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Red Rock Advocate
                the CSU Newsletter   December 2017
 
 
                                                       educate ... advocate ... act

A Message from your Board of Directors

As we near the end of 2017 and look forward to 2018,
it's good to take a look back at what we have accomplished
as well as what lies ahead.
Here is a message from CSU board vice-president Art Haines.


 
CSU YEAR-END MESSAGE
 
I am Art Haines, vice president of the CSU Board of Directors, and it is with great pleasure that I present a summary of CSU’s many 2017 accomplishments and our 2018 goals in the "Noteworthy News" and "Looking Ahead" sections of this newsletter.

CSU is an advocacy organization that ensures the voice of conversation is heard in Southwest Utah.  Our vision is of a Southwest Utah that grows while conserving the natural world and cultural heritage that forms the foundation of our quality of life.

CSU is a volunteer organization.  In 2017 we tracked over 2,000 hours of volunteer service, including hours spent by staff, members and volunteers in getting out the conservation message.

For those who care about conservation and our environment this has been a difficult year.  Years of progress are being reversed every day.  Nonetheless, CSU staff and volunteers remain committed to standing up for conservation.

Letter from the Editor

 

'Tis the Season to Reflect on 2017
and Look Ahead to 2018

As we approach the end of 2017 and prepare to welcome the new year let us take some time to reflect upon what we all value and begin thinking about our 2018 new year's resolutions.  In that spirit here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Donate your time and money to CSU.
  2. Volunteer your talents to help out with the many and varied activities sponsored by CSU throughout the year.
  3. Recruit a friend to become a member or a volunteer.
  4. Contact our elected officials to voice your passion for conservation and for the environment.
  5. Sign up to become a member of one of CSU's committees.
  6. Be a good steward of our public lands.
You may want to consider including one or more of these ideas along with the usual "start going to the gym regularly" type of resolutions!

In this edition of the newsletter you will find much information about what CSU accomplished in 2017, along with our plans and goals for 2018.  As you read on you will discover just how dedicated are our many members and volunteers.  That should make us all proud to be a part of CSU and offer hope that we will eventually prevail in the struggle to preserve our public lands, make wise use of our limited water resources, and reclaim our air quality.

When the first newsletter was published back in June I asked all of you for your comments and suggestions on how to make the newsletter better.  I'd like to once again ask for your help.  Remember, this is YOUR newsletter, and it is intended to provide you with relevant and timely information.  So if you have any ideas on how to make it better (and please don't be afraid to include constructive criticism!) please e-mail me and let me know.  I would love to hear from you.

It has been an honor for me to edit this newsletter and to be part of such an outstanding organization.  Thank you for all you do for CSU, and I hope you all have a very happy holiday season.
                                                                                   --- Joe Montanarella, editor


Please send comments, questions, and ideas for content to the editor at
<E-Mail the Editor>

NOTEWORTHY NEWS


CSU Annual Report


2017 Accomplishments
 
Public Lands
Protecting our public lands and open spaces has been a top priority for CSU since our founding 11 years ago, and the majority of our funding supports our lands programs.  We recognize that our conservation efforts must focus on preserving and protecting our public lands from development and encroachment in a political environment that values development over conservation.

During 2017, halting designation of the so called “Northern Corridor” parkway through prime tortoise habitat in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA) continued to be a top priority.  Early in 2017 we successfully defended the BLM Resource Management Plans (RMPs) for the Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam Wash National Conservation Areas (NCAs) against a lawsuit, and we capped off the year by sponsoring a conservation forum titled “Finding Common Ground on Public Lands.”

Here are some other highlights:
  • 110 volunteers (thanks DSU students!) spent 425 hours cleaning up the Red Hills Parkway through the Red Cliffs NCA.
  • 51 volunteers donated 237 hours unloading 4000 one-gallon native plants, helping plant them in the Red Cliffs NCA, and making cages to protect them.
  • 24 Site Stewards spent 630 hours monitoring archaeological and paleontological sites on BLM land.
  • 978 people attended CSU and SUNCLF outreach and education events, including 280 students from 2nd grade and intermediate school classes.
Thanks to all who helped with the Land/SUNCLF activities and events, including sponsors and members whose generous donations funded the conservation forum.
 
Water
One of CSU’s top priorities is advocating for effective water conservation based on sound data.  CSU Board Member Jane Whalen was appointed to the Governor’s Water Advisory Team with 40 other experts to develop a 50-year water strategy (Utah Water Strategy Recommendations).  A major finding of this strategy is that State water authorities do not have good data on water sources and uses and rely on outdated methods and inconsistent assumptions.  Our concern is that our water district over-estimates the need for the Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP), and we continue to push for accurate data collection before committing to the LPP.       
            
CSU formed a Water Works Committee in 2016 to focus attention on issues of water conservation and the Lake Powell Pipeline.  The committee addressed:
  • Our technical positions (Water White Paper).
  • Detailed analysis on Lake Powell, the pipeline, water use and sources, and conservation.
  • Engagement with state and local authorities to obtain answers to key questions about water conservation and the pipeline (CSU's Key Water Questions).
  • CSU's continued advocacy of conservation as a better alternative to the very risky and expensive Lake Powell Pipeline.
Air/Climate
CSU partnered with the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) to form a St. George chapter for CCL to address action on solutions to climate change.  Since the practices that cause upper-level air quality problems that drive climate change also cause lower-level air quality problems that drive human health issues, addressing one issue simultaneously addresses the other.

Looking Ahead


2018 Goals


The issues we will face in 2018 are largely the same ones we faced in 2017:

Pressure will continue to be exerted to reduce protections on the small percentage of public lands that are protected against the most devastating uses.  Reduction of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments and designation of a Northern Corridor parkway through the Red Cliffs NCA are but two examples.  Our goal is to support current protections by educating the public and our elected officials so they will join us in supporting those protections, and to advocate for more public engagement with our public lands.

Water conservation efforts are woefully under-funded and unplanned in our county.  We will continue to press for implementation of specific water conservation projects.  Despite very detailed technical arguments questioning the logic and risk of the Lake Powell Pipeline, proponents continue to press for its approval and construction.  We will continue our attempts at dialog and obtaining answers to key questions, and we will work with the governor’s office to prioritize the water conservation and data collection elements of the Utah Water Strategy Recommendations.

Our air and climate will continue to face adverse effects from fossil fuel usage.  Our goal is to pass resolutions at the local level and to support a state resolution that recognizes climate change and its causes, effects and solutions.

Since our participation in Vision Dixie in 2006 we have advocated for smart growth. Two 2018 goals are to rate Parade of Homes entries for water, energy and land use efficiencies and to continue pressing for more local implementation of the Vision Dixie Principles.

Quiet User Tool

TJ Uysal

Fighting to protect our public lands requires that we equip ourselves with data-based information so that we may influence our policy makers and garner public support.  Towards this goal CSU is partnering with the Wilderness Society to deploy a “Quiet User Tool”, which is an on-line tool designed to compile information about recreational uses of our public lands and land user preferences.  Using BLM maps and trail information, this tool allows users to tag defined areas and trails with specific recreational use information.  Once the data are compiled, a variety of recreational land use case reports can be created.

CSU will be holding a two-hour training session in February 2018 for members interested in spearheading this data collection effort.  CSU encourages its membership to become proficient in using this tool and leveraging it in our future public land policy campaigns.  If you are interested in participating in this effort please click on the Quiet User Tool Training link in the "Upcoming Events" section of the newsletter to RSVP.  If you have questions about the training, please contact Susan Crook at susan@conserveswu.org.

Upcoming Events

 
Click on the links below for more information about upcoming events:

Ambassadors Meeting, Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Quiet User Tool Training, Thursday, February 8, 2018

Conservation Forum Report

 

Finding Common Ground on Public Lands

By Susan Crook for EDRBlog.org
 
Washington County Commissioner Dean Cox presents roundtable summary. Photo: Rachel Carnahan
I kept dreaming of Hayley Mills singing “Let’s Get Together” from The Parent Trap and found myself humming the tune during the day as we began planning the conservation forum, “Finding Common Ground on Public Lands.” Divisiveness has gripped Southwest Utah over public lands issues such as the proposed northern corridor highway through prime Mojave Desert tortoise habitat, the Lake Powell Pipeline, and implementation of Vision Dixie principles. Readmore...

Get Involved!


If you'd like to help and/or make a contribution please visit our website
(link below) to learn more,
or email 
Susan Crook at 
susan@conserveswu.org and she will help match
your interests and skills to available volunteer opportunities.
 
 
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