market wants a beautiful Utah. Not a coal mine.

Public Lands in General

An op-ed in the Washington Post: National parks are both a treasure and challenge. There’s a solution.

An article in The Guardian: US rollback of protected areas risks emboldening others, scientists warn

In Pacific Standard, an excerpt from a new book about the ongoing war on America’s public lands: Campsites Among The Stumps: The Unmaking of the Great American Commons

An article in the Los Angeles Times: The West has many wildfires, but too few prescribed burns, study finds

An op-ed by John Leshy in The Hill on the possibility of changes to the Mining Law of 1872: Outdated mining law lets industry use and abuse public lands for free

 
 
 
 
 

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Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated.

Dues payable to CalUWild are not tax-deductible, as they may be used for lobbying.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please make your check payable to Resource Renewal Institute, CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor.

Please print out and enclose a membership form if your address is not on the check.

Either way, mail it to:

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San Francisco, CA 94121-0474

 
 
 
 
 

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2019 April

May 2nd, 2019


Wild & Scenic River System stamps                                                                                                               (U.S. Postal Service)

 
April 30, 2019

Dear CalUWild friends—

There is only one main item this month, with three easy ACTION SUB-ITEMS dealing with Congress. We previewed these briefly in our January Update, and the time has come to act in support of them. They can all be done in the same phone call.

The second item is our regular IN THE PRESS section. Some of the articles in it are about issues we’ve covered in the past but which don’t require a separate item in the Update. Included are articles about the new Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt. His tenure is already as filled with controversy as Ryan Zinke’s, who was forced to resign last year. We’ll keep you posted on developments.

Public lands have been increasingly in the news with this administration, and there are often too many topics to cover in great detail. In response, we’ve been increasing the number of articles we link to. I hope you’ll read them to keep up-to-date on developments and to stay generally informed about public lands.

 
Last year was the 50th Anniversary of the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. This year, the U.S. Postal Service is issuing First Class commemorative (Forever) stamps in honor of the system. Several are photos taken by friends of CalUWild, and we’re featuring them this month as the (slightly fuzzy) illustration for the Update. The stamps are being released May 21.

 
Best wishes,
Mike

 
IN CONGRESS
1.   Legislative Update
          (3 ACTION ITEMS)
          a.   Utah’s Red Rock Wilderness Act Reintroduction Expected in May
          b.   3 California Wilderness Bills Introduced in April
          c.   ANTIQUITIES Act of 2019

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

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

 
IN CONGRESS
1.   Legislative Update
          (ACTION ITEMS)
          a.   Utah’s Red Rock Wilderness Act Reintroduction Expected in May

America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (ARRWA) has consistently been CalUWild’s major legislative focus since our founding in 1997. It would designate land in Utah managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as wilderness. The bill was first introduced in 1989 by Utah Rep. Wayne Owens (D), and when he left Congress, he asked Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) to take it on. It was later championed by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), and now the lead sponsor is California’s Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-47). Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) has been the Senate champion for many years.

You can see a map of the proposal as introduced in the last Congress here. (Some portions in Emery County—north and south of I-70—were designated as wilderness in the large public lands package that became law in March of this year, and they will be omitted when the bill is reintroduced.)

The bill is important for two reasons. The first, obviously, is to designate deserving areas as wilderness. The second, however, is equally important: It sets a standard against which all other proposals, either legislative or on-the-ground projects by the BLM, must be measured. By cosponsoring the bill, representatives indicate their strong support for it and its underlying protections. We can then usually count on cosponsors to actively oppose bad legislation when it is introduced.

Rep. Lowenthal and Sen. Durbin will most likely reintroduce ARRWA in May. We would like to see as many California representatives as possible, and both senators, sign on as cosponsors before reintroduction. Nicole Brown, the founder of Women Who Hike, and I spent a few days in Washington earlier this month visiting California congressional offices, informing them of the upcoming reintroduction of the bill. But they need to hear from constituents as well, so please call your representatives and senators and ask that they sign on as original cosponsors.

A list of previous ARRWA cosponsors from California and contact information for all California congressional offices in Washington may be found on our online California Congressional Information Sheet.

 
          b.   3 California Wilderness Bills Introduced in April

April 10 saw the reintroduction of three public lands bills for California, north, central, and south, in the House. Sens. Kamala Harris (D) and Dianne Feinstein (D) also introduced companion legislation in the Senate for each of the bills.

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-2) reintroduced his Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act (H.R.2250). The proposal would protect local wild lands, expand recreational opportunities, improve fire management, and restore impacted watersheds. The bill number in the Senate is S.1110.

Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-24) reintroduced his Central Coast Heritage Protection Act (H.R.2199). The bill would protect 244,909 acres of wilderness, create two scenic areas encompassing 34,882 acres, and safeguard 159 miles of wild and scenic rivers in the Los Padres National Forest and the Carrizo Plain National Monument. The bill number in the Senate is S.1111.

Rep. Judy Chu (D-27) reintroduced her San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act (H.R.2215). The bill would designate wilderness in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and enlarge the monument, as well as creating a national recreation area. The bill number in the Senate is S.1109.

More detailed descriptions of the bills may be found in this press release from the California Wilderness Coalition.

Please thank the House sponsors and both senators for their championship of each of these bills. (ALSO: If you haven’t thanked Sen. Feinstein for her California Desert Protection and Recreation Act, passed with the large public lands package in March, please do so as well!)

Contact information for all California congressional offices in Washington may be found on our online California Congressional Information Sheet.

 
          c.   ANTIQUITIES Act of 2019

As we have reported over the years, the Antiquities Act of 1906, signed into law by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt, has been under attack from anti-public land forces. The law authorizes the president to declare as monuments “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” that are on federally-managed land, “the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”

The Antiquities Act has since been used by presidents of both parties to create more than 130 national monuments.

The law has created controversy since its inception. A lawsuit was filed against Pres. Roosevelt, arguing that his designation of the Grand Canyon was an abuse of authority because of the monument’s size. However, the Supreme Court ruled that it was appropriate, given the canyon’s size. In more recent times, presidents have recognized the need to preserve larger landscapes for their scientific and ecological value. Beginning with Bill Clinton and his designation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, the Bureau of Land Management has had landscape-scale monuments under its jurisdiction. These monuments continue to arouse opposition from some in the West—hence the sham review that the administration undertook at then-Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-UT) instigation, resulting the reduction of both Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears national monuments. Other monuments designated since 1996 remain at risk, although Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has said further review is not on his priority list. (We’ll see about that …)

To rectify this situation, the ANTIQUITIES Act was introduced in the last Congress and has been reintroduced in this one. The bill states unambiguously that “a national monument may only be reduced, diminished, or revoked by an Act of Congress.” It also gives congressional recognition to the 52 national monuments as originally designated since 1996, preventing the administration from tampering with their boundaries. Furthermore, it enlarges the Bears Ear National Monument to reflect the proposal originally made by the Native American Inter-Tribal Coalition. (Pres. Obama’s designation was somewhat smaller.) The bill also establishes a “National Monument Enhancement Fund” to be used for management planning and acquisition of needed land. (One questionable aspect, however, is that the fund is also to be used for development of recreational infrastructure, even though recreation is not one of the purposes for which monuments are to be designated.)

In the House the bill number is H.R.1050, and in the Senate, it’s S.367.

At present, there are 98 cosponsors in the House and 24 in the Senate. We would like to see more cosponsors in both chambers, especially among freshman representatives in the House. There are 29 California representatives currently cosponsoring. Freshmen California House members missing from the list are Josh Harder (D-10), TJ Cox (D-21), Gilbert Cisneros (D-39), and Harley Rouda (D-48). Both Sens. Harris and Feinstein are cosponsors.

Please call your representatives and both senators as appropriate to either thank them or ask them to become cosponsors of these bills.

A list of current ANTIQUITIES Act cosponsors from California and contact information for all California congressional offices in Washington may be found on our online California Congressional Information Sheet.

 
IN THE PRESS & ELSEWHERE
2.   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.

Department of the Interior and the administration

An article in the Washington Post on then-nominee/Acting Interior Secretary Bernhardt: Interior Dept. watchdog reviewing allegations that acting secretary violated Trump ethics pledge

From our friends at the Center for Western Priorities, in Westwise: Hidden calendars show Trump’s pick for Interior Secretary met repeatedly with drilling, mining industries

In the New York Times: Senate Confirms Bernhardt as Interior Secretary Amid Calls for Investigations Into His Conduct. It’s disappointing that three Democrats, particularly Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) who is a strong defender of public lands, voted to confirm Mr. Bernhardt.

An article in Politico: National Archives joins investigation into Interior chief’s missing calendars

His first day on the job, and the New York Times had this article: Interior Dept. Opens Ethics Investigation of Its New Chief, David Bernhardt

And the Interior Secretary isn’t the only one with ethics problems, as you can read in this article from The Hill: EPA administrator failed to disclose former lobbying client

We’ve reported for years on the proposal to build a road in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, much of which is designated wilderness, most recently in our January 2018 Update, when then-Secretary Zinke signed a land exchange agreement. Our friends at Wilderness Watch, the Sierra Club, and The Wilderness Society sued to overturn the agreement and were successful. The same day, the judge ruled that the administration’s decision to open Arctic and Atlantic waters to drilling was also illegal. You can read about both decisions in the Washington Post: Federal judge declares Trump’s push to open up Arctic and Atlantic oceans to oil and gas drilling illegal. You can read the Izembek ruling here. The ruling in the drilling case is similar to the one hoped for in the national monument rollbacks cases—that the president doesn’t have the authority to diminish protections put in place by a predecessor.

Another judge ruled that the Interior Department is barred from overturning the Obama Administration’s moratorium on coal mining on public lands without undertaking a NEPA analysis. An article in the New York Times: Judge Delivers Major Setback to Trump Policy to Increase Coal Mining on Federal Land

An article in the Harvard Law Review: The Trump Administration and Lessons Not Learned from Prior National Monument Modifications

An article in High Country News about the Hammond family in Oregon, whose prison sentences set off the Bundy occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge: Fire-starting ranchers get a new blessing from BLM. A bizarre turn of events …

An op-ed in The Guardian: Trump’s EPA wants to put a toxic mine in pristine Alaska. What could go wrong? We’ve written about the Pebble Mine several times, most recently in May 2017.

Bears Ears National Monument

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Democrat-controlled San Juan County formally withdraws from Bears Ears court case

An article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Feds stack Bears Ears advisory group with critics of southern Utah monument

An editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune: Bears Ears committee is a monument to bad intentions

An excellent graphical representation in the Washington Post: What Remains of Bears Ears

In the Salt Lake Tribune: Southern Utah environmental group sues feds over public lands leased for oil and gas development in Alkali Ridge. The area is adjacent to the Bears Ears National Monument.

Public Lands in General

An op-ed in The Guardian: We must ensure US public lands stay public, or risk ‘demolition of society’

A judge says: “It is simply delusional to maintain that all public land within the boundaries of Nevada belongs to the State of Nevada.” Cliven Bundy’s public lands claim is ‘simply delusional,’ judge rules

An op-ed in the Los Angeles Times: I was a national parks slacker. It took a foreigner to open my eyes.

An article in The New Republic: How Instagram Ruined the Great Outdoors. And on a related note, an article in the Salt Lake Tribune: Moab is drowning in tourists, and Utah is making Grand County spend millions a year to invite more

An op-ed in the New York Times: Why Are We Still Slaughtering the American Bison?

The Arts

The Los Angeles Times recently gave Terry Tempest Williams its Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, for writing about the West. The paper published an interview with her: Terry Tempest Williams on nature writing: ‘My heart is very deep in these wild lands’. Terry is on CalUWild’s Advisory Board.

 
 
 
 
 
Support CalUWild!

Membership is free, but your support is both needed and appreciated.

Dues payable to CalUWild are not tax-deductible, as they may be used for lobbying.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution, please make your check payable to Resource Renewal Institute, CalUWild’s fiscal sponsor.

Please print out and enclose a membership formif your address is not on the check.

Either way, mail it to:

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

 
 
 
 
As always, if you ever have questions, suggestions, critiques, or wish to change your e-mail address or unsubscribe, all you have to do is send an email. For membership information, click here.

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

 

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