Press Release Archive

Tenth Circuit Rules in Our Monument Case Involving Kane County RS 2477 Claims

On January 11, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued an opinion in a case brought by conservation groups that challenged Kane County's attempt to undermine federal land management of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. In a fairly technical ruling, the court held that conservationists were simply not the right parties to bring the suit because the interests is sought to protect, in the court's view, belonged to the federal Bureau of Land Management, which manages the Monument.

Reversal of Bush-era "No More Wilderness" Policy Applauded

The Interior Department Rightly Restored Protection to Magnificent Wilderness-Quality Lands Throughout the West

Conservation Groups and Oil and Gas Company Announce Historic Agreement to Protect Desolation Canyon Area

Today, a coalition of conservation organizations announced they have reached an historic agreement with the Bill Barrett Corporation, a Denver-based oil and gas company. The West Tavaputs agreement ensures that the Desolation Canyon stretch of the Green River will be protected from the sight and sound of industrial development even during the development and extraction of substantial natural gas reserves that Barrett currently has under lease.

Settlement Reinstates Common Sense Checks and Balances

Drilling in Special Places Will Be Appropriately Scrutinized While Categorical Exclusions Can Still be Used in Manner Intended by Congress

Historic Preservation and Conservation Groups Settle Suit over BLM Approvals of Natural Gas Wells in Nine Mile Canyon Region

BLM Agrees to Change National Policy and Restrict Use of Loophole That Led to Drilling

BLM Plans Destruction of Old Growth Trees in National Monument and Proposed Wilderness

A coalition of national and local conservation groups has called on the Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") to halt immediately the planned destruction of old-growth pinyon and juniper trees on over 50,000 acres in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and surrounding lands, including those proposed for wilderness protection in America's Red Rock Wilderness Act.

Conservationists Applaud Proposed Oil and Gas Reforms

Today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a series of reforms to the federal oil and gas leasing program designed to provide greater environmental oversight over oil and gas lease offerings, more public involvement, increased certainty for industry, and better return to American taxpayers for energy development on federal lands.

SUWA's response to KUER radio story about wilderness legislation

We want to provide the full story to correct a few aspects of a recent report by a Salt Lake City radio station.

First Coal Strip Mine in Utah Threatens Air, Water, Tourism, and Bryce Canyon

Local and national environmental organizations filed a petition yesterday afternoon to halt the proposed Coal Hollow coal strip mine, which would sit just west of Bryce Canyon National Park. They argue that plans for the strip mine fail to adequately account for the potential for harmful impacts on the area's water, air, wildlife and cultural resources.

Oil Shale: Secretary Salazar Issues New Round of Research Development and Demonstration Parcels

Citizens from western states, including sportsmen groups and conservationists, applaud today's announcement by Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Ken Salazar that the agency will investigate Bush Administration policies fast-tracking oil shale development.

Press Release: Conservationists Call for Continued Protection of Fragile Utah Lands

Following the Bush Administration's attempted last-minute auction of 77 parcels of lands last year, the courts ruled that BLM did not follow proper procedures. Today, the DOI received recommendations on the propriety of the lease sale, including recommendations to improve the decision-making process. As these recommendations are evaluated, several groups involved in the lawsuit are working to make sure that these valuable natural resources are protected.

New Poll Shows Solid Support for Protecting Utah's Wilderness Lands

At the close of what President Obama officially designated "Wilderness Month," the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance released a new poll showing solid support for new wilderness areas on federal lands within the state.

High Volunteerism Expected for National Public Lands Day in Utah's Protected Areas

September 26th will mark National Public Lands Day, and high volunteerism is expected in the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Wilderness and other protected areas.

Press Release: Congressional Subcommittee to Hold Historic Hearing on Utah Wilderness

For the first time, the protection of millions of acres of Utah's public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management will be considered by the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands on October 1, 2009. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D. Az.) and Maurice Hinchey (D. NY), the long-time sponsor of America's Red Rock Wilderness Act, announced the hearing today.

Press Release: Court Rules Against Kane County in RS 2477 Case

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a Utah county may not override federal rules meant to protect wildlife, streams, archeological sites, wilderness and monuments by relying on unproven highway rights of way.

Utah Wilderness Bill Earns Record Levels of Support

As Members of Congress take leave from a hectic session in Washington, D.C. for the August recess, the Utah Wilderness Coalition (UWC) notes that despite the enormous tasks facing Congress this year, America's Red Rock Wilderness Act, in its 20th year, has gained a record amount of support.

Senate Passes Land Exchange Bill for Utah

The Utah Wilderness Coalition today hailed the final passage of the Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act of 2009 (H.R. 1275). This legislation, which recently won approval in the House of Representatives (RC481 7/8/09), will enable federal government acquisition of state land parcels within the spectacular Colorado River corridor in Utah.

Federal Appeals Board Upholds Bush-Era BLM Lease Sale

On July 15, 2009, the Interior Board of Land Appeals issued a decision upholding a Bush-era oil and gas lease sale and rejecting an appeal filed by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Wilderness Society that had challenged the sale of 15 leases in November 2006 in sensitive lands throughout Utah. The groups had argued that BLM's leasing decision violated important federal environmental and historic preservation laws.

Coal-Friendly Bush Energy Corridor Plan Challenged

Conservation organizations and a western Colorado county today filed a legal challenge to a Bush-era plan that designated energy corridors that promote coalfired and other fossil-fuel power plants.

Report Released on Climate Change Impacts in Southern Utah

A new report released by the U.S. Global Change Research Program which documents the national impact of climate change also shows that the southwestern portion of the country, including Utah, will bear the brunt of the anticipated changes.

Interior Report Cites Flaws in Utah Lease Sale Process

Conservation groups today applauded a new report from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that points to flaws in a December 2008 Utah oil and gas lease sale. The report indicates that among the BLM's shortcomings was a failure to inform the National Park Service of a last-ditch effort that added more tracts of land to the lease sale.

SUWA and Equity Oil Reach Agreement on Leases in San Juan County

SUWA has reached an agreement with Equity Oil Company ("Equity") regarding certain oil and gas leases held by Equity in San Juan County, Utah. The agreement resolves procedural issues raised by SUWA regarding Equity's petition to reinstate three oil and gas leases within the citizen-proposed Hatch Point wilderness area.

SUWA Hails Congressional Passage of Washington County Wilderness Bill

Today, with the House of Representatives' passage of an omnibus public lands bill, Utahns and all Americans will benefit from the long lasting protection of the unique and extraordinary wild public lands of the Zion-Mojave region in the southwestern corner of the state.

Washington County Wilderness Bill Hits House Hurdle

The U.S. House of Representatives defeated S. 22, the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, which includes a widely supported wilderness bill for Washington County, Utah. While today's setback is somewhat disheartening, the House will likely give the public lands package another opportunity for passage in the near future.

Bold Action by Department of Interior Halts Leasing of Utah Wilderness

Robert Redford and Environmental Groups Support Critical Step in Land Protection

Congress Asks President-Elect Obama to Cancel Energy Leases

58 U.S. Representatives Ask Next Administration to Revise Bush Plans for Land Management to Better Protect Proposed Wilderness Lands

SUWA and Others File Suit Against Controversial Lease Sale

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and a coalition of conservation and preservation groups filed suit in federal district court today to stop the BLM from auctioning off wilderness lands for oil and gas development. The lease sale, which is scheduled for December 19, follows BLM's equally controversial issuance of six management plans for public lands across eastern and southern Utah, which opened up vast swaths of red rock country to oil and gas drilling and off-road vehicles.

Broad Coalition Says No to BLM "Fire Sale," Files Formal Protest Over Utah Land Leasing Spree

Today a coalition of conservation groups representing more than one million Americans will file a formal administrative protest with Utah's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) state office to protect land and resources from a midnight "Fire Sale." The protest challenges BLM's decision to auction off 92 parcels of land -- covering approximately 100,000 acres -- for oil and gas leasing and development, including protected areas that the National Park Service asked BLM to omit from the sale.

BLM Lease Sale Still a Turkey

Proposed wilderness lands are still included in the BLM's December 2008 lease sale.

Bush Administration Christmas Gift to Oil Companies Announced on Election Day

On election day, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it will sell oil and gas leases on areas in eastern Utah including sections of Desolation Canyon, White River, Diamond Mountain, Bourdette Draw, and other lands in the Nine Mile Canyon region. These public lands had largely been off-limits to new oil and gas leasing because of a series of federal court and administrative decisions overturning earlier illegal BLM leasing decisions.

Court Rules that It May Review BLM Decision to Ignore Damage and Allow ORVs in Arch Canyon

Yesterday, a federal judge sitting in Utah ruled that two environmental groups could sue the Bureau of Land Management to challenge the agency's decision to leave Arch Canyon an archaeological and scenic marvel -- open to destructive off-road vehicle (ORV) use.

Bush Administration Finalizes Legacy of Destruction for Utah's Canyon Country

New, 20-Year Plans Open 80% of Public Lands in Southern and Eastern Utah to Drilling and Turn Over More Than 20,000 Miles of Trails to Off-Road Vehicles

House Energy Bill Unnecessarily Puts Utah's Wild Lands at Risk

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a broad reaching energy bill, H.R. 6899, which while advancing many important and positive energy policies, will be disastrous for Utah's public lands.

Bush Administration Continues to Cement Legacy of Sacrificing Utah's Public Lands to Off-Road Vehicles and Energy Speculation

The Bureau of Land Management ("BLM") has released the second of six land use plans that will govern approximately 11 million acres of scenic public lands in southern Utah.

Oil Shale Technology Remains Decades Away

Interior Department Oil Shale Rules Ignore Reality, Will Not Lower Gas Prices

Help Protect Dinosaur National Monument

BLM Greenlights Controversial Plan to Drill for Gas in Scenic Area Bordering Dinosaur National Monument

SUWA Applauds Congressional Efforts to Call Oil/Gas Industry's Bluff

Two bills recently introduced in Congress take a well deserved hard look at oil and gas industry claims that a lack of access to federal public lands is responsible for the current high price of gasoline.

Conservationists Win Legal Victory for Utah National Monument and Wild Lands

In an unusual case, last Friday, U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell ruled that a southern Utah county violated the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution when it adopted an ordinance that encouraged off-road and other vehicles to use routes that had been closed by federal land managers in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and in a designated wilderness area.

Public Overwhelms Interior Dept with Opposition to Latest Proposed Oil and Gas Project in Nine Mile Canyon

Last week tens of thousands of Americans from across the nation called on the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reject a Denver-based gas company's plans to drill more than 800 new natural gas wells in eastern Utah's Nine Mile Canyon region, an area world-renowned for its fragile rock art sites.

Media Statement Regarding Subcommittee Hearing on Washington County Lands Bill

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the Sierra Club, and the Wasatch Mountain Club cannot support S. 2834 as currently drafted, though we look forward to working with Senator Bennett and the Congress to improve this bill and protect the wild Zion-Mojave region.