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Habitat restoration volunteers building chicken wire cages to protect young native plants so they can grow up and become part of a functioning ecosystem. Photo by Theda Wrede for the Spectrum.

Volunteers Desperately Needed to Help Restore Fire Ravaged Habitats

2020 has been a year of unprecedented wildfire destruction. Utah’s wildfire season broke records for the number of human-caused fires and the costs to taxpayers. The Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands reports battling more than 1,300 fires, a 50% increase over last year, with over 75% of fires being human-caused for a total of 963 fires started by people. So far, $36 million has been spent to fight these fires.

In southwest Utah, three human-caused wildfires started on roads burned 14,000 acres, 22 square miles, and one-quarter of the land in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA), including huge swaths of critical habitat for the threatened Mojave desert tortoise.

Please join us in rehabilitating the Red Cliffs NCA following these devastating wildfires.

With your help, Conserve Southwest Utah and agency partners can initiate an intensive program to restore habitat that provides food and shelter for hundreds of wildlife species, and recreation and scenery for thousands of residents and visitors. This work involves planting thousands of native shrubs, flowers and grasses. Before we can get young plants in the ground, however, we need to build cages to protect them. 

Volunteers are encouraged to bring work gloves and a pair of snips or pliers, water, and wear pants, mask and a hat. Events are outdoors, and social distancing and masks are required to keep southwest Utah safe.

There are eight different opportunities to volunteer between October 23rd and November 10th at the Cottonwood Canyon Trailhead and at the Turkey Farm Road Restoration Plots. Click here to sign up. Please share your email address and phone number so that we can provide specifics on location, driving directions and notify you of any changes in scheduling. Thank you!

Lake Powell Pipeline and Northern Corridor Highway:
Do We Need them?

A Virtual Presentation by Paul Van Dam

Sponsored by the University of Utah
SJ Quinney College of Law
A Wallace Stegner Center Green Bag

October 29, 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm
Webinar link opens 12:00 pm; Program 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Register Here

This will be an excellent overview of the Lake Powell Pipeline and Northern Corridor Highway.  A good introduction for those seeking an overview of these two damaging projects or a refresher on the essential issues.  Invite your family and friends to attend this free presentation.
Paul Van Dam, former Utah Attorney General, will address two major projects of concern in southern Utah that affect all Utahns. The Lake Powell Pipeline would move over 82,000 ac-ft of water to Washington County, a county that uses over 300 gallons per capita per day and would cost all Utahns by tying up state money that could go to other needs. The Northern Corridor Highway would run through Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, one of three NCAs in Utah and one of only fifteen NCAs in the country.

Paul Van Dam’s thirty-five-year career as an attorney included serving as prosecutor, defense attorney, Salt Lake County District Attorney and Utah’s State Attorney General, from 1989-1992. Paul has a passionate interest in Utah’s lands where he has enjoyed many outdoor activities including professional river guiding on every river in Utah – including the Colorado River – and the Salmon River in Idaho. From 2008 to 2010 he was executive director for Citizens for Dixie’s Future, now Conserve Southwest Utah. Following that, Paul served as an advisor to the group from 2010-2018, when he became a board member. In addition, Paul is a professional musician. He has performed with several bands during his musical career and currently performs for veterans at the Ivins Veterans’ Home.

A socially distanced volunteer cleanup event to remove
garbage from public lands and help improve our waterways.

When: October 31 - November 8, 2020

Where: Utah - Statewide
Check out our map of suggested locations, or collect trash in your neighborhood, a local park, or nearby waterway. Anywhere trash is collected will have a positive impact on your local environment.

How to Get Involved
1. Sign up for Pack It Out  2. Choose where to collect trash   3. Collect trash and record what you collect using the Clean Swell app or our data sheet 4. Dispose of trash 5. Submit your data and share results!

More info at Pack It Out Utah 2020!

Vote for Southwest Utah
You should have received your ballot by now. Don't forget to return it well before Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3rd. 

Voter holding her mail-in ballot in the Red Cliffs NCA in the spot where the proposed Northern Corridor Highway would fragment the popular T-bone Trail.

If you registered to vote in Utah, you should have received your ballot by now.  

Haven’t gotten your ballot yet? Track its progress and see your registration status here. 

If you’re planning on sending your ballot in the mail, please do so as soon as possible. Ballots must be postmarked by Monday Nov. 2, but make a plan to send yours in early!  

All hand delivered ballots must be received no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. See a list of ballot drop box locations here. See a list of in-person vote center locations here. For more information on voting in Washington County, click here.

If you have any questions about where to vote, how to register, or about the election, visit  the Washington County Voter Information website. Thanks for voting for public lands, water, air and smart growth!
Conserve Southwest Utah
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