1. The Book Cliffs: BLM and adjoining state and Indian reservation lands comprise a natural area of over 1 million acres spanning the Tavaputs Plateau and mile-deep Desolation and Gray canyons. It is one of the largest blocks of unprotected roadless land in the lower 48 states, and one of the richest wildlife areas in Utah.
H.R. 1500 protects
750,000 acres within 11 contiguous roadless areas.
H.R. 1745 protects only half as much land,
leaving the remainder open to the mining of coal, tar sands,
natural gas and oil. As with all areas not selected for BLM
wilderness under H.R. 1745, development might also include
increasing off-road vehicle use, disturbance of areas containing
1,000-year-old Indian ruins, and logging.
2. La Sal Canyons: Streams rising on the slopes
of the La Sal Mountains near Moab have carved intricate canyon
systems draining east and north into the 1,000-foot-deep gorges of
the Dolores and Colorado rivers.
protects 160,000 acres surrounding the La Sals and Arches National
H.R. 1745/S.884 protects 65,000
Canyonlands: Two canyon systems unite at the confluence of the
Green and Colorado rivers, where just 50 years ago Wilderness
Society founder Bob Marshall identified a roadless area of 9
million acres. Today, one-fifth of Bob Marshall's 9 million acre
Colorado River roadless area is protected within Canyonlands
National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
H.R. 1500 protects an additional 500,000 acres
surrounding the national park lands, including the Colorado River
gorge downstream from Moab, the Green River in Labyrinth Canyon
upstream from Canyonlands Park, and side canyon systems such as
that of Dark Canyon, tributary to Cataract Canyon downstream from
H.R. 1745/S. 884 designates 147,000
acres of wilderness.
White Canyon: White Canyon and its 95-mile network of side canyons
sprawl across 85,000 acres of roadless BLM land surrounding Natural
Bridges National Monument and linking it to Glen Canyon National
Recreation area to the west.
H.R. 1500 protects
an area 10 times larger than the national monument it
H.R. 1745/S. 884 designates no
Mesa/San Juan River: Along the north side of the San Juan river,
below Mexican Hat, an extensive network of tributary canyon
systems, including those of Comb Wash and Grand Gulch, cut deeply
into the forested plateau known as Cedar Mesa.
H.R. 1500 protects all 400,000 acres of roadless BLM land in the
San Juan River watershed, offering maximum protection to one of the
world's largest and finest collections of prehistoric dwelling
H.R. 1745/S. 884 designates one parcel
of 51,000 acres as wilderness.
6. Glen Canyon: The canyon floor is entombed
under Lake Powell, but its jewel-like beauty can still be witnessed
within the 500- to 800-foot-deep side-canyons incised into Mancos
Mesa on the east, and in the rugged slickrock terrain surrounding
the 8,000-foot peaks of the "Little Rockies' to the West.
H.R. 1500 protects 168,000 acres of roadless
BLM land bordering Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
H.R. 1745/S. 884 designates 97,000 acres of
7. Dirty Devil
Canyons: Between Hanksville and Lake Powell, the Dirty Devil river
flows for 90 miles through a 300,000 acre canyon system with over
200 miles of side canyons.
H.R. 1500 protects
all 263,000 acres of BLM land adjoining a 57,000 acre roadless area
within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
H.R. 1745/S. 884 designates 110,000 acres in two isolated
8. The Henry
Mountains: 10 to 20 miles west of Glen Canyon, seven blue-green
domes float like mirages above the jumble of flat-topped mesas,
canyons, and badlands east of Capitol Reef National Park. These are
the 7,000- to 11,000-foot-high peaks of the Henry Mountains.
H.R. 1500 protects 350,000 acres in six
roadless areas surrounding the mountain range.
H.R. 1745/S. 884 designates 107,000 acres.
9. Escalante Canyons: H.R. 1500 designates over
350,000 acres of wilderness encompassing the entire 1,000-mile
canyon system of the Escalante river and its tributaries, along
with neighboring lands bordering Capitol Reef National Park.
H.R. 1745/S. 884 designates 184,000
Plateau: Immensity and silence are the hallmarks of the
three-quarter-million acre proposed Kaiparowits Wilderness, a
region of stair-stepping cliff walls and forested bench lands
deeply cut by canyons.
H.R. 1500 protects
700,000 acres in 11 roadless areas - a region larger in size than
the state of Rhode Island.
H.R. 1745/S. 884
protects one roadless area of 121,000 acres.
11. The Grand Staircase: Between its headwaters
in Bryce Canyon National Park and its confluence with the Colorado
River at the head of the Grand Canyon, the Paria River descends a
vertical mile through a slot canyon.
designates 270,000 acres of wilderness between Bryce Canyon
National Park and the Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness
H.R. 1745/S. 884 designates 57,600
12. San Rafael Swell:
50 miles long, 25 miles wide, and 1,500 feet high, this dome-shaped
uplift towers above the Burr Desert like a medieval fortification.
Tilted plates of sandstone form its outer walls, while the interior
has been sculpted by erosion into monuments, canyons and badlands.
H.R. 1500 protects 750,000 acres encompassing
both the uplift itself and the colorful badlands which link it to
Capitol Reef National Park and Thousand Lake Mountain to the
H.R. 1745/S. 884 designates less
than 200,000 acres.
Greater Zion: The 200,000 acres of roadless BLM land surrounding
Zion National Park contain six proposed wild and scenic rivers and
streams within spectacular slot canyons, ecologically rich canyon
riparian systems, and slickrock plateaus identical to those within
H.R. 1500 protects all roadless BLM
lands, including Parunuweap Canyon, Canaan Mountain, upper Kanab
Creek, and the corral-colored sand dunes on the west slope of
H.R. 1745/S. 884 creates
three wilderness areas totaling 53,000 acres, and specifically
authorizes the construction of a dam, with associated powerlines,
pipelines, and roads, on the East Fork of the Virgin River within
the Parunuweap Canyon Wilderness.
14. The Great Basin: Many of the 14 "island"
mountain ranges recommended for wilderness designation in western
Utah were once literally islands in prehistoric Lake Bonneville.
Today they are havens of biological diversity surrounded by
gleaming salt flats and mud-cracked desert playas.
H.R. 1500 protects 784,000 acres within 23
roadless areas scattered across western Utah's slice of the Great
H.R. 1745/S. 884 designates about
268,000 acres of wilderness in 10 roadless