Durbin Introduces Bill To Protect America's National Parks & Monuments

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced the America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, a bill to protect 8.2 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 research, educational, and recreational opportunities for scientists, educators, outdoor enthusiasts, and American families.

“These lands are threatened by fossil fuel development as well as rampant off-road vehicle use.  Designating them as wilderness would safeguard wildlife, protect ancestral lands, help mitigate climate change, and provide access to future generations of hunters, anglers, hikers, boaters, and lovers of the natural world,” Durbin said.

Durbin was joined by eight colleagues in support of the legislation: U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).  The lands in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act were selected through careful consideration by a group of volunteers with the Utah Wilderness Coalition.  The Bureau of Land Management, which currently oversees these lands, confirmed that the majority of the lands covered by the bill meet the qualifications for wilderness designation.  Lands in the southern half of Uintah County were taken out of the bill to respect the Ute Indian tribe’s ancestral claims.

The bill is supported by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.