America's Redrock Wilderness

  • The remote Nokai Dome area

    Harvey Halpern photo
  America's Redrock Wilderness





"I'm here to disprove the lie that local people don't want wilderness; the truth is that most southern Utahns are frightened by runaway growth and want to see as much land protected from development as possible."


* Linda Wood, Cedar City, Utah,


testifying at Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt's 1995 hearings on wilderness


proposed for BLM lands in the state





This spring, a 56-page defense of Utah's wild places hit congressional offices in Washington, D.C., as 100 volunteers made sure every elected official got a copy. What they hand-delivered was a paperbound book called America's Redrock Wilderness: Protecting a National Treasure, a follow-up to a similar effort by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance in 1990.


In essays and stunning photos, it illuminates the richness of the 2.6 million acres added last summer to a wilderness proposal for Bureau of Land Management wilderness (HCN, 8/3/98). Volunteers in the Utah Wilderness Coalition had reinventoried Utah's BLM lands, and added the additional acres to a proposed bill protecting 9.1 million acres.


The new book features work by 16 photographers, including Jack Dykinga, Ray Wheeler, Tom Till and Jeff Garton, as well as text and maps by Frederick Swanson. In her afterword, Terry Tempest Williams says: "The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time." A separate, 48-page appendix included with the book summarizes the contentious history of wilderness issues in Utah.


Meanwhile, the Bureau of Land Management invites all Americans to comment through 1999 on how to protect and manage its wilderness study areas in Utah. Some 1,500 people have commented on a draft environmental impact statement so far, says acting BLM director Linda Colville. All suggestions will be considered when the agency prepares its final environmental impact statement, she adds. You can comment by mail to BLM Utah State Office WSA Planning Project, P.O. Box 45155, Salt Lake City, UT 84145, or through their Web site : www.ut.blm.gov/wilderness.


A copy of America's Redrock Wilderness is available for $18. Write to SUWA at 1471 South 1100 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, or call 801/486-3161.





"Fifty years ago, we had 16 to 18 million acres of wilderness. In my lifetime I've seen two-thirds of that wiped out. Gone. We've only got just under 6 million acres left. We need to be protecting it."


* Gail Hoskisson, Salt Lake City, Utah testimony at Gov. Mike Leavitt's 1995 Wilderness hearings





* Keri Watson
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