Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Take a protect Greater Canyonlands photo! Daryl Hannah and Neil Young did.

11:25 am

Actress/director Daryl Hannah and rock legend Neil Young were in Moab last Friday and showed their support for protecting Greater Canyonlands!

Neil later wrote (

“Imagine the beautiful majestic canyons and valleys of Canyonlands National Park, the same legendary landscape immortalized around the world in car commercials and posters of American beauty, and you know where we are now. Imagine a nightmare where these lands are raped by Big Oil and the American Government, working hand in hand to create another tar sands disaster for Planet Earth in our sacred Canyonlands National Park. The plans are made and the forces are moving.
Ignoring the Climate Chaos that has become the new normal, ignoring the inefficiency of tar sands oil production, ignoring the species becoming extinct as you read this, ignoring a chance for a clean tomorrow, these forces of reckless greed are moving forward and if you don’t do something about it and get active, raise awareness, make your own statements, then it will be partly your responsibility. The destruction will rest on your shoulders. Get active. Make change now. Fight for Freedom to choose the fuel you use. End fossil fuel abuse. End carbon waste. Begin now.”

Join them by taking a Protect Greater Canyonlands photo! Click here for more info:

Emily Stock

What’s Your Vision for Greater Canyonlands?

10:27 am

The following ad ran in the Moab Sun News and the Moab Times-Independent today:


It’s time to talk about Greater Canyonlands

7:24 am
Greater Canyonlands activists
Activists hold signs urging protection of Utah’s Greater
Canyonlands region.

Just before the holidays, a coalition of conservation organizations — the Sierra Club, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, Grand Canyon Trust, and Great Old Broads for Wilderness — sent a letter to Utah Governor Gary Herbert urging him to “support the creation of a transparent, fair, public process” to discuss a potential Greater Canyonlands National Monument in southeastern Utah.

“We support the call for executive action to protect Greater Canyonlands,” the letter states.  “We also support the creation of a transparent, fair, public process to achieve this.  Such a process is something your office should encourage.”

The letter continues: “An open process must include public hearings along the Wasatch Front and in communities closest to Greater Canyonlands and must also welcome input from all Americans, whose stake in this landscape is equal to that of Utahns. It must invite meaningful input from the general public and all stakeholders . . . [and] it must include an experienced, credible and neutral facilitator.”

We’re waiting to hear back from the Governor’s office.  Can you take just a few moments of your time to call Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s office today and tell him that you support a public process to discuss protecting Greater Canyonlands as a national monument?

Simply call 1-800-705-2464 and tell the receptionist that you would like to leave a message for Governor Herbert encouraging him to create a public process to protect Greater Canyonlands as a national monument.

The receptionist will patch you through to a message machine. State your name, where you’re calling from, and let the Governor know that an open public process that includes all Americans to discuss protecting Greater Canyonlands as a national monument is a good idea — and one he should follow through on.

That’s it!  Your call today could make a tremendous difference in advancing the campaign to protect Greater Canyonlands.

If you live in Utah, you can also encourage Governor Herbert to begin a public process to protect Greater Canyonlands by clicking here.

Thank you for everything you do.

75 years ago today

6:37 am
Protect Greater Canyonlands Protect Greater Canyonlands
Colorado College students Brandon Sortor

Scott Braeden

Seventy-five years ago today, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt designated the Capitol Reef National Monument, proclaiming “it would be in the public interest to reserve such lands.”

No one today would dispute that FDR’s action was visionary — because today Capitol Reef National Park is considered one of the crown jewels of Utah.

Click here to help protect
Greater Canyonlands

Canyonlands Overlook, Grant Collier
Canyonlands Overlook, copyright Grant Collier.

The same holds true for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which was created in 1996 by President Bill Clinton.

A poll last fall found that 69% of Utahns rated the creation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument as “very good” or “somewhat good” for the state.

The message is clear: history (and public opinion) rewards those presidents who have shown a bold vision in protecting the Colorado Plateau — no matter the hue and cry that local Utah politicians might raise at the time about such protections.

That’s the message that we have to get to President Obama.  At a time when Utah Governor Gary Herbert is launching an unprecedented assault on public lands in Utah, we need a president who will stand up to protect one of the largest and most spectacular wild landscapes in the world — the Greater Canyonlands region of Utah.

President Obama has the authority, granted to him by Congress in 1906 under the Antiquities Act, to designate a Greater Canyonlands National Monument – and to create a legacy of protecting public lands in Utah.  

But we need your help to get that message to President Obama today.

Already, thousands of you have joined our Facebook photo campaign (see examples above), signed a petition, filled out a postcard, sent an email, tweeted, called the White House, and taken other actions to urge President Obama to protect Greater Canyonlands.  And his administration is noticing.

But there is still more work to be done.  Please visit today to take further action and help us spread the word!

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in this campaign.  Together, we can convince President Obama that Greater Canyonlands is worth protecting!

Jackie Feinberg

Into the Canyonlands: Hatch Point, Part 2

1:26 pm

Looking out on Greater Canyonlands from the tip of Hatch Point is one of the most grand and majestic views in southeastern Utah.  Not allowing industrial drilling, mining, roads and processing facilities to forever scar this landscape for speculative, short-term corporate profits should be a no-brainer.  But potash* mining – with its associated large and noisy drilling rigs, heavy equipment, sludge pits, tanks, trucks, access roads and subsequent industrial processing facilities – is threatening Hatch Point.

Hatch Canyon proposed wilderness

Hatch Canyon proposed wilderness. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

K2O Utah, LLC, owned by the Australian mining giant Potash Minerals Limited, has already drilled several exploratory wells on state lands on Hatch Point, and has now requested permission from the Bureau of Land Management to drill several more exploratory wells on federal public lands.   Before K2O’s 146-square mile project area is authorized for full development by the BLM, the agency must assess the highest and best use of this magnificent and still undeveloped landscape.

By protecting Greater Canyonlands, we can help preserve the very essence of what draws millions of visitors to this area by protecting Hatch Point from becoming fertilizer!  Visit and to take action!

*Potash is the common name for mined potassium in water-soluble form.  It is used primarily as one of the main ingredients in common varieties of fertilizer.

Liz Thomas