Spring Break in America’s Red Rock Wilderness

By Doreen Kloehn, Sierra Club North Star Chapter Volunteer

photo: Julia Kloehn

Photo: Andrea Kloehn

My 14-year-old daughter and I returned a week ago from a spring break trip to some of the most spectacular places I have ever seen — Utah’s Canyonlands and Arches  National Parks. We drove to Osceola, Iowa, boarded the AMTRAK California Zephyr train for an 18-hour trip to Grand  Junction, Colorado, then rented a car and headed to southern Utah’s canyon country. We camped in a Bureau of Land Management campground near Moab and the Canyonlands  campground, where it was so dark that my daughter could film star trails.

photo: Doreen Kloehn

Photo: Doreen Kloehn

Utah’s redrock country:  What a vast and wild place! We hiked down a 1,000 foot canyon, across desert plateaus, up dry washes, and through a slot canyon no wider than our bodies. We learned about the landscape: the Colorado and Green Rivers and their tributaries, arches and towering  buttes, fragile cryptobiotic soil, petroglyphs, the Paradox salt basin that with the power of water and wind over millions of years formed rock fans and needles.

damage factory 1

In nearby Moab, we saw off-road vehicles (ORVs) and uranium mining tailings and oil and gas drilling trucks – evidence of present and past destruction of the landscape. These are serious threats to some of the most pristine and unique canyon country on Earth. Here are three easy steps you can do to protect Utah’s 9 million acres of threatened wildlands:

Ask Senator Klobuchar to join much of Minnesota’s congressional delegation in support of the Red Rock Wilderness ActEmail Sen. Klobuchar or call her office and leave a quick message at 202-224-3244.

Ask President Obama to designate Greater Canyonlands National Monument.

“Like” and “Get Notifications” from the Minnesota Friends for Utah Wilderness Facebook page.

If you have questions or would like to get more involved, please contact Joshua at 612-659-9124. Thanks for taking action!

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