Save Our Canyons has worked for over four decades on various local, state and federal levels to advance our mission of protecting the wildness and beauty of the Wasatch Range. Some amazing lands have been designated as Wilderness areas. From the highest reaches of the Lone Peak cirque to the boundary of Mount Olympus nearly butted against the city residents homes.
Additional lands have been proposed that possess wilderness quality and are awaiting a Congressional designation that so far has not been realized. What can be done to jump start the stalled land protection efforts in our state? What other tools do we have at our disposal to realize the dream of leaving a place like the Wasatch better protected and more intact than we found it? National monument designation in the Wasatch Range would aid in protecting our watershed, prevent development in sensitive areas, connect wildlife corridors and bolster an economy already thriving due to its proximity to such a valuable asset. National Monument designation would mean protecting some 170,000 acres reaching from Parley’s Canyon in the North down to the Provo River in the South following the Forest Service boundary East to West – encompassing some of the most threatened and dramatic landscapes in the Central Wasatch Range.
Sign the petition HERE; designate the Wasatch National Monument
What is a National Monument?
A national monument is a public land designation that protects the natural, cultural, and/or historical features of a deserving landscape in perpetuity. A national monument can be established two ways: legislation passed by Congress or proclamation issued by the President (under authority granted by the Antiquities Act of 1906). Click here to learn more about the Antiquities Act.
How is a National Monument designation different from Wilderness designation?
Wilderness designation, which requires congressional legislation, provides the highest level of protection for public lands and ensures an area remains unimpaired by human interference. A national monument designation allows for a broader mix of recreation uses, while still providing protection for an area’s cultural, historic and natural resource values.
Why support the Wasatch National Monument?
Broad, local support by the people
- The Wasatch Range is the backbone to Salt Lake City’s identity. Attempts to protect this incredible resource are routinely backed by the local community.
- 94% of respondents to Envision Utah’s Wasatch Canyons Tomorrow study (2010) support increased protections for the Wasatch Range.
- The Salt Lake City Watershed is an essential resource for a growing population. Currently 60% of people in the Salt Lake Valley depend on the Wasatch watershed area for clean, culinary water. (Click here for more on Salt Lake City Watershed)
- National Monument designation does not add unnecessary or cumbersome access restrictions that would inhibit people from enjoying this stunning landscape.
Maintains vast recreational opportunities
- A healthy and natural Wasatch is critical for the millions of snow sports, fishing, hiking, cycling and climbing enthusiasts that escape to the range every year, with designation recreational access to these highly prized recreational opportunities will be protected.
Protect Our Sense of Place
Preserves the region’s cultural heritage
- National monument designation would ensure that the Wasatch’s unique history — from the mining boom in the late 1800s to the dawn of the modern ski resort industry — would be permanently preserved for all to appreciate.
Connecting Wild Landscapes
Wilderness is a critical component of the monument proposal
- Connecting Wilderness areas protects wildlife corridors and furthers the ability for land managers to ensure a healthy, connected and thriving forest.
- As an explicit endorsement of an area’s incredible natural beauty, monument designation will drive tourism and boost the economy it supports.
A Gift to Future Generations
- Protecting the character of our public lands ensures that many generations to come will find peace and fulfillment in the same wild and beautiful Wasatch Range that we enjoy today.
Critical for Nature
- The Wasatch Range is home to over 250 animal species and 1,100 plants. Many other species that are unique to the region, and monument designation will significantly improve their chances of survival.
Wasatch National Monument Acreage Breakdown:
|US Forest Service Lands||155,964.31|
|Timpanogos Cave NM||253.92|
|Wasatch NM total acres||169,950.00|
* Private property rights within the National Monument proposal will not be impacted. Access, use and maintenance of private land by land owners will remain intact.