So since I’m back on my “save southern Utah’s wildlands” bandwagon, I decided to do a little digging into the subject today. First up is more information abut the number one piece of legislature that would be really cool to see passed one day: The Red Rock Wilderness Act. It’s been in the works for some time now, and if you click on that link back there you can get more specifics on the history.
One great resource to have (for the diehard, probably) is the book Wilderness At the Edge: A Citizen Proposal to Protect Utah’s Canyon and Deserts. Out of print, you can find a copy signed by Wallace Stegner (who wrote the introduction) at Powell’s Books. (Again, I say diehard, because the signed edition is $350, and the book really consists of maps, which may look gobbledy-gooky to some.)
Some articles and other information about the proposed Act can be found here, here, and also in some beautiful words by Terry Tempest Williams (who is an amazing writer no matter how you slice it), from Utne Magazine back in 1996.
So many things in the world can make me cry. My grandmother, sick and failing and drugged to senselessness in her hospital bed. The homeless man at the farmer’s market the other day who simply, quietly asked for fifty cents as he looked at a steaming hot dinner for sale at a vendor’s booth. The puppy that was beaten to death by some sick bastard–the assistant chief of a fire department!–the other day. And, of course, the thought of all the gorgeous lift and fall and swell and shelter of the lands in southern Utah that are even now threatened. People who close their eyes, who close their hearts, who are too fearful to love and so therefore also do not live. I love that land with an abiding passion that dictates my moves and my beliefs and my actions. It’s my something to grasp onto, to stand by, to call my raison d’etre.
I do really have hope that this administration will help. That it can listen, and respond in kind. And I’m going to do everything in my power to push along the idea that humans being guardians to this land is an important thing to do, an essential legacy to leave.
I leave you with this:
“The canyons of southern Utah are giving birth to a Coyote Clan—hundreds, maybe even thousands of individuals who are quietly subversive on behalf of the land. And they are infiltrating our neighborhoods in the most respectable ways, with their long, bushy tails tucked discreetly inside their pants or beneath their skirts…They understand that beauty is not found in the excessive but in what is lean and spare and subtle.”
–Terry Tempest Williams, “Coyote’s Canyon” from Red