The last few days in the SOC office have seen us reaching less frequently to pull Forest Service reports and collaborative visioning documents for the Wasatch off the bookshelf. Instead, we’re finding ourselves returning to the sources which most profoundly articulate why the work we do is so important. I guess you could say we’re going to SOC’s original visioning documents: the writings of Leopold and Stegner, the alpine ecstasies of Muir, Abbey’s rage, the wisdom of the Wilderness Act and the examples of Gale Dick, Alexis Kelner, Martin Litton, David Brower and so many others.
And though we’ve taken a little time the past couple days to reflect on recent national events, we haven’t taken our eyes from the Wasatch.
It’s our time in these mountains and by the example of their resilience that we’re collecting the poise and determination to carry forward with newly strengthened resolve. As Muir wrote, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” For four decades our community has come together to protect the Wasatch for times just as this, times when a questionable future forces us to remember that wildness and beauty are not optional, they are mandatory.
This coming week the Wasatch Mountains and Save Our Canyons will be offering another example, not just of resilience but of the possibility for robust environmental protections.
I’m proud to say that this coming Tuesday I’ll be in Washington D.C. testifying before the House Natural Resources Committee in support of protecting 80,000 acres of the Wasatch through the Central Wasatch National Conservation and Recreation Act.
We’re excited for the more robust and durable protections for the Wasatch that will result from this legislation’s passing.
And if you’re interested, you can listen in as I offer testimony and attempt to deliver the spirit of the Wasatch to D.C. You can tune in to the live broadcast of the committee hearing by visiting the House Natural Resources Committee website Tuesday at 8am MST.
At the end of the day we’re reminded of the sage words from our founder, Gale Dick, who frequently told us that in conservation “Victories are temporary while losses are permanent.” We feel this legislation is an instance, one Gale would be proud of, that results in a higher level of permanence for our victories and minimizes the potential for future losses.
The next step in attaining the benefits of the Mountain Accord is Salt Lake County’s establishing the Central Wasatch Commission (CWC).
The purpose of this new commission, which is similar in its process and aim to the Jordan River Commission, will be to direct efforts stewarding such projects in the Wasatch as:
- Improving and creating trails and trailheads
- Watershed protection
- Public engagement
- Keeping restrooms open and clean
- Managing invasive species
Send a message to the Salt Lake County Council in support of the Central Wasatch Commission by clicking here. You can also view the letter of support for the commission from Save Our Canyons, Salt Lake Climber’s Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, and others here.
Also, Tuesday, November 15 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the SL County building (agenda), the County Council will hear public comment on the proposed creation of the Central Wasatch Commission. Mark your calendar and plan to attend! A strong public showing will be critical to establishing the commission.
PS – Please sign our petition supporting the Wasatch Conservation and Recreation Act by clicking HERE