Teleconference Addresses Threats to Utah Redrock Canyon Country

Energy development and off-road vehicle abuse in five Utah National Park's endanger clean air and rich history.

The Wilderness Society held a teleconference to discuss the fate of 11 million acres of Utah redrock canyon country, one of the most iconic landscapes in North America.

The Bush administration’s decision to skew the management of these lands to narrowly benefit the oil and natural gas industry and off-road vehicle users was a central focus.

Because of the administration's judgment, dirt is thrown on irreplaceable Native American archaeological sites, our air is dirtied, and five of Utah's most world-famous national parks - Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands and Arches - are at risk.

Six land management plans issued over the last two months will gravely impact regional air quality, countless archaeological sites and hand our public lands over to off-road vehicles and the energy industry, while representing the Bush administration’s 11th hour attempt to permanently etch its failed energy and public lands policies into the red Utah sandstone.

Speaking were:

  • Former Bureau of Land Management Director Jim Baca, who served under President Clinton
  • Ann Georges, staff person on natural resources and interior dept. appropriations for New York Democratic Congressman and fierce wilderness advocate Maurice Hinchey. Hinchey, in an unprecedented move, protested all six of these plans and has organized over 100 members of Congress to object to the abject failure of these plans to protect our public lands
  • Phil Brueck, retired deputy superintendent of Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Natural Bridges and Hovenweep national monuments, who can vouch for the damage off-road vehicles can do to our national parks
  • Jerry Spangler, a noted Utah archaeologist and executive director of the Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance