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The Hub 11/17/2023: Clean Air Council’s Weekly Round-up of Transportation News

Clean Air Ohio - Fri, 11/17/2023 - 08:12

“The Hub” is a weekly round-up of transportation related news in the Philadelphia area and beyond. Check back weekly to keep up-to-date on the issues Clean Air Council’s transportation staff finds important. 

Have a happy Thanksgiving. We will return with the Hub on December 1st.

Image: CBS news

CBS news: Search for driver who injured Sixers’ Kelly Oubre Jr. in Philadelphia hit-and-run continuesSixers guard Kelly Oubre Jr. was injured in a hit-and-run in Center City. Philadelphia has seen 640 hit-and-runs so far this year exceeding the number of hit-and-runs that occurred in 2019. The city needs to make traffic safety a priority and install more traffic calming measures to protect vulnerable road users, like pedestrians and cyclists.

Image: PhillyVoice

PhillyVoice: People are driving less but traffic deaths have spiked – and lawmakers are puzzledSince the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 people are driving fewer miles in comparison to 2019, but traffic deaths have increased as driver behavior has gotten worse. Many states have seen an increase in traffic fatalities, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania which have seen a 26% and 12% increase, respectively. Automated speed enforcement has been shown to be an effective strategy to reduce fatalities, including here in Philadelphia where it has been successful on Roosevelt Boulevard. Some lawmakers are showing resistance to this type of enforcement, but states need all the tools available to achieve their Vision Zero goals.

Image: WHYY

WHYY: SEPTA’s historic Route 15 trolleys ‘very close’ to returningSEPTA’s historic green and cream trolleys on Route 15 were supposed to return in September but got delayed, and should be returning by the first quarter of 2024. SEPTA is aiming to have reliable service that commuters can count on when these trolleys return. With SEPTA’s Trolley Modernization program, these historic trolleys will be replaced in the future as delivery for new vehicles is scheduled to start in 2027.

Other Stories

WHYY: $71 million Delaware Memorial Bridge resurfacing project finished, all lanes to reopen this month

The Inquirer: SEPTA will officially use AI to ticket cars parked illegally in bus lanes

BillyPenn: After three years of construction and detours, Betsy Ross Bridge I-95 ramp reopens

PhillyVoice: TWU Local 234 votes to approve new labor contract with SEPTA

The Inquirer: Want your employees to work in the office? Pay for their commutes

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Queensland’s new greenhouse gas guidelines put new fossil fuel projects to the test but let existing operators off the hook

Lock the Gate Alliance - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 22:01

Lock the Gate Alliance welcomes new draft guidelines (available herethat will clarify Queensland decision making powers to consider emissions generated overseas from coal and gas mined in the state as part of new fossil fuel projects.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

The League Honors President Jimmy Carter With The Mardy Murie Lifetime Achievement Award

Alaska Wilderness League - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 11:32

In early November, the League hosted a spectacular event at the Burke Museum Museum of Natural History and Culture in Seattle to honor President Jimmy Carter, announce this year’s recipient of our Adam Kolton Storytelling Grant AwardBjorn Olson — and celebrate our dedicated board who continues to support the League all year long in our tireless fight to protect America’s Arctic.

We’d like to offer you a taste of the impact of this event, featuring special video coverage, Josh Carter’s poignant speech (Jimmy Carter’s grandson who accepted the award on his behalf), an update from the grant awardee, and so much more.

A special thank you goes out to the supporters who kindly donated to our silent auction. Thanks Earthwell, Grayl, Patagonia, Rodney Strong Vineyards, New Belgium Brewing, Nate Luebbe, Eva’s Wild, Discovery Voyages, Jon Van Zyle, and to our board of directors! And thank you to our photographer, Breanna D. for capturing the evening.

Remarks from Josh Carter

My name is Josh Carter, and I am President Carter’s grandson. I am honored to receive this award on behalf of my grandfather. I went to see him a month ago on his 99th birthday, and I told him I was coming to accept this award on his behalf, and he sends his best wishes.

I am here to accept this award today due to my grandfather’s fearlessness in attacking controversial issues once he became President. When Jimmy Carter became President in 1977, many long-standing national issues remained unresolved. For example, the United States had not formed a treaty to deal with the ownership of the Panama Canal. The United States had not normalized our relationship with China. We had no energy policy, and we did not champion clean energy. We supported strongmen over democracy in Latin America. And there was no peace between Israel and Egypt. Jimmy Carter was successful in tackling each one of these issues.

But as this room knows probably better than any other, his most controversial domestic achievement was in Alaska. Alaska was admitted as America’s 49th state in January of 1959, just 18 years before my grandfather became President. When Alaska joined the Union, the immediate debate was what to do with Alaska’s vast federal lands. We had promised — and intended to keep the promise — of setting aside land for Indigenous people. Some of the land needed to be deeded to the new state government, and we needed to retain national forests, parks, and wilderness areas. President Eisenhower and his successors avoided the controversy, and Alaska’s commercial fisheries were generating an enormous economic industry. And as you know, by the time Jimmy Carter became President, oil was discovered.

So, to compound the initial set of problems, my grandfather and the United States now had to deal with the contention of the enormous wealth the Alaskan lands could generate. His option to start in congress was closed. Alaska’s two senators, Republican Ted Stevens and Democrat Mike Gravel were both aligned with commercial interests, and due to senate rules, no senator could start a debate about another senator’s state. So without Stevens’ or Gravel’s support, the senate was a non-starter.

Jimmy Carter had the support of environmental groups and Alaska Natives, but hunters, loggers, fishers, the Chambers of Commerce, and oil industries were against him. The odds were so stacked against him that he almost had to give up. But Cecil Andrus, my grandfather’s Secretary of Interior, crafted a way for my grandfather to use the Antiquities Act of 1906 to protect areas of “historic and scientific interest.”

So my grandfather and Andrus poured over maps of Indigenous lands, burial grounds, and wildlife areas and decided that about 56 million acres of Alaskan land could become a National Monument. It could not be touched without direct approval from the Department of Interior. It was a Minnesota-sized bargaining chip and extremely unpopular in Alaska. But it forced the issue. And my grandfather spent the rest of his presidency debating and advocating for a wild Alaska.

Finally, in December of 1980, after he lost re-election, congress passed, and he signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA). This act clarified ownership of the remaining lands in Alaska, designated areas for offshore oil exploration, and created the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, an area bigger than California. This law doubled the size of America’s National Parks, tripled America’s protected Wilderness Areas, and protected 25 free-flowing streams. In the 43 years since its passage, ANILCA has become increasingly more popular, especially in Alaska. Throughout my life, I have heard my grandfather repeatedly champion this law as his most significant domestic achievement of his political life.

Of course, my grandfather didn’t have to choose to take on this fight. There were plenty of unresolved issues in America back then, as today. But as his grandson, I think it was inevitable. My grandfather gravitated toward Alaska. After all, he has been a lifelong outdoorsman.

A lot has been written about my grandfather’s pre-presidential life. Famously, he was a peanut farmer-turned-president. He spent his early childhood in the woods of Plains, Georgia; he returned to the same woods after he left the Navy in 1953 and again when he left the White House in 1981. I wasn’t there for any of that — I was born in 1984. But he still lives in the same house in that same small town in South Georgia, and we still own that land. I grew up going down to Plains and walking the same woods and farms our family has owned for more than 100 years now.

Most of my grandfather’s favorite hobbies are outdoors. During turkey season, he would get up an hour before daylight every week, drive to his land, and walk through his woods. It was the only activity he did without any security. My grandfather still has a Secret Service detail that is always with him, but he insisted when he was in his woods, he needed to be alone in nature.

The only outdoor sporting that my grandfather likes better than turkey hunting is fishing. It’s hard to overstate how much my grandfather likes fishing. He has a small pond in his front lawn that he keeps stocked. But if he really wants to go fishing, he goes to his mother’s old house, about five minutes away, to a place we in the family call The Pond House. It’s on Carter Fishpond Road. It was about twice as big as the front lawn pond, but he doubled it when I was in college. Because, you know, you need a bigger pond. And a few years after that, my grandfather decided that he should provide irrigation for one of our farms, so he spent four or five years designing and building his third pond, which is almost four times bigger than the Pond House pond. We call this pond the New Pond. After that, my grandmother told him that if he built another pond, she’d file for divorce.

But despite all these ponds mere minutes from his house, my grandfather’s favorite fishing was fly fishing on trout streams. He learned to fly fish post-presidency, and he has over 50 fly rods and probably as many reels. And he tied his own flies. When you walk into his office in his home in Plains, you see his memorabilia from his time in the Navy as governor of Georgia and president of the United States. But the main feature in his office is his fly-tying desk. When I was about 10, he taught me how to tie an ant and an Adams fly, and made me master them before he took me to Pennsylvania to fish for rainbows.

He took me fly fishing in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Florida, Wyoming, and Montana. He took my dad fishing all over the world, including Alaska. I tried to count how often he went fishing in Alaska, but I couldn’t. I know one of his first fishing trips was in Elmendorf while he was President. And he returned to Alaskan trout streams every few years until 2016 when he went to Bristol Bay. My grandparents celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary on Copper River, and when he came home, all my grandfather wanted to talk about was catching his 8-pound, 26″ rainbow trout.

But his greatest fishing trip was back in 1985. It was his first trip back to Alaska as a former president. Unlike his previous trips while he was president, he was greeted with smiles and handshakes instead of hanging effigies. He no longer needed to double his security detail in the state. Alaskans were now proud of their National Wildlife Refuge. And on this trip, he was again on Copper River. In his book An Outdoor Journal, my grandfather talks about a catch of a lifetime. He fought for about an hour and landed a 12-pound, 32-inch rainbow trout. It was the largest trout he had ever seen. He measured it, got a lot of pictures of it, and put it back in the water. He sent the pictures and measurements to a Japanese taxidermist who mounted him a replica. He mounted that fish at the entrance of his office, then hand-wrote a note and stuck it on the wall that read, “This Rainbow Still Lives! Caught and released in the Copper River in Alaska in June 1985.”

Alaska is a magical place. I did not have a chance to travel to Alaska with my presidential grandfather, but the last trip I ever took with my maternal grandmother was to Alaska in 1998. I was 14. We spent a week in Anchorage and went on a glacier cruise. Then, we went to Fairbanks to go on a wildlife safari and test out our camping gear. After that, my uncle and I flew north to a town called Umiat. There are no permanent residents in Umiat. At any given time, there are probably no more than 20 or 30 people in this little town. This town is really just an airstrip with pilots ready to take 14-year-old explorers, their uncle, their inflatable rafts, and their tents north even still to the Killik River — a latitude between the 69th and 70th parallel, for an adventure of a lifetime.

We went for the wildlife, but we didn’t see anything. We rafted down the river, sang songs to keep us alert, and kept our binoculars trained on the unbelievable landscape. The views were incredible. The tundra, the permafrost, was nothing I had ever experienced. We would raft a day and camp, then raft another day and camp. Time didn’t matter at all. We were well north of the Arctic Circle, so the sun never went down. It was never dark.

On the last day of the trip, we hit some rapids that would have been a lot of fun. But we didn’t expect rapids. We stopped, got out our maps, and realized we had missed our turn-off for our rendevous about 5 miles upstream. We had no choice but to hike 13 hours alone over the hills and across the permafrost to the pond that served as our runway for our pilot. We started to march. I was mad. I was upset. I was worried. I had never been more exhausted. I found reserves that I didn’t know that I had. But about 10 hours into my hike. Around 2 or 3 in the morning, I came up a crest and looked across the tundra to my right and saw thousands and thousands and thousands of caribou starting their migration away from the north shores south before the freeze. I forgot about my exhaustion, stopped, and experienced nature in a way I never had before, and I haven’t since. I understood my grandfather’s awe of nature.

That’s the kind of feeling that stays with you. That’s the kind of memory that stays fresh for 25 years. That’s the kind of experience that proves that Alaska needs to remain protected.

On behalf of my grandfather, I thank you for this award. But also on behalf of my grandfather, I thank you for the incredible work that you do in keeping Alaska wild.

Adam Kolton Storytelling Grant Awardee: Bjorn Olsen

The post The League Honors President Jimmy Carter With The Mardy Murie Lifetime Achievement Award appeared first on Alaska Wilderness League.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

BLM Reconsiders Highway through Red Cliffs National Conservation Area – 11.16.23

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance - Thu, 11/16/2023 - 10:22

November 16, 2023

BLM Reconsiders Highway through Red Cliffs National Conservation Area  Mojave desert tortoise gets a reprieve

Grant Stevens, Communications Director, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), (319) 427-0260,
Holly Snow Canada, Executive Director, Conserve Southwest Utah, (435) 200-5838, 
Todd Tucci, Senior Attorney, Advocates for the West, (208) 724-2142,

*11.16.23 Afternoon Update – The U.S. District Court has issued an opinion and granted in part the Federal Defendants’ Motion for Voluntary Remand, remanding the 2021 approval of the Northern Corridor Highway right-of-way. Additional information can be found below.

St. George, UT – Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that they are reconsidering their 2021 decision to approve the right-of-way for a four-lane Northern Corridor Highway through Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA) in southwestern Utah near Zion National Park. Red Cliffs NCA is home to imperiled species like the threatened Mojave desert tortoise, which is on an extinction trajectory.

Since 2006, local residents and concerned citizens across the country have vocalized their opposition to the highway that would bulldoze through critical habitat for the Mojave desert tortoise and transform the southern portion of the National Conservation Area renowned for its scenic views, recreation, and tranquility. In January 2021, in the final days of the Trump Administration, the federal government approved the highway right-of-way despite viable transportation alternatives that meet community needs without impacting protected public lands. 

In June 2021, Utah-based and national conservation organizations filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, challenging the agencies’ 2021 decision to approve the highway right-of-way. The lawsuit cited violations of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. The organizations and the federal agencies signed a settlement agreement last month.

“Today’s announcement highlights the seriousness of the deficiencies and errors in the original analysis and gives us hope that further study will lead the agencies to conclude that highways don’t belong in national conservation areas and critical habitat for vulnerable wildlife,” said Isabel Adler, Red Cliffs Campaign Director at Conserve Southwest Utah, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.

“As predicted, the Trump Administration’s environmental review and approval of the Northern Corridor Highway collapsed under scrutiny,” said Todd Tucci, plaintiffs’ attorney with Advocates for the West. “Ultimately, the Department of the Interior was forced to abandon President Trump and Secretary’s Bernhardt’s conclusion that a four-lane high speed highway through a National Conservation Area and Mojave desert tortoise habitat would conserve, protect, and enhance desert tortoise and the conservation resources in the area. It wasn’t a huge lift, frankly, and it was made even easier because the Department of the Interior had previously determined on six different occasions that this highway would be ‘biologically devastating’ to the tortoise.” 

As part of the litigation, the BLM and FWS acknowledged substantial and legitimate concerns with the original 2020 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A Supplemental EIS is being prepared to supplement this 2020 analysis, further examine the effects of granting a right-of-way, and reconsider the highway right-of-way application. 

“We are thrilled that the federal government is re-examining this erroneous decision,” said Holly Snow Canada, Executive Director for Conserve Southwest Utah. “Rest assured that Conserve Southwest Utah and its partners will continue to fight for Red Cliffs NCA, because when we protect landscapes and species habitats, we’re also protecting scenic vistas, recreation opportunities, peace and quiet, and physical and mental health for ourselves and for future generations, too.” 

This week’s announcement from the BLM and FWS also kicks off a scoping period for the Supplemental EIS to solicit public comments and identify issues. The public is invited to a meeting from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Dec. 6, 2023, at the Dixie Center, 1835 S Convention Center Dr., St. George, UT 84790, to ask questions or provide feedback regarding development of the draft Supplemental EIS.

“We are very grateful to the tens of thousands of people in Utah and across the USA who stood up for Red Cliffs National Conservation Area and opposed this unlawful, unnecessary, and unwise highway in 2020,” said Snow Canada. “Your voice is needed once again to protect this precious place.”

Located at the convergence of the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau and Great Basin ecoregions, the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area was established in 2009 to protect its remarkable wildlife scenery, recreation, ecology, geology and cultural value. The region is home to important populations of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise and other at-risk plants and animals including the Gila monster, burrowing owl and kit fox. The Mojave desert tortoise is on a path to extinction according to leading researchers and its habitat in Southwest Utah is especially vulnerable given recent and anticipated growth in the region. 

See below for additional statements from plaintiffs in the lawsuit: 

Kya Marienfeld, Wildlands Attorney at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance 

“Authorizing a major freeway through a Congressionally-designated conservation area should never have happened in the first place. Although it took some time, we’re pleased the agencies recognize this gem of public lands and are reconsidering this terrible precedent-setting highway for the benefit of all conservation-focused lands.” 

Danielle Murray, Vice President of Conservation Policy at Conservation Lands Foundation 

“By starting this process the BLM has an opportunity. to rightfully uphold the congressionally-mandated protections for Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, which does not include construction of a four-lane highway. Paving over this desert paradise would put each and every National Conservation Land throughout the country at risk of unlawful development and other damaging activities.” 

Ileene Anderson, Senior Scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity  

“We’ll be weighing in again with the BLM as it reconsiders the ill-conceived highway through the stunning landscape of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. This conservation area is home to the amazing desert tortoise, distinctive local plants and other wildlife. It’s also a natural refuge for people in this growing urban area. We’re committed to keeping it whole and wild.”

 Vera Smith, Senior Federal Lands Policy Analyst at Defenders of Wildlife 

“A highway has no place in a National Conservation Area and especially one that is crucial to the survival of the desert tortoise. We are relieved that the agencies are reconsidering this highway and we remain committed to fighting for the desert tortoise and the public lands that are their home.”    

Jose Witt, Mojave Desert Landscape Director at The Wilderness Society 

“The decision to approve a right-of-way for a major highway through the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area was rushed, ill-informed, and patently illegal. It also was unwise, as building the highway would destroy the natural, cultural, and recreational values that make the Red Cliffs an irreplaceable natural asset for the St. George community, for the nation and for future generations. The government’s decision to reconsider the highway recognizes the serious legal deficiencies in the earlier approval and gives the public a new opportunity to ensure the public lands in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area will be protected into the future.”

 Chris Krupp, Public Lands Attorney at WildEarth Guardians 

“Desert tortoise populations have declined significantly since the species was listed as threatened in 1990. It would be a calamity to permit a four-lane highway through the Red Cliffs, a stronghold for the species. Local officials need to come up with better solutions to address St. George’s growth than a new highway that would just create additional sprawl, kill desert tortoise, and mar a beloved landscape.” 

Background on Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA): 

 The 44,724-acre Red Cliffs NCA is part of the larger Red Cliffs Desert Reserve that is collaboratively managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of Utah, Washington County, and other municipalities. The Reserve was established under the 1995 Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) as part of a “grand compromise” to protect ~61,000 acres of public lands for the Mojave desert tortoise (listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act), while opening 300,000 acres of state and private lands for development. The Red Cliffs National Conservation Area was established in 2009 by Congress to “conserve, protect, and enhance…ecological, scenic, wildlife, recreational, cultural, historical, natural, educational, and scientific resources” of the public lands within the unit. 

These spectacular public lands are 45 miles from Zion National Park, and include 130 miles of trails, two wilderness areas, heritage public use sites, Native American cultural artifacts, several threatened/endangered species, and Utah’s most popular state park, Snow Canyon State Park. People from all over the state, country and world visit to hike, mountain bike, rock climb, horseback ride, photograph, and marvel at the expansive red rock landscape.  


  1. BLM’s National NEPA Register website for the Supplemental EIS
  2. BLM and FWS Press Release, November 15th, 2023
  3. Relevant Court documents
  4. The Protect Red Cliffs Petition, with 35,828 signatures from people around the world advocating for the protection of the Red Cliffs NCA from the Northern Corridor Highway
  5. The Protect Red Cliffs Zine—Art and Narratives of a Threatened Place
  6. Red Cliffs Photo Gallery
  7. Red Cliffs Video Galley
  8. Background



The post BLM Reconsiders Highway through Red Cliffs National Conservation Area – 11.16.23 appeared first on Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

ICYMI 11/15/23: LA Times – Environmentalists unhappy with Governor Newsom’s water policy

Restore The San Francisco Bay Area Delta - Wed, 11/15/2023 - 12:09

New poll finds that California voters disapprove of Newsom’s performance as governor– LA Times 11/7/23
A new Los Angeles Times/UC Berkeley poll found Newsom’s approval rating sinking to the lowest point of his nearly five years in office, with 44% of respondents having a favorable view of his job performance and 49% disapproving. There may be several explanations; like barnacles on a ship, negatives tend to accumulate the longer a politician stays in office.
Some on the left are disappointed with Newsom’s approach to the state’s homelessness and mental health crises. Some environmentalists are unhappy with the governor’s water policy.

Restore the Delta provides context:
Governor Newsom’s water policy inadequately included tribes and environmental justice communities. The overdue Bay-Delta Plan is still in the process of review from organizations and communities as the first public hearing on the Draft Staff Report for Phase II of the Bay-Delta Plan starts this Friday.

The Newsom administration is pushing for the “voluntary agreements” as an alternative to the Bay-Delta Plan. It is a private, incomplete, and discriminatory process – in which most Californians were left out of having a say in water allocations. A way to address this prolonged and exclusive process is to initiate water rights reform as well as reestablishing tribal water rights to better protect tribal and environmental justice communities. 

Another concerning issue that Governor Newsom has sought is utilizing SB 149 to streamline the Sites Reservoir Project which would divert water from the Sacramento River. 

Considering that “streamlining” action taken by Newsom, what does that mean for the Delta Tunnel? This raises concerns that Newsom could use the same legislation to enact and streamline the Delta Tunnel process, continuing the degradation of the Delta.

State agencies need to stray away from environmentally devastating projects that will impact tribal and environmental justice communities. Rather, there should be a focus on sustainable urban water projects that will help not hinder these communities such as floodplain and groundwater restoration. Additionally, this could also be utilized to bring supply and demand in balance for agriculture.

The Governor’s current policy decisions are not cutting it, but floodplain and groundwater restoration, sustainable urban water projects, bringing supply and demand in balance for agriculture, reestablishing tribal water rights, and water rights reform to protect tribes and environmental justice communities could put us on the right track. 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

November 2023 Redrock Report

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance - Wed, 11/15/2023 - 11:20

New Lawsuit Targets 145 Trump-Era Oil and Gas Leases on Utah’s Public Lands

On November 3rd, SUWA filed a federal lawsuit challenging four decisions by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in 2018-19 to issue 145 oil and gas leases encompassing 215,325 acres of public land in Utah. The leases are located in eastern Utah, primarily in the Book Cliffs and Uinta Basin.

The lawsuit aims to protect some of Utah’s wildest public lands, including important habitat for the imperiled greater sage-grouse as well as Graham’s and White River beardtongue (flowering plants). Many of the leases are located near the White River—a scenic tributary to the Green River which the BLM calls a “floater’s and paddler’s paradise.”

“Development of these leases was not and is not in the public interest,” said Hanna Larsen, staff attorney with SUWA. “The climate crisis has arrived. The extinction crisis is ongoing and worsening. Both are driven in large part by the BLM’s broken and outdated oil and gas program.”

>> Read our full release
>> See recent coverage in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News

Photo © Ray Bloxham/SUWA

Comments Due this Thursday on Manti-La Sal Revised Forest Plan

The Manti-La Sal National Forest, which includes distinct units in the La Sal Mountains outside of Moab as well as the Abajo Mountains and a portion of the restored Bears Ears National Monument, is getting an updated management plan for the first time since 1986!

The forest spans a diverse and spectacular region that includes aspen groves, mountain lakes, stands of giant ponderosa pine, and rocky crags perched high above Utah’s canyon country. Most importantly, it’s a critical watershed of the Colorado Plateau.
The Forest Service has released a draft management plan for the Manti-La Sal and is accepting public comments through this Thursday, November 16th. Your input is vital to making sure this new plan implements smart, conservation-based management of these ecologically and culturally significant landscapes.

>> Click here to submit your comments on the forest plan by November 16th.

Photo © Tim Peterson

State of Utah and ORV Groups Appeal Labyrinth Canyon Travel Management Plan

In a disappointing but unsurprising development, the State of Utah and motorized recreation groups have appealed the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final motorized vehicle travel management plan for the Labyrinth Canyon and Gemini Bridges area near Moab.

The plan, which conservationists hailed as a major step forward when it was released in September, will help protect cultural sites, riparian habitat, and the experience of non-motorized recreationists while allowing for motorized use on more than 800 miles of dirt trails and routes in the planning area.

“The BLM’s plan takes a thoughtful approach to managing recreation in this popular area, one that will protect the stunning Labyrinth Canyon river corridor and critically important riparian ecosystem while leaving thousands of miles of dirt roads and trails open to motorized use in the greater Moab area,” said SUWA Staff Attorney Laura Peterson. “SUWA is confident the plan will withstand scrutiny and intends to intervene to defend BLM’s decision.”
>> Read a Salt Lake Tribune op-ed on the plan by John Weisheit, conservation director of Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper

Photo © Ray Bloxham/SUWA

Litigation Continues Over Biden’s Restoration of Grand Staircase, Bears Ears

Last year, several plaintiffs led by the State of Utah and the Blue Ribbon Coalition (an off-road vehicle advocacy group) challenged President Biden’s restoration of the Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. SUWA and a coalition of conservation partners successfully intervened in these cases to defend the monuments. Four Tribal Nations have also intervened to defend Bears Ears.

Fortunately, the lawsuits had barely left the starting gate when a federal district court judge in Utah dismissed them outright. Undeterred, the state and other plaintiffs quickly appealed that decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The ongoing litigation over Utah monuments sets a dangerous path that has not gone unnoticed by other anti-public-land politicians. Republicans in the Arizona legislature have already sided with Utah in this legal fight as they prepare to file their own lawsuit against President Biden’s August 2023 designation of Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument. And several states, led by Idaho, have similarly weighed in at the Tenth Circuit against restoration of Grand Staircase and Bears Ears.

The good news is that Utah’s monuments remain in place, their unique and irreplaceable resources safe from threats like hard rock mining and irresponsible motorized vehicle use. The Bureau of Land Management is working on new management plans right now that will guide how these world-class landscapes will be protected for decades to come. We expect those plans will be finalized in 2024. Keep an eye out for information from SUWA about opportunities to weigh in on the draft Bears Ears plan.

Photo © Ray Bloxham/SUWA

Congressional Support for Red Rock Bill Continues to Grow

With help from SUWA’s DC-based staff, activists from around the country have been meeting with congressional offices to build support for America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act (H.R.3031 / S.1310), a bill that would designate more than eight million acres of wild public land in Utah as permanently protected wilderness.
We’re pleased to report that their efforts are paying off! Since our last update, nearly two dozen House members have officially endorsed the bill, bringing us to 80 cosponsors in that chamber. The total number of cosponsors in the Senate stands at 22. Click here to see the complete list.
Your advocacy drives congressional support for this visionary legislation! Please contact your representatives today and urge them to become cosponsors (or thank them if they already have).
>> Click here to take action or text ARRWA to 52886.

Photo © Ray Bloxham/SUWA

Embrace the Spirit of Giving this Holiday Season

As the season of giving draws near, we are inspired by the abundance of generosity and kindness in our community. This holiday season offers a perfect opportunity to celebrate and share this spirit. We invite you to explore several meaningful ways to give and make a difference.

Giving Tuesday (November 28th): Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 as “a day that encourages people to do good” through community engagement and generosity. Individual contributions play a vital role in enabling nonprofits to effectively meet their missions, so mark your calendar and support your favorite causes on this special day!

Gift Memberships: ‘Tis the season for SUWA gift memberships! Purchase a $25 gift membership during the month of November or December and your gift recipient will receive a welcome packet that includes a subscription to our quarterly newsletter, the instantly recognizable “Protect Wild Utah” sticker, and a special letter naming you as the membership donor. Click here to purchase.

SUWA Swag: This season, give the gift of unique apparel and accessories that are not only stylish but also express your love for wilderness. Ensure your gifts arrive on time by ordering before December 1st for Hanukkah and by December 8th for Christmas. Each purchase you make will support our mission to protect the redrock. Visit our online store.

Together, let’s harness the joy of giving, turning our collective passion into a season of meaningful action!

The post November 2023 Redrock Report appeared first on Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Mom’s Across America: US Fast Food Testing Reveals Glyphosate and Other Toxic Chemicals in All Samples

Wine And Water Watch - Tue, 11/14/2023 - 15:03
Sonoma County has over 20 tons of concentrated glyphosate sprayed every year in the vineyards.  Source:  Moms Across America (MAA), a U.S. non-profit, has published an extensive testing program on fast food brands and found out all 20 had pesticide residues. 42 samples of 21 brands were tested for glyphosate, 236 agrochemicals, 4 heavy …

Mom’s Across America: US Fast Food Testing Reveals Glyphosate and Other Toxic Chemicals in All Samples Read More »

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Sustainable Pulse: Bayer-Monsanto Hit With $175M Verdict Against Roundup

Wine And Water Watch - Tue, 11/14/2023 - 14:54
SUSTAINABLE pulse reports: A Philadelphia jury on Friday hit Bayer/Monsanto with a $175 million verdict in favor of a cancer patient who claimed the company failed to warn about known carcinogens in its best-selling herbicide, Roundup. Source: Environmental Health News The verdict is part of a string of nine- and 10-figure judgments against the Bayer …

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Categories: G2. Local Greens

Forest Unlimited: Tuesday November 28th for Tree Ordinance and Oak Woodlands Protection

Wine And Water Watch - Tue, 11/14/2023 - 14:48
Forest Unlimited Supporters, There are two significant tree protection ordinances coming up before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, November 28 for approval. One is an ordinance protecting individual trees and one is on protecting oak woodlands. The Planning Commission had hearings on them and gave their approval. We do not want to take anything for granted so please write …

Forest Unlimited: Tuesday November 28th for Tree Ordinance and Oak Woodlands Protection Read More »

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Follow the Money: The 22 Democrats Who Voted to Censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib

La Jicarita - Tue, 11/14/2023 - 13:25

This is the list of the 22 House of Representative Democrats who voted to censure Representative Rashid Tlaib, the only Palestinian in Congress, for speaking out against the Israeli assault on Gaza. The phone numbers are their offices in Washington D.C.

This is a list of the amount of money each of the 22 received from the Jewish lobby AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee). AIPAC has influence over far too many Democrats in Congress who accept their campaign contributions in exchange for disgraceful votes like this. Justice for Democrats urges everyone who believes this is a betrayal of not only the Democratic Party but common humanity call all 22 representatives to voice their opposition.

This is the list of the 18 U.S. House of Representative Democrats who signed Ceasefire Resolution 786, introduced by Representative Cori Bush, most of whom are women and people of color (notice the lack of anyone from the New Mexico delegation):

Cori Bush (MO)
Rashida Tlaib (MI)
André Carson (IN)
Summer Lee (PA)
Delia Ramirez (IL)
Jamaal Bowman (NY)
Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ)
Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (IL)
Jonathan Jackson (IL)
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY)
Ilhan Omar (MN)
Ayanna Pressley (MA)
Nydia Velázquez NY)
Maxwell Frost (FL)
Greg Caesar (TX)
Barbara Lee (CA)
Pramila Jayapal (WA)
Alma Adams (NC)

These are the few who are willing to jeopardize their jobs—AIPAC and the ADL (Anti Defamation League) are already raising money to challenge them in 2024—but who represent many. Over 100 congressional  staff members who work for the remaining House members held a vigil outside the Capitol to express their demand for a cease fire: “Our constituents are pleading for a cease-fire, and we are the staffers answering their calls. Most of our bosses on Capitol Hill are not listening to the people they represent. We demand our leaders speak up: Call for a cease-fire, a release of all hostages and an immediate de-escalation now.” Dozens of State Department officials have sent memos to Secretary of State Antony Blinken objecting to the Biden administration’s support of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. Hundreds of thousands have marched around the world protesting the massacre in Gaza and demanding a Ceasefire.

The death toll in Gaza is now over 11,000 people. How many more deaths will it take before saving lives takes precedence over money.



Categories: G2. Local Greens

Murray Darling 2.0? Reckless NT water plan proves need for Federal water trigger extension

Lock the Gate Alliance - Mon, 11/13/2023 - 17:13

The approval of a plan that grants oil and gas companies access to ten billion litres of groundwater each year and could cause one of the Top End’s most important rivers to stop flowing or reverse its course demonstrates the urgent need for the Albanese Government to make good on its election promise and extend the water trigger to shale gas fracking. 

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Coal watch and flyer drop to target NSW Government's two billion tonne climate problem

Lock the Gate Alliance - Mon, 11/13/2023 - 17:06

The Lock the Gate Alliance will politely confront decision makers as they make their way into government offices at 52 Martin Place tomorrow morning (Wednesday November 15, from 8am), and deliver flyers about 12* proposed new coal mine expansions that would be responsible for two billion tonnes of greenhouse pollution.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

OPG offers Greater Napanee $4.8 million inducement to support its proposed new gas plant

Ontario Clean Air Alliance - Mon, 11/13/2023 - 10:23

Ontario Power Generation (a.k.a., Atura Power) is offering the Town of Greater Napanee a $4.8 million inducement to support its proposal to build a new 450-megawatt (MW) gas plant. OPG should not be using public money to attempt to sway local officials to support a dirty gas plant that will lead to more asthma attacks

The post OPG offers Greater Napanee $4.8 million inducement to support its proposed new gas plant appeared first on Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

SUWA Statement on the Proposed Cross-Tie 500-kV Transmission Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) – 11.9.23

Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance - Mon, 11/13/2023 - 10:18

November 10, 2023

SUWA Statement on the Proposed Cross-Tie 500-kV Transmission Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) – 11.9.23

Steve Bloch, Legal Director, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), (801) 859-1552,
Grant Stevens, Communications Director, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), (319) 427-0260,

Salt Lake City, UT – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced it is seeking public input on the proposed Cross-Tie 500-kV Transmission Project, a 214-mile proposed transmission line connecting Utah and Nevada. Among other things, the transmission line is intended to expand access to renewable energy across the Intermountain West. A 45-day public comment period on the Draft EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) ends Dec. 26, 2023. Below is a statement from SUWA Legal Director Steve Bloch. 

“SUWA supports the urgent and necessary transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean energy. We will be reviewing this proposal to ensure that while this transition occurs, we do not unnecessarily sacrifice some of Utah’s wildest public lands. The West Desert is a landscape like no other in Utah—one filled with high mountain ranges, sagebrush flats, and incredible opportunities for solitude. The proposed transmission line’s path can and should be sited to ensure these values remain.”


The post SUWA Statement on the Proposed Cross-Tie 500-kV Transmission Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) – 11.9.23 appeared first on Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Protecting Communities, Groups Defeat Dirty Gas-Fired Allegheny Energy Center

Clean Air Ohio - Mon, 11/13/2023 - 09:22

PITTSBURGH, PA (November 13, 2023) After years of community opposition to building a dirty fossil-fuel-burning power plant and litigation by a team of environmental groups to challenge its permit’s weak pollution controls, Invenergy has abandoned its proposal to build the Allegheny Energy Center (“AEC”) south of Pittsburgh in Elizabeth Township, PA.  

Late Friday, Invenergy announced that it had given up its Allegheny County Health Department air quality permit because it “will not develop and construct the proposed Allegheny Energy Center.” The announcement came almost three months after it paused the multi-week trial in the appeal brought by the Environmental Integrity Project (“EIP”), Clean Air Council (“CAC”), and PennFuture on behalf of CAC, PennFuture, and Mountain Watershed Association (“MWA”) challenging the legality of AEC’s air permit. The gas-fired power plant would have been one of the largest and most polluting in Pennsylvania, and would not have included any renewable energy despite the community’s wishes and Invenergy’s experience with renewables at other sites.

Invenergy had been trying to build the AEC plant south of Pittsburgh since at least 2016. It encountered vigorous community opposition, including hundreds of commenters attending a public hearing to oppose the air pollution permit in 2021. In November 2021, the groups appealed the AEC air pollution permit, with EIP representing MWA, CAC, and PennFuture, and CAC and PennFuture also representing themselves. The now-terminated permit issued to AEC by the Allegheny County Health Department would have allowed the proposed 639-megawatt power plant to spew hundreds of tons of health-harming pollutants and millions of tons of climate pollutants annually.  

The case had made it all the way to trial. The environmental groups had already presented the testimony of expert witnesses and several fact witnesses when Invenergy asked for the trial to be paused.

“Allegheny Energy Center’s demise marks the end of giant new fossil-fueled power plants in Pennsylvania,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of Clean Air Council. “Instead of locking us into decades of fossil fuel use and fueling the climate crisis, Pennsylvania can invest in wind and solar, which are safer, cheaper, and guarantee our energy independence far into the future.”

“This is a big win for everyone who cares about clean air in Western Pennsylvania,” said Lisa Hallowell, Senior Attorney with the Environmental Integrity Project. “This plant would have released excessive amounts of pollution, and burning more fossil fuels would have been a giant step backwards for the region and the planet.” 

“This is a victory for Allegheny County as it continues to move away from its fossil fuel past into a sustainable energy future,” said Angela Kilbert, Senior Attorney at PennFuture. “We will continue to fight to protect the health of our communities from the harmful air pollution impacts imposed by fossil-fuel facilities like this one.”

​​“The community pushed back against the Allegheny Energy Center for seven long years,” said James Cato, Regional Organizer at Mountain Watershed Association. “Mountain Watershed Association is proud to have supported this fight through to the end. This is a huge win for residents of West Newton, Elizabeth Township, users of the GAP Trail, and the Youghiogheny River watershed as a whole.”

“My family, neighbors and friends were thrilled to learn that years of hard work paid off in a meaningful way,” said Cathy Anderson, Elizabeth Township resident. “Our voices were finally heard and legal facts were instrumental in leveling the playing field for our communities. This is a victory today and for the future of the region.”

Categories: G2. Local Greens

ICYMI 11/12/23: Newsom Pushes Sites, Rewilding Baby Salmon, Bay-Delta Plan Hearings Reg. Extension

Restore The San Francisco Bay Area Delta - Sun, 11/12/2023 - 08:00

Governor Newsom Subverts CEQA to Jam Through Environmentally Destructive Sites Reservoir Project – Sierra Club California 11/6/23 

Governor Newsom certified the environmentally destructive Sites Reservoir project for judicial streamlining under Senate Bill 149. The Joint Legislative Budget Committee will have 30 days to concur in the Governor’s recommendation, or prevent this project from being inappropriately streamlined.

Sites Reservoir would be a new off-stream reservoir that diverts water from the Sacramento River, one of the main tributaries to the San Francisco Bay-Delta. The Bay-Delta ecosystem is in decline due to decades of unsustainable water diversions. The State Water Board is currently moving forward with updates to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan that could provide increased freshwater flows to address long-standing challenges with water quality, salinity, harmful algal blooms, and support the needs of imperiled fish and wildlife. Instead of ensuring Sites is in compliance with the most updated regulations, the Governor has decided to fast-track this project when it is unclear at best whether water is going to be available for diversion. 

Rewilding Baby Salmon Using Indigenous Knowledge – Earth Island Journal 11/7/23 

…Working in close consultation with the [Winnemem Wintu] Tribe and using a hand-scribbled design by Sisk as inspiration, a team of UC-Davis fish biologists brought Sisk’s vision to life, constructing a groundbreaking system that mimics the McCloud’s river flows, rocks, and plant life. The incubator also allows young fish more time to practice swimming against swirling currents. And, rather than being released into the river en masse, the Winnemem Wintu’s baby salmon choose of their own volition when to leave the nest and enter the McCloud’s frigid flows. 

The system, which the Tribe is referring to unofficially as the Nur Nature-Based incubator (Nur is the Winnemem Wintu word for salmon), hatched an estimated 40,000-plus eggs this summer and fall. While state biologists also hatched salmon eggs in heath trays this year, the general consensus based on anecdotal observations is that the Nur Nature-Based incubator appears to have nurtured young salmon that are healthy, strong, and well prepared for life in a free flowing river. More study is needed to truly evaluate the system, officials say, but the design of the incubator itself is an example of how, when Indigenous knowledge is respected, Tribes and Western scientists can collaborate to create important innovations that address the global decline of biodiversity and support local adaptation to climate change. 

…“You can’t separate the Indigenous knowledge from the land and the river. Our knowledge goes back to creation. Our language, our sacred places, our dances, our history and our relationships are all tied together with the McCloud salmon,” Sisk said.

Take Action! Register for Bay-Delta Plan Hearings (Registration Deadline Extended!)
Restore the Delta and partners have been advocating through petitions filed with the State Water Resources Control Board, and with US EPA, for movement by the State Water Board to finish the Bay-Delta Plan. While we wait for implementation of Phase I (San Joaquin River flows) which was approved December 2018 and delayed due to the “voluntary agreements” process, the Delta has suffered for decades without updated water quality and flow standards that protect communities, culture, fisheries, recreation, and agriculture. 
Please join us in helping advocate for an improved Bay-Delta estuary! 

WHO: State Water Resources Control Board Public Hearings 
WHAT: Public Hearings (Panels and Individual Comments) for Phase II of the Bay-Delta Plan. Staff Report, which focuses on Sacramento River flows. Here is a link to the 5000-plus page report.  
WHEN: November 17th, 9:30 am; December 1st, 9:30 am; and December 11th, 4:00 pm. 
WHERE: Cal EPA Building, 1001 I Street, Sacramento or attend on Zoom. 
HOW: You can organize a panel to make comments or speak individually. Panels are 20 minutes in length; individual comments are 5 minutes (about 450 words when drafting). The State Water Board, however, is only allowing individuals to speak once, either on a panel or individually over the course of the 3 days. 
Registration to comment has been extended, you may register up until the hearing day you wish to participate in. 

Note, the State Water Board said that panel presentations (not individual comments) should be identified by November 3 if possible, or soon thereafter, to ensure adequate time is allotted for those presentations over the 3 hearing days. 

Here is the link to register.   
WHY: The Staff Report for the Bay-Delta Plan contains the “voluntary agreements” – a private, incomplete, and discriminatory process – in which most Californians were left out of having a say in water allocations and river and Bay-Delta protections – not to mention the disparate impacts these agreements will cause for tribal and environmental justice communities. 

Additionally, the Staff Report doesn’t contain a proposed project, but rather, a recommended alternative with options, through which the Board can put together a Bay-Delta Plan that serves political interests, rather than science-based objectives to restore our fisheries and environmental health. 

1. As currently drafted, the Plan is incomplete and inadequate for fisheries and the overall health of the Bay-Delta estuary. 

2. A proposed alternative of 55% unimpaired flows for the Sacramento River with a range of 45-65%, will not save native fisheries, and fisheries will continue to slide into extinction. While there isn’t a stable proposed project because Board members are being offered alternatives with additional a la carte management options, 65% minimum unimpaired flows gets us closer to fish recovery, and 75% is the best based on established science. There is no plan of implementation for the proposed alternative which should have been finished over the last five years. 

3. There is no harmful algal bloom standard to protect people who come in contact with waterways. There isn’t a real strategy for how harmful algal blooms will be tracked, identified, and mitigated. 

4. The voluntary agreements, which are offered as an option, do not set water quality objectives — so the voluntary agreements cannot meet the objectives of the Bay-Delta Plan. 

5. The voluntary agreements, as included in this draft, do not include an implementation plan, meaning that the public will have to comment on implementation later. This keeps us in a perpetual cycle of reacting to a Bay-Delta that is never finished. 

6. Beneficial uses are identified in this plan, i.e., agriculture, fisheries, recreation, drinking water, but the Plan does not define Tribal Beneficial Uses, which is a continuation of discriminatory practices. 

7. The Staff Report only looked at groundwater and drinking water, not cultural or recreational uses. The Environmental Justice analysis for the Delta is inadequate seeing it doesn’t cover 72 small drinking water systems. 

8. The voluntary agreements do not address cold water pools upstream needed for fisheries and do not contain storage thresholds. 

9. The Staff Report does identify the beneficial uses of a healthy river and estuary, and healthy fisheries within the cost benefit analysis. Cost benefits are mostly related to water exports. 

Delta Co-Op – Space Available
Restore the Delta has workshare space available for environmental and social justice organizations and positive environmental/sustainable businesses! Located in Stockton, near the Port of Stockton and I-5, our facility includes a conference room with hybrid meeting capability, ample parking, multiple kitchens, bathrooms, and great partner organizations to collaborate with on a regular basis. We also offer a large community meeting room. 
The Delta Co-Op has 4 workstations available presently with access to all facilities and storage (designated closet/cabinet areas) for $300 per month. Our community meeting room is also available to rent for specific events and includes a kitchenette. The community meeting room can be rented for $300 for 8 hours or $150 for 4 hours. 
Contact Mariah Looney today to learn more about the Delta Co-Op and to schedule a tour. Mariah can be reached at, or 209-479-2559. 

Restore the Delta has new merch!
Restore the Delta is excited to announce that new merch is available! Shop for the holiday season for family, friends, and loved ones who share a fondness of the Delta!

Shop now!
Categories: G2. Local Greens


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