Durbin Introduces America's Red Rock Wilderness Act To Protect National Parks & Monuments

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act today to protect 8.4 million acres of land in Utah that is rich in archaeological resources and home to numerous rare plant and animal species. These landscapes are also the access point for many national parks and offer unparalleled research, educational, and recreational opportunities for scientists, educators, outdoor enthusiasts, and American families.

“With the America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, we can protect America’s remaining wild places and reaffirm our nation’s commitment to the preservation of our national heritage,” said Durbin. “Our public lands are under increasing pressure, both from development encroachment and from attacks by those who would prefer to see them sold off to the highest bidder.  Congress needs to act to ensure that these lands remain in their natural condition for current and future generations of Americans to enjoy.”

The lands in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act were selected through meticulous inventories conducted by a passionate group of volunteers with the Utah Wilderness Coalition. The Bureau of Land Management has confirmed the vast majority of the lands covered by the bill meet the qualifications for wilderness designation. However, as long as they are formally unprotected, these places remain threatened by oil, gas, and tar sands development, as well as rampant off-road vehicle use activities that could significantly damage the lands. Designating these lands as wilderness would safeguard them for wildlife and solitude, help with climate change mitigation, and still accommodate future generations of hunters, anglers, hikers, boaters, and lovers of the natural world.

Signing onto the legislation as cosponsors are Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA),  Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).

The bill is also supported by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.