The Wasatch Mountains are a relatively small place with complex land use ownership, management and patterns. In order to achieve our organizations mission, vision and goals we must be vigilant at all levels of government – Federal, State, County, and Municipal. In addition to these lands being unique and amazing public lands with high value recreational and wilderness qualities, they are also vital watersheds, critical to the health, well-being and economy of nearly 85% of Utah’s population. We all live downstream! As such, we have developed a few primary campaign categories:
- Wilderness, Preservation and Conservation – Projects in this campaign category include wilderness advocacy and defense, working to preserve and conserve highly valued public lands for their inherent natural qualities, but also for their outstanding opportunities for recreation and their contribution to our quality of life. In Utah, these projects tend to be polarizing, political, drawn out and emotional – qualities we look for in projects as we’re not easily deterred by a bit of a challenge. Wilderness Designation, Conservation Easements, Land Exchanges, Land Donations, are projects we have traditionally engaged in.
- Public Lands Stewardship & Forest Management – Projects of this campaign generally include working on Forest Planning, Forest Policy, participation in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), working with community partners on stewardship projects (i.e. Trail work and Canyon Clean Ups), working on advisory or planning boards coordinating and troubleshooting challenges to managing our public lands, etc. Being vigilant and proactive in management of our public lands is one of the ways Save Our Canyons has historically (and currently) worked to protect what is unique and amazing about the Wasatch Range.
- Local Land Use Planning & Community Values Advocacy – While about 60% of the Wasatch Mountains belong to all of us (administered by the US Forest Service), a checker board pattern of old mining claims (thank you 1872 Mining Law), have created a significant portion of private property in holdings inside our national forest and watershed. Working on, creating, revising, and watch-dogging of local land use policies and decisions has become an ever-growing portion of Save Our Canyons’ work. Especially, in light of the “Take Back Utah” and re-emergence of the “Sage Brush Rebellion” on steroids. While private property might be king in the West, without planning, airing of community values and needs, and ordinances to enforce and codify these plans and ordinances – property rights will run amok on property rights, times infinity.
Please browse our campaigns and projects tabs to the left. Get in touch if ever you have a question or notice something odd brewing in your favorite backcountry haunt. Seemingly insurmountable pressures have been put on this place for decades; and it doesn’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. However, together, being aware, active, and engaged, we’ll be able to protect what is special about this place and truly Save Our Canyons!