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Blog

Our favorite stories about public lands and opportunities for you to get involved in protecting your outdoor experiences.

 

Listening Session on the Future of Utah’s Public Lands

Erik Murdock

Photo credit: Mike A. Shaw

Photo credit: Mike A. Shaw

This Saturday, July 16, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Robert Bonnie, alongside the leaders of the National Park Service, Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management, are hosting a public "listening session" to hear stakeholder input on the future of the Bears Ears region in southern Utah. This public gathering will take place in Bluff, Utah and is arguably the most important event regarding public lands of 2016.

The Bears Ears region is an incredible swath of Utah's public land, and is one of the most treasured recreation destinations in the U.S. The surrounding region is home to world-class rock climbing (including Indian Creek, Castle Valley, and Fisher Towers), more than 1,000 miles of iconic mountain biking trails, and 200 miles of whitewater and flatwater paddling.

There are two competing and fundamentally antithetical plans on the table for the future of southern Utah's public land—and both have implications for climbers and the environment. Learn more here. This listening session will seek the public's input on both of these plans. This is a rare and invaluable opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to meet with our Native American and conservation partners while sharing our unique perspective on land protection with high-level land managers.

There is a lot at stake in this battle over the future of Utah's public lands, and the recreation community needs a strong showing at this meeting. Public comments will be determined by a lottery system so the more recreation advocates, the better.

The listening session will begin at 1:00 pm at the Bluff Community Center, Corner of Third Street and Mulberry Avenue, Bluff, UT. Recreation advocates will meet at 10:30 am at the Access Fund flag (near the big tent), one block south of the Bluff Community Center. Climbers, paddlers, and mountain bikers are encouraged to make a weekend trip out of the advocacy mission by paddling the San Juan River or climbing in the La Sal Mountains. If you're planning to attend, please RSVP here .