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The Bears Ears, Utah                                                                                                                                           (Mike Painter)

 
October 13, 2022

Dear CalUWild friends & Supporters—

This issue of the Monthly Update was delayed a few days because we expected Pres. Biden to announce the designation of the Camp Hale National Monument in Colorado, which he did yesterday. See Item 5.

This week we celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day, and two of our Action Items and several of the links in Item 6, IN THE PRESS, concern issues of importance to Native American Tribes.

This month we are focusing on the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, where the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service are beginning to prepare a revised management plan, now that the monument has been restored. See Item 1 for details. (And a big thank you to everyone who submitted comments last month for the restored Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.)

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation has been working with a coalition of organizations here in California to expand the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. It’s been an ongoing campaign and there is still work to do. See Item 3 for details.

The midterm elections are coming up next month, and it is critical that everyone who cares about public lands and the environment, as well as the direction of democracy in this country, votes. See Item 4.

Although there are four Action Items this month, only one (the Bears Ears NM comments, Item 1) will take more than a couple of minutes. Please submit some comments and make a couple of quick phone calls.

Thanks, as always, for your support of CalUWild and your interest in our wilderness and public lands.

 
Best wishes,
Mike Painter, Coordinator

 
IN UTAH
1. Bears Ears National Monument
          New Management Plan Scoping Period Open
          COMMENTS NEEDED
          DEADLINE: October 31
          (ACTION ITEM)
2. Red Rocks Bill Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

IN CALIFORNIA
3. Berryessa Snow Mountain (Molok Luyuk) Expansion
          Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)
4. Information on Voting in California
          REGISTRATION DEADLINE: October 24

IN COLORADO
5. Pres. Biden Designates New National Monument:
          Camp Hale-Continental Divide NM
          (ACTION ITEM)

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

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

IN UTAH
1. Bears Ears National Monument
          New Management Plan Scoping Period Open
          COMMENTS NEEDED
          DEADLINE: October 31
          (ACTION ITEM)

Because it was restored (and slightly enlarged) by Pres. Biden, the Bureau of Land Management has to prepare a new plan to guide the management of Bears Ears National Monument. The public needs to provide input into the issue it thinks should be addressed in the plan, as well as how the BLM should address those issues. As always, comments that reflect your own experiences are most helpful.

The conservation community is following the lead of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition on how co-management of the monument should be instituted. The Inter-Tribal Coalition has prepared talking points that are very detailed, but they are too long to be included here. Please read them to get a deeper understanding of what the Tribes see as important and incorporate some of them into your own comments. Yesterday the Albuquerque Journal published an op-ed by the Communications Director of the Inter-Tribal Coalition: Help tribes have a say in managing public lands.

Our friends at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance sent out these talking points as suggestions for commenting.

While preparing the new management plan for Bears Ears National Monument, the BLM and the Forest Service should:

• Establish a proactive process for the Tribal Nations to collaboratively manage BENM with Federal land managers, including:

— Give Indigenous knowledge and Native ways of knowing equal consideration with knowledge from Western scientific processes;

— Establish a reciprocal data sharing relationship between the Tribes and the agencies, with enhanced data acquisition for Tribes;

— Secure Federal funding for and create a full-time collaborative Tribal Management staff to participate in collaborative management with the agencies;

— Define terms in a way that incorporates Tribal perspectives/understanding. For example, define “cultural resources” to include ancestral sites, plants, animals, birds, and minerals.

• To meet their statutory and regulatory obligations — and uphold the letter and spirit of the Bears Ears Proclamation — the agencies should manage identified lands with wilderness characteristics for protection of wilderness values. Management of these lands — which comprise a significant portion of the overall monument— for protection of wilderness values will ensure lasting conservation of the objects and values identified in the Proclamation.

• Establish and implement measures to protect and improve the viewsheds, natural and quiet soundscapes, and visual and aesthetic settings of the monument.

• Significantly reduce or eliminate livestock use where livestock grazing is harming monument objects and values, including cultural sites and objects, springs and riparian areas, native vegetation, and soils. Exclude livestock from springs and riparian areas, and prohibit the drilling of new wells.

• Prohibit mechanical treatments (i.e., removal) of sagebrush, pinyon pine, juniper, and other vegetation to protect monument objects and the cultural, ecological, scenic, auditory, and wilderness values of the BENM landscape. The agency should use only native species for restoration and post-fire seeding.

• Utilize a zoning management approach to recreation and visitation to provide guidance for future recreation and travel management decisions while helping facilitate visitor experiences. In particular:

— Focus any development and expansion of trails and facilities in the frontcountry and existing public-use sites to encourage a focused visitor experience and minimize dispersal of uses into sensitive backcountry areas (See report: Outdoor Recreation and Ecological Disturbance);

— Keep recreation within designated areas and trails, and post signs to educate visitors and ensure they respect the importance of staying within those designated areas;

— Special Recreation Permits and group size limits must prioritize the protection of monument resources, and require permits for backcountry camping;

— Signage upon entering BENM would be an important management tool, and the “leave no trace” philosophy should be enforced.

• The agencies should take this opportunity to close routes that are harming monument objects and values throughout the BENM landscape, including springs and riparian areas, vegetation, soils, air quality (via dust and emissions), viewsheds, and soundscapes. Widespread off-road vehicle use should not be allowed, and no additional routes should be designated.

 
Comments may be submitted via the BLM’s ePlanning project page. Click on the green Participate Now button.

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

ATTN: BENM RMP Project Manager
BLM Monticello Field Office
365 North Main
Monticello, UT 84535

Again, the DEADLINE is October 31.

 
2. Red Rock Bill Cosponsor Update
(ACTION ITEM)

California added a new cosponsor last month, Rep. Mike Levin (D-49). Many thanks to our members who worked with him to get him on board. If you live in his district, please give his office a quick call to say thanks.

202-225-3906

It’s never too late to get more cosponsors, so if your representative is not yet a cosponsor, please call their office and ask them to sign onto H.R.3780, America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, sponsored by Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)

Our online California Congressional Information Sheet contains a list of cosponsors and their DC office phone numbers. A full list of cosponsors nationwide may be found here.

 
IN CALIFORNIA
3. Berryessa Snow Mountain (Molok Luyuk) Expansion
          Cosponsor Update
          (ACTION ITEM)

Efforts to expand Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument by adding the area known as Walker Ridge continue. At present, the main vehicle for that is Rep. John Garamendi’s (D-3) bill, H.R. 6366 and Sen. Alex Padilla’s bill, S.4080. In addition to adding nearly 4,000 acres to the Monument, the bills change the name of Walker Ridge to Condor Ridge (Molok Luyuk), using both the English and Patwin names.

Rep. Garamendi is hoping that all of the cosponsors of his previous House bills to create the Monument (though it was eventually designated administratively) will sign onto the current bill (H.R.6366). This will help the bill in the House and also show the Administration that there is support in California for the expansion, should the President make a decision to designate the expansion himself.

26 cosponsors still needed to complete the list:

Rep. Ami Bera (D-7)
Rep. Josh Harder (D-10)
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-11)
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-14)
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-15)
Rep. Jim Costa (D-16)
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-17)
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-18)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-19)
Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-20)
Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-24)
Rep. Julia Brownley (D-26)
Rep. Judy Chu (D-27)
Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-29)
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-30)
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-32)
Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-34)
Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-36)
Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-38)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-40)
Rep. Mark Takano (D-41)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D- 43)
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-47)
Rep. Juan Vargas (D-51)
Rep. Scott Peters (D-52)
Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-53)

If your representative is on the list, please call him or her, and ask them to become a cosponsor of the bill. Our online California Congressional Information Sheet contains contact information and a list of cosponsors.

 
4. Information on Voting in California
          REGISTRATION DEADLINE: October 24

Please share this information with family and friends (or anyone else you meet) who might need it.

How do I check if I’m registered to vote
Californians can check their status at https://registertovote.ca.gov/. You’ll need your California driver’s license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

You may have to register again if you’ve moved and didn’t notify the Department of Motor Vehicles or Postal Service, or if you changed your name since the last time you voted.

How do I register?
Californians can register to vote at https://registertovote.ca.gov/.

What is the deadline to register?
Voters must register no later than 15 days before an election. So the registration for this year’s general election must be postmarked or submitted electronically on or before Oct. 24.

If you miss this deadline, you can still cast a ballot. Visit a county elections office or voting center to complete a conditional voter registration up until election day. This will allow you to cast a ballot, which will count after verification by county election officials.

 
IN COLORADO
5. Pres. Biden Designates New National Monument:
          Camp Hale-Continental Divide NM
          (ACTION ITEM)

President Biden traveled to Colorado yesterday to designate his first new national monument, the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument. The Monument is about 53,800 acres in size and includes the Tenmile Range of the Rocky Mountains in addition to Camp Hale.

Camp Hale was the training site of the 10th Mountain Division during World War II, focusing on winter mountaineering and skiing. The Division was instrumental in liberating Italy and Europe from the Fascists. Conservation leader David Brower (who was one of CalUWild’s founding Advisory Board members) was in the Division. Other veterans went on to start Colorado’s ski industry.

Pres. Biden used his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to designate the Monument. He exercised further authority under the Federal Land Policy & Management Act by proposing a 20-year mineral withdrawal on about 225,000 acres in the Thompson Divide area, near the Monument. That would close the area to new mining and geothermal leasing claims. A two-year “segregation” will allow the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service to initiate an impact analysis, with public input, on the proposed withdrawal.

Conservationists will continue to support the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act, which was broader than the Monument designation, including new wilderness designations in the San Juan Mountains, a permanent mineral withdrawal for the Thompson Divide, and other provisions.

The White House released a fact sheet that you can read here.

The county commissioners of Summit and Eagle counties, where the new monument is located, published an op-ed in the Vail Daily: Thank you, President Biden, for new Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument.

Predictably, public land opponents decried the President’s action, saying they would have much preferred bipartisan Congressional legislation. Honestly, so would we, but the CORE Act has passed the House five times, according to our friends at Wilderness Workshop in Colorado. It has never made headway in the Senate, where many bills go to die. The Antiquities Act was passed (on a bipartisan vote, by the way) to allow the President to designate areas of cultural, scientific, or historic interest when Congress doesn’t. So we applaud Pres. Biden for his action yesterday.

We look forward to this being just the first of many national monument designations his administrations undertakes.

Please give the White House a call and thank Pres. Biden for designating Camp Hale and at the same time urge him to continue designating monuments during his administration. The number for the White House comment line is:

202-456-1111

You can also comment via the White House webform 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. Gift links are temporary links from some websites, allowing non-subscribers to view articles for free. As always, inclusion of an item in this section does not imply agreement with the viewpoint expressed.

In Nevada

An article in the Nevada Current: BLM’s rediscovery of massacre site renews calls for halt of lithium mine project

In General

A press release from the Department of the Interior: Interior Department Issues Guidance to Strengthen Tribal Co-Stewardship of Public Lands and Waters

An op-ed by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in the Washington Post: How we expunged a racist, sexist slur from hundreds of public lands

An article in The Conversation: Native Americans’ decadeslong struggle for control over sacred lands is making progress

 
 
 

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