Thank you for signing the Northern Corridor Highway Petition. Your petition sits with hundreds of others signed by people who moved to Green Springs, Brio, Warm Springs and Middleton to enjoy the beauty of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA) and now find themselves living within 30 feet of a proposed 4-lane highway that will carry between 32 and 46 thousand vehicles per day by 2040.
I’m grateful for your advocacy to keep the Northern Corridor out of your backyard and the treasured Red Cliffs NCA. This refuge is an “unspoiled land of beauty,” that should be “observed and revered forever, left for the people of the future, not marred by intrusions of roads” as homeowners Mary Vilicich and Betty Adamson wrote in their letters to the editor encouraging residents to participate in the recent Northern Corridor Highway public comment period.
Now that comment period is over, and on November 13th, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will release a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) with a decision on the location of the highway. If they choose UDOT Alternative 3, it would cut through the backyards of thousands of homes, putting property values, peace and quiet, dark night skies, recreation and safety at risk. In his letter following the Turkey Farm Road wildfire, resident Soames Summerhays summarized:
“Many Green Springs area residences lie within a few hundred feet or less from the proposed Northern Corridor Highway, an inevitable future point source of fires. Dry brush lies either side of this UDOT highway. In the event of another predictable Leeds-like fire the blaze could enter this residential neighborhood within minutes, providing residents little or no time to evacuate their houses or fight the fire — or indeed for firefighters to respond.”
Conserve Southwest Utah, the grassroots nonprofit I work for dedicated to quality of life in Washington County, pictures a future where the precious urban-wildland interface that attracts so many to the area remains protected, and people and wildlife remain safe from catastrophic wildfire, noise, air and light pollution.
Together, we can shape this future by participating once more in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This alphabet soup is familiar to many of you who wrote comments during scoping and/or the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The final step is the protest period beginning November 13th when the FEIS is released.
If BLM makes a decision that would damage your property or yourself, you can protest it. This involves writing a short letter describing how you would be harmed by the highway. If you’ve written a comment on this project already, you’re eligible to formally protest. Please see resources for protesting here. If you haven’t written a comment, you’re not eligible to protest. However, you can contact your local elected officials and ask why they’re putting your life and safety at risk when transportation alternatives located outside of Red Cliffs have been studied and proven more successful than the Northern Corridor.
And Conserve Southwest Utah will stand with you. We’ve been fighting the Northern Corridor since 2006 and have played a pivotal role in each of Washington County’s six failed attempts. This will be the last time. We’re ready to defend you and the Red Cliffs NCA, whether in the Washington County Commission Office or in court. Some things are worth protecting.
So, please stay in touch. I’ve just added you to our e-mail news list. You’ll receive weekly updates on the Northern Corridor and other land, air and water news in Washington County. You can unsubscribe at any time, but I hope you won’t. We’re in this together, for present and future generations.
CSU Public Lands Program Director