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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

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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

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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 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

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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!
 
 
 
 
 

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