Salazar continues Gale Norton's "no more Wilderness" policy

New York Times editorial complains-

No ‘No More Wilderness’. New York Times editorial

Speaking of Utah specifically. Despite a huge base of roadless country, Utah has made a small contribution to the National Wilderness Preservation System compared to other Western States, especially given the high percentage of state being U.S. public lands.  Utah could stand another roadless area inventory, coupled with Wilderness recommendations, but the state delegation has not supported any Wilderness bills for the state in Congress except for one recent unique designation of a Great Basin mountain range in order to block access to disliked proposed nuclear waste disposal facility on the Skull Valley Indian Reservation.





  1. Chris H Avatar
    Chris H

    Hopefully, this will change. When I lived at the Grand Canyon, I spent a lot of time in Southern Utah trying to take in all the beauty. Check out the Utah Wilderness Coalition Website:

    On a another subject, I wish everyone that provide this site and everyone that participates a great Thanksgiving Holiday! If you don’t eat turkey, maybe you can drink some Wild Turkey ( one of my states better products). Better yet, perhaps you can go see some truly wild turkeys.

  2. gline Avatar

    would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving as well…

  3. Maska Avatar

    How about sipping a little of that Wild Turkey while you look for the real (feathered) thing? We see them just about every time we go looking for lobos, though I’m more inclined to sip a good, local IPA than the hard stuff.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all! ^..^

  4. Maska Avatar

    As for Salazar and the no wilderness policy, I guess it will always be a matter of endless pressure, endlessly applied. Our southern NM Organ Mountains/Desert Peaks Wilderness Bill has been introduced in the Senate. Now it’s a matter of pushing until we get our Congress critters (especially Harry Teague) to introduce it in the House.

  5. Ryan Avatar

    Real Wilderness would me nice instead of the bullshit WSR areas we have where they still run cattle, have roads etc. Just firm up the laws on those and that would add more wilderness.

  6. jdubya Avatar

    The Gov of Utah (Herbert now that Huntsman has departed to China) has now put together a working group for wilderness headed by former SLC Mayor Ted Wilson who is a liberal environmentalist with ties to SUWA and other like minded conservation groups.

    This committee has past BLM chiefs (Pat Shea and Kathleen Clark: Demo and Repub, respectively), a slew of Utah government types (Styler from DNR and and Blackham from Agriculture) plus state reps such as Noel from Kanab who is virulent anti-wilderness (all Repub’s by the way).

    Wilson’s job is to herd these cats toward a common goal of county by county wilderness assessment and recommendation instead of the Red Rock Wilderness bill which tries to do it all in one fell swoop.

    I hope Ted can pull it off. He has the chops to get these people to work together if they are willing. But to talk them into seeing the value of wilderness designation is another thing altogether. Maybe they could all watch the National Parks TV series and learn from the past. Maybe.

  7. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I hope there are more areas to be designated as wilderness, like areas of the Great Plains. It would be nice to see as many of them restocked with native wildlife as possible.

  8. Cutthroat Avatar

    Love the Red Rock…spent most of my time there with old Ed Abbey within the pages of Desert Solitaire. Find myself reading that book every three or four years when in the grips of a long, cold winter….the gripping heat is such a nice escape from the permafrost. He had so much to say on the topic of roadless areas surrounding Arches and the canyonlands then, and I’m sure he would now.

    And wild turkeys, man I ‘bout took out a rafter of at least a dozen just off the shoulder on hwy 26 just west of Swan Valley, Idaho last month. Had no idea there was that many around there.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  9. JB Avatar

    Not sure why the Administration cares about what Utah thinks should be done with our federal public lands? Jesus, himself couldn’t win an election in Utah if he ran as a Democrat! (And they like Jesus a lot out there.) 😉

  10. jdubya Avatar

    The House and especially the Senate are such an “old boys club” that they don’t want to pass a wilderness bill, even if they could come up with the votes, if the in-state Reps and Senators don’t want it. Utah got no one even our faux Democrat Matheson who support the Red Rock bill. Which is a damn shame.

  11. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I did make a mistake, however. Some Wilderness was designated in Washington County (SW Utah) last year.

  12. jdubya Avatar

    The Washington County wilderness deal (St. George area) is an interesting situtation ’cause it was held up as the “new” way to set aside wilderness. It was essential a quid pro quo deal in which the land set aside for wilderness was compensated for by opening up new land for development. St. George is busting at the seams and instead of doing a little community planning, it is easier to just build more roads and more house out in the country/suburbs. The Montana deal by Tester seems very similar in trading presumed lumber activity for wilderness status.

    As I said, this deal in St George is being touted as the way to handle the wilderness questions in other regions of the state. And that is essentially the charge given to the Wilson committee. But the problem is the St George bill worked ’cause there was perceived give and take. Other counties do not possess the same problems as St George and don’t have the same thirst for development. So for those of us that want wilderness for various areas, what do we have to trade? The implication is that we have to give something up in order for a reasonable compromise to be made concerning setting aside some of these lands. I am dubious that what we would offer would be appreciated by Rep. Noel and his cronies.