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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


My dear Bunsnip readers,

I invite you to read the following communication from Robert Redford concerning President Bush's plan to auction off some of Utah's incredible wilderness to oil and gas speculators on December 19, 2008.

You can take action to try to stop this by clicking on the link in the letter below, which will send you to The Natural Resources Defense Council's website, from which you can send a form letter that will be directed to the Bureau of Land Management, your state senators, representatives, and the Obama transition team. A copy of the letter that will be sent appears below Redford's communication.

Time is of the essence, as the auction is scheduled to take place this Friday. Go register your opposition now.


Dear Friend,

No one voted on Election Day to hand over Utah's Redrock wilderness to oil companies.

But the Bush Administration cynically chose that very day to advance an outrageous plan that will sell off leases for some 300,000 acres of spectacular Utah canyonlands to oil and gas speculators.

While America was voting for Barack Obama and his vision of a clean energy future, Bush and Cheney's underlings were conspiring to plunder one of the crown jewels of our natural heritage for their fossil fuel cronies.

Please register your own opposition right now.

The auction of Redrock country will take place on December 19. At stake are world-renowned vistas near Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, as well as near Dinosaur National Monument. The highest bidders will earn the right to turn vast tracts of pristine wilderness into industrial wastelands.

It's bad enough that Bush officials went behind the backs of the American people with this disastrous scheme. But what's worse, they didn't even tell their own National Park Service until after the fact.

In my mind, this theft of our heritage goes beyond the cynical -- it's criminal. What will be left to give to our children and their children if we allow this administration, in a parting shot, to destroy our legacy of public lands for short-term gain?

I hope you're as angry as I am about this blatant land grab, because we've got to stop it -- and we have to act fast. The NRDC Action Fund is mobilizing more than one million Americans in an outpouring of protest over the coming days.

Send your own message of opposition immediately. Tell the Bush Administration that you will not allow it to destroy one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

We'll automatically send copies of your message to your two Senators, your representative, and to the Obama transition team, which has signaled their opposition to this disastrous attack on our Redrock heritage.

The Bush Administration is racing to complete the auction of our lands before Inauguration Day, which will make sales difficult to reverse.

We must fend off this land grab now -- before the oil and gas companies can lay claim to the spoils.

Those spoils include stretches of Desolation Canyon, which has been proposed for national park status. Bush's own Interior Department describes the canyon as "a place where a visitor can experience true solitud -- where the forces of nature continue to shape the colorful, rugged landscape."

The very idea of oil and gas operations invading these remote sanctuaries -- which have remained untouched for millennia -- is deeply upsetting. Once the dirty deed is done, our wilderness can never be restored. That's why I'm asking you to help us
sound the alarm and organize now.

Tell the Bush Administration to cancel the Redrock auction. Remind them that we the people are the rightful owners of this majestic wilderness and that we won?t stand for its destruction.

And thank you for joining with me and the NRDC Action Fund to save these beautiful wildlands for all future generations.


Robert Redford
NRDC Action Fund

P.S. After you send your own message of protest, I'll let you know of an easy way to spread the word to your friends and family. With only 10 days to mobilize one million Americans, I'm counting on you to rally everyone you know to speak out and save this precious wilderness from destruction.

Here is the letter I sent to BLM, my two senators and my representative, and the Obama transition team. The first two paragraphs are my own additions, and the rest is the stock form letter.
I am a life-long resident of Utah, and every summer of my life I have spent time enjoying southern Utah's incredible wilderness. Some of that wilderness is under threat of attack by the Bush administration, who is attempting to auction off some of this beautiful land to people who would drill it for oil and other resources. But this would come at the expense of the important resource we all ready have -- irreplaceable, beautiful wilderness. If you have visited southern Utah, you know what is at stake here.

Our Utah air is already not what it used to be. I remember a time when I was a child, and you could look up into the night sky and see a multitude of stars. These days inversion and choking pollution are the norm -- not the exception. We don't need more of this in Utah. If anything, we need less drilling.

I urge you to halt plans that would allow oil and gas drilling on Utah wilderness lands and to cancel the December 19th auction of any such lands.

Utah's Redrock wilderness is home to some of the most spectacular landscapes on Earth. These lands belong to the American people and should be preserved for all future generations, not sacrificed for the enrichment of a few energy companies. Over the past eight years, we have witnessed a destructive oil and gas drilling boom on Western lands that has contaminated our air and water, destroyed sensitive wildlife habitat and degraded our legacy of public wildlands.

I support a new and cleaner energy path that will save our environment instead of destroying it. In that regard, it is particularly outrageous that your agency would auction off wilderness-quality lands, as well as lands adjacent to national parks or monuments. The fact that you proceeded with this expedited plan without first informing the National Park Service has added insult to injury. Officials from that agency have expressed their dissatisfaction that they were not formally consulted about plans to lease parcels of federal land adjacent to National Park Service lands.

Please cancel all plans to auction Utah's incomparable Redrock wilderness lands, and take immediate steps instead to ensure that these national treasures are fully protected in perpetuity.

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tennessee mike said...

Done and done. I sincerely hope that this doesn't happen. My transplantation to Tennessee has only made me more appreciative of the unique wilderness lands found in Utah.

Sra said...

I also appreciated Utah's beauty more after I'd seen more of the country during my cross-country road trip. This really is a very unique and diverse state, as far as wilderness goes, and we ought to recognize that and protect it. Thanks for taking a stand.

B.R. said...

I second tennessee mike!
I live in Ohio but am daily appreciative of the incomparable beauty of Utah. Preserving that beauty and nature is important to me too. I first heard about this when Robert Redford was on Countdown with K. Olbermann a while back and I couldn't believe what I heard. It sounded like bad fiction.
We, as a collective, owe it to the land to preserve and protect it. And having lived in different countries and states, I can personally vouch for the cleansing beauty of Utah. I truly hope it remains as is. Thanks for this. Much appreciated!

Nilsa said...

I think Bush is the first President who doesn't care if he burns in effigy. What kind of crack is he smoking?!

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