March 05, 2019

Another Miracle in Washington, DC

By John Worlock, Member of Save Our Canyons



Can you believe it?  We suddenly have more good news from Washington, following two years of assaults on the natural environment by the government.  A very hard couple of years.

So now, let’s Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative, Latch on to the Affirmative and talk about the recent triumph of the Natural Resources Management Act, which just last week whistled through the House of Representatives with a bipartisan majority of 85%!  It had cleared the Senate earlier with an even bigger majority.  With majorities like that, we don’t need to worry about a presidential veto.

How did such an environmentally friendly act fly through Congress?  We note that it was a composite of 170 separate proposals, and we suspect that they are spread widely and wisely throughout the nation, picking up key votes where they were needed.  If that’s called log-rolling, so be it.  It’s very welcome log-rolling. The Natural Resources Management Act of 2019 is reckoned to be the most important such legislation in half a century.

In the weeks to come, while we studiously ignore the misguided efforts of the Utah Legislature, we will try to bring home to you some of the provisions of this federal action that will have important impact on the nation.

But for now, we note that for Utah, the most important consequence of the Act is the creation of 2/3 of a million acres of Wilderness in Emery County, a vast improvement on the lukewarm proposals of Hatch and Curtis’s Emery County Land Management Act.  Please go to the website of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, at s u w a dot org, and soak up the information in a multitude of excellent maps of Emery County, showing the San Rafael Swell Recreation Area surrounded by many big chunks of Wilderness, as well as the stretches of the Green River designated as Wild, Scenic or Recreational. 

For a broader description of the consequences, we recommend the website of Outside Magazine at outside online dot com.  They will tell you about the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and a lot more.

Those websites were s u w a dot org and outside online dot com. Go, learn and celebrate!