"We can obtain wildlerness under the most difficult political conditions" -- Dick Carter, UWA Coordinator The Utah Wilderness Association
The Utah Wilderness Association Our public lands are in danger! Utah's wildlife is fighting to survive the destruction of habitat by energy development, timber sales and overgrazing. Our last stretches of wild river are threatened with reservoirs. In every remote corner of Utah needless development schemes abound.
The Utah Wilderness Association has led the battle to preserve the natural values of the public lands in Utah. From the establishment of the Lone Peak Wilderness in 1978 to the Utah Wilderness Act of 1984 and the Bureau of Land Management wilderness review, the history of wilderness and preservation in Utah has been the history of UWA.
But UWA's interests go beyond wilderness. We have led the battle to force the Forest Service to reduce timber harvesting in unroaded areas critical to wildlife on the Wasatch, Ashley and Dixie National Forests. We have challenged BLM and Forest Service proposals to allow oil and gas exploration in critical roadless areas. We have fought to protect desert bighorn sheep habitat from been exploited by off road vehicles and overgrazing by domestic livestock. Our efforts are directed at every BLM and Forest Service land management plan and proposal.
UWA has been at the forefront of public land decisions in Utah. We have a full-time professional staff and an office in Salt Lake City. We have built a volunteer network and as a member you will have an opportunity to participate in managing your lands. Won't you join us?
Wilderness is the Epitome of Multiple Use
The last remnants of the frontier are the roadless areas of the national forests, parks, wildlife refuges and BLM lands. These places of the West are closing up rapidly due to the pressures of development. It is now time to recognize the value of wilderness before it is too late. Wilderness protects resources which may prove to be the most valuable of all--scenic vistas, solitude, wildlife habitat, clean air, undisturbed watersheds and biological diversity. Literally, wilderness provides a buffer to our constant homogenizing of life.
The recreation value of wilderness for hiking, hunting, fishing, horse-packing or cross country skiing is obvious. But wilderness also provides ecosystem reserves for research that may improve the quality of life. Wilderness protects the last refuge of wild species such as bighorn sheep, elk, moose, black bear, cougaif, pine marten, river otter, wolverine and bald eagle.
Ultimately wilderness acts as a barometer of our humaneness. Can we share this planet with majestic mountain ranges, virgin forests and free-flowing rivers? Or must we be the sole inhabitants of a state or a world and be forced to experience the magic of our red rock canyons and mountains in books? Indeed, wilderness is the epitome of multiple use.
The Utah Wilderness Act of 1984
"High peaks thrust into the sky, snow fields glistening like lakes of molten silver...forests and rocklands blended into one grand view." That's how John Wesley Powell described the High Uintas when he saw them in 1869. The incomparable Uinta Mountains, including King's Peak, Utah's highest, are now protected as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. With Wasatch Front areas like Mt Naomi, Timpanogos, Mt. Olympus, Wellsville, Lone Peak and Twin Peaks, and southern Utah areas like Dark Canyon, Box-Death Hollow, the Pine Valley Mts. and Paria Canyon, the Uintas form the foundation of a diverse system of Utah wilderness.
Utah's fifteen wilderness areas constitute just 2.5% of our state's public lands. The wilderness agenda remains unfulfilled. For example, roadless areas just outside wilderness boundaries are threatened with timber sales and new roads for oil and gas exploration--lands which should have been included in the wildemess designation.
Much remains to be done. Withe your help Forest Service wilderness designations will continue and the BLM wilderness issue will begin. We need patience, knowledge of the land and public participation. But of most importance you are needed to initiate the vision and the path toward wilderness preservation.
The BLM Wilderness Reyiew
With millions of acres of roadless country at stake, the BLM wilderness review promises to be the focal point of Utah's wilderness battle for many years to come.
UWA was born with the BLM wilderness review. Initiated in the late 1970s the BLM wilderness review has been a massive undertaking highlighted with controversy. Of 22 million acres of BLM land in Utah the agency originally recommended only 2.6 million acres for wilderness study area (WSA) status. UW A organized the largest formal wilderness appeal ever filed (925,000 acres) before the Departtnent of Interior. This appeal and a subsequent UWA appeal resulted in over 600,000 additional acres of wildlands being given wilderness study area status. Unfortunately, the problems did not stop there. Of these 3.2 million acres of WSAs BLM has preliminarily recommended a mere 1.9 million acres for wilderness designation, an area smaller than Yellowstone National Park.
U\VA has countered with a wilderness proposal on BLM lands in nine integral ecological regions: the West Desert featuring the "island" ecosystems of the 12,000 foot Deep Creek Mts. and other Great Basin Ranges; the renowned river running and wildlife-rich Desolation/Book Cliffs country; the San Rafael, a composite of Utah's canyon country and proposed for years as a national park; the high plateaus and deep canyons of the Kaiparowits Plateau; the Escalante's unspoiled redrock canyons; the geologically and ecologically unique Henry Mts.; the incised canyons of the Dirty Devil/Canyonlands country, including the lower Green River, the Colorado River and the Dirty Devil as well as all of the country surrounding Canyonlands National Park; the archeologically rich Grand Gulch Plateau; and the diverse slickrock canyons and ponderosa pine plateaus of the Zion/Cannan Mt. region.
Our desert lands literally represent the most unique places on this earlth. They hold a secret of survival, an aesthetic resource unmatched and they tell us of our past. They hold the potential for large and ecologically intact additions to the wilderness system. With your help we can preserve these lands.
WHAT OTHERS THINK OF UWA
"The UWA does a good, effective and essential job in defending what remains of the most beautiful and unusual landscape in the U.S. The UWA deserves the support of all Americans who care about our best traditions." Edward Abbey
"The UWA has sought reasonable solutions to complex public lands issues and has provided a vital counterpoint to traditional government and industry views. UW A has impressed us with its persistent and effective work on behalf of Utah wild lands." Governor Scott Matheson
"The UWA has worked skillfully and diligently over the years to protect the best natural areas in the state, and its success is nearly unbelieveable. Without the UWA we would not have had a Utah Forest Service wilderness bill in 1984." Joe Hauman. Deseret News Environmental Writer
MEMBERSHIP IN UWA
We invite you to join in this effort today. UWA members receive the bi-monthly UWA Review and frequent issue alters. UWA hosts an annual rendezvous which has featured Ed Abbey, Barry Lopez, Governor Scott Matheson, Senator Jake Gam, Rod Nash, Phil Fradkin, Michael Frome and a host of others. UWA workshops, river trips, seminars, the poetry contest and other events offer opportunities to meet people and get involved. Please join with us!
[written over this page] Dick - I will be delighted to join UWA if you will agree to bring UWA into the fray as a vigourous adversary of UDOT's proposed descruction of Logan Canyon. Thanks, Desmond L. Anderson.
Utah Wilderness Association November 1988
Dear friend of Utah wilderness:
As a friend and supporter of Utah's outdoors, you know of our state's incredible natural treasures. From the power of the roaring Colorado in Canyonlands National Park to the 13,000 ft. peaks of the High Uintas; from the archaeologically unique Grand Gulch to the slickrock canyons of the Escalante; from the wildlife-rich Book Cliffs to the island ecosystems of the Great Basin mountain ranges; no other state is so richly endowed with this diversity of wildlands. Indeed, our quality of life centers upon these treasures.
The survival of these wild places cannot be taken for granted. During the past two years, the Forest Service has initiated damaging logging, roading and oil and gas exploration in exceptional wildlands on the North Slope of the High Uinta Mountains .... On the spectacular San Rafael
Swell, uncontrolled off-road vehicle use is threatening bighorn sheep populations and damaging the Swell's fragile soils and many threatened and endangered plant species ... .In eastern Utah's Book Cliffs, the Bureau of Land Management wants to open one-half million acres of critical wildlife habitat and potential wilderness to oil and gas development. ... Along the Wasatch Front, overdevelopment threatens to urbanize our canyons by expanding into the few remaining undeveloped areas. You get the picture--if we, you and I, don't act to protect our wildlands, the things we love most about Utah are going to disappear.
That's why I'm asking you to join the Utah Wilderness Association. UWA is Utah's most effective voice for sound public land management. In 1980 we intitiated the first major push for Forest Service wilderness designation in Utah. And in 1984 we found success in the passage of the Utah Wilderness Act. The Act may have been the single most important piece of conservation legislation in our state's history. It designated 12 wildernesses, led by the massive High Uintas Wilderness and including areas as diverse and unique as Mt. Naomi, Mt. Olympus, Twin Peaks,
Deseret Peak, Mt. Nebo, Dark Canyon, Box-Death Hollow and a host of others.
Today that battle continues with our efforts focussing on protecting areas which should have been designated wilderness in 1984. They include additions to the North Slope of the Uintas, the Whiterocks River drainage on the eastern end of the range, the Mt. Watson area on the western end, The Tushar Mts., Wayne Wonderland, additions to the Pine Valley Mts. Wilderness and others. In late-1986 we appealed the Dixie and Manti-LaSal forest plans because they failed to protect important unroaded areas. The result of the appeals? After more than a year of
negotiations, over 300,000 acres of unroaded areas are now protected from logging, ORV use and other surface disturbing activities! But it won't end there. We will never back away from our decade-long commitment to designate as Wilderness all deserving lands on our national
In 1980, with the BlM wilderness review floundering due to BlM's timid attitude toward preserving wilderness, we organized the largest formal appeal ever filed before the Department of Interior--925,000 acres. As a result, 90% of these lands were kept in the BlM wilderness review. The 3,000-page appeal, dotted with hundreds of maps and photos and written by over 100 affiants, wound its way through the appeal process for four years. During that time over 800,000 acres were put back into the wilderness inventory.
In March 1985, after five years in the making, UWA's visionary proposal for almost 4 million acres of wilderness on Utah's BlM lands was released. The proposal focusses on nine integral geographical and ecological regions within the state in order to assure preservation of our most important biological and recreational areas. It also has the endorsement of a host of environmental groups within Utah. But gaining congressional support will not be easy. We'll need your help to assure that Utah's world-class desert wilderness will get the protection it deserves.
The Utah Wilderness Association works on more than just designating wilderness. We have led the battle to prevent overcutting of timber on our national forests and overgrazing on all public lands. We have fought agency proposals to allow oil and gas exploration in critical roadless
areas. We have battled to protect bighorn sheep from exploitation by off-road vehicles. We have fought for wildlife and wild rivers.
And we do all of this with an active and vocal membership. We conduct fieldtrips and workshops ranging from wilderness role-playing events to special presentations on Utah's predators. We prepare a bi-monthly newsletter, the UWA Review. Every year we host a membership rendezvous and conduct seminars with a variety of guest speakers such as Ed Abbey, Barry Lopez, Roderick Nash, Michael Frome and Phil Fradkin, Congressman Wayne Owens, Senator Jake Garn and former Governor Scott Matheson. We sponsor an annual poetry contest which
receives hundreds of entries from throughout the West. By joining the Utah Wilderness Association not only do you contribute toward the preservation of wilderness but you gain the opportunity to learn a lot about the issues and how to get involved. NOT A BAD DEAL FOR $20 A YEAR!
The future of our public lands depends upon our willingness to act. Those who want to exploit these lands purely for economic gain will certainly be heard. As a member of UWA you can be sure your voice will also be heard.
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