Outdoor News December 8, 2017 - Explore! Outdoor News December 8, 2017 - Explore!

Outdoor News December 8, 2017

Grants from Washington State

Washington State is accepting applications for the No Child Left Inside grant program, which aims to give at-risk children outdoor experiences.  

No Child Left InsideNo Child Left Inside grants fund programs that provide outdoor recreation and education programs for youth in Washington State, including science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) programs and environmental, agricultural or other natural resource-based education programs. The program is funded by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and administered by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.

Applicants can be public agencies (cities, counties, special purpose districts), Native American tribes, nonprofit organizations, schools, informal after school programs, veteran organizations, community-based programs and private entities (individuals, businesses, religious groups planning non-religious activities). The programs must be delivered in Washington State and must be delivered outdoors.

“Getting kids outside does so much for their self-esteem, health, grades and sense of personal responsibility and community involvement,” said Don Hoch, director of Washington State Parks. “Exposing children to the natural world around them goes a long way to improving their sense of self-worth.”

Grant recipients may ask for as much as $75,000 for each program. The State expects to award about 
$1.5 million in grants. Typical programs would be those that offer backpacking or camping, boating, environmental education, fishing or hunting, hiking, orienteering or rock climbing, farming education and community farms.

This program emphasizes programs that employ veterans. The state Legislature dedicated $500,000 to organizations with at least one veteran on staff who will implement the grant-funded program. 

“These are great grants,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office. “They reach hundreds of children who might not otherwise get the chance to go camping, hiking or spend much time outside. The grants are in demand and the competition strong. I think people realize how important it is to get kids away from screens and into the fresh air.”

An advisory committee made up of statewide leaders in outdoor education and recreation programming evaluates and scores the grant proposals.

“That ensures a fair process and one that gives the limited funding only to the strongest projects,” Cottingham said.

Check out an interactive story map that details last year’s grant recipients and what they accomplished.  Visit RCO’s Web site to read an overview of the grant program or contact a grant managerApplications are due January 17 and grants will be awarded in May.

President Shrinks Utah Monuments

Acting upon the recommendation of U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, and with the support of Utah’s governor, Congressional delegation, local officials, and residents, President Donald J. Trump today signed proclamations to adjust the boundaries and management of Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM). The proclamations modify the boundaries of those monuments and result in five unique monument units within the two monuments which protect important objects of historical and scientific interest.

Bears Ears Formations“No one values the splendor of Utah more than the people of Utah – and no one knows better how to use it. Families will hike and hunt on land they have known for generations, and they will preserve it for generations to come.” said President Donald J. Trump. “The Antiquities Act does not give the Federal Government unlimited power to lock up millions of acres of land and water, and it’s time we ended this abusive practice. Public lands will once again be for public use.”

“I thank President Trump for his leadership on the Monument Review and for keeping his promise to make sure the rural voice is heard once again,” said Secretary Zinke. “As I visited the Monuments in Utah, I met with Americans on all sides of the issue — from ranchers to conservationists to tribal leaders — and found that we agree on wanting to protect our heritage while still allowing public access to public land. The people of Utah overwhelmingly voiced to us that public land should be protected not for the special interests, but for the citizens of our great country who use them, and this is what President Trump is doing today. Bears Ears and Grand Staircase will remain under federal protection, will adhere to the spirit and letter of the Antiquities Act, and — even after our modification — combined will still be nearly twice the size of Rhode Island.” 

Grand Staircase Escalante NM“By acting on Secretary Zinke’s thoughtful recommendations, President Trump has restored balance to our public lands discussion,” said Governor Gary Herbert of Utah. “We are pleased that Utahns once again have a voice in the process of determining appropriate uses of these public lands that we love. By reducing these super-sized monuments to a size consistent with the intent of the law, new doors of dialogue have opened up that will allow thoughtful, long-term protection of these federal lands. Federal, state, local and tribal officials can now convene to craft legislation for appropriate special protections and responsible recreational uses.”

“Thank you Secretary Zinke, for coming to San Juan, Kane, and Garfield counties and listening to the local grassroots people. Your boots on the ground approach was unexpected, but well received and appreciated,” said San Juan County Commissioner Rebecca Benally. “Thank you Senator Hatch. You and your staff have been champions for us. Thank you for never giving up. For believing we could rectify a wrong and for being a fighter for San Juan County and our people. Thank you President Trump. Thank you for not being a typical politician and passing us over. Thank you for caring about San Juan County. We may be only 15,000 strong, but we matter. We appreciate you willing to take the backlash from the special interest groups as you stand for the people and the economy of San Juan County.” 

“I’m thrilled and grateful to President Trump and Secretary Zinke for giving Utahns a voice in the protection of federal lands in Utah,” said Senator Orrin Hatch. “The President’s proclamation represents a balanced solution and a win for everyone on all sides of this issue. It also represents a new beginning in the way national monuments are designated, paving the way for more local input, and taking into account the actual letter and intent of the Antiquities Act, which calls for the ‘smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.'”

Bears Ears National Monument: The BENM will now encompass two monument units, Shash Jáa and Indian Creek, which will continue to be jointly managed by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. Shash Jáa is approximately 129,980 acres and Indian Creek is approximately 71,896 acres. Collectively, at approximately 201,876 acres in size (down from 1,350,000 acres), Bears Ears remains larger than Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park combined. The new proclamation allows for increased public access to the land and restores traditional use allowance for activities like cattle grazing and motorized recreation, and tribal collection of wood and herbs. Objects that remain within monument boundaries include: the “Bears Ears” buttes, Lime Ridge Clovis Site, Moon House Ruin, Doll House Ruin, Indian Creek Rock Art, and Newspaper Rock. The federal lands excluded from the monument will continue to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service.

In addition, the President’s proclamation provides that the Bears Ears Commission will provide guidance and recommendations for the Shash Jáa unit of the monument and will be expanded to include a Native American San Juan County Commissioner elected by the majority-Native American voting district in that County. The President and Secretary will also request that Congress formally allocate Tribal co-management of the monument.  

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: The GSENM will now consist of three distinct monument units, the “Grand Staircase” (209,993 acres), “Kaiparowits” (551,034 acres), and “Escalante Canyons” (242,836 acres), and all three will be managed by the BLM. The three new monument areas collectively total 1,003,863 acres (down from 1.9 million acres), which is larger than the entire state of Rhode Island. The federal lands not included in the new monuments will continue to be managed by the BLM.

In the 20 years since designation of the GSENM, the objects identified by the proclamation have been more thoroughly examined and mapped, which offered the opportunity to examine the significance of the objects previously identified and determine the proper size of the reservation necessary to protect those objects. The modified monument includes important objects identified in the original designation, including those areas with the highest concentration of fossil resources, important landscape features such as the Grand Staircase, Upper Paria Canyon System, Kaiparowits Plateau, Escalante Natural Bridge, Upper Escalante Canyons, East Kaibab Monocline, Grosvenor Arch, Old Paria Townsite, Dance Hall Rock, and relict plant communities such as No Mans Mesa. 

 Reaction to Utah Monument Changes 

Navajo Nation: Ethel Branch, attorney general of the Navajo Nation, told the Salt Lake Tribune, “We need places like Bears Ears, where the land remains largely untouched, where the plants remain pure, the minerals remain pure, because that affects the potency of our prayers and the potency of our ceremonies.” She told Reuters, “We are prepared to challenge immediately whatever official action is taken to modify the monument or restructure any aspect of that, such as the Bears Ears Commission.”  Note: the Native American Rights Fund, representing the Hopi Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe filed a lawsuit Monday to protect Bears Ears.

Cedar MesaWilderness Society: The reductions are widely assumed to be a way to open more of these priceless landscapes to mining and drilling. The Wilderness Society will be filing a legal challenge to this attack, and we won’t be alone. From a sheer geographic standpoint, those cuts are a little like shrinking Yankee Stadium down to just the visitor’s bullpen, third base and a couple sections of bleachers.

Natural Resources Defense Council: NRDC president Rhea Suh said: “Presidents use the Antiquities Act to create national monuments and protect our special lands and waters for future generations. This president thinks he can use it to destroy them, grabbing the iconic landscapes and marine areas all Americans own, and handing them over to polluters and private interests. He does not have that authority. We will stand up for the millions of people who’ve asked the Trump administration to preserve – not rip apart – our national monuments.”

Patagonia: Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia said, “President Donald Trump’s Dec. 4 proclamation robs the American people of their public lands heritage. The President and a handful of politicians would like you to believe that they are doing what is best by rescinding 85% of Bears Ears National Monument and nearly half of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Nothing could be further from the truth. This action is unprecedented and widely unpopular. It is also illegal, and Patagonia will be challenging his decision in court.”

Bears Ears REI: “At REI, we are unwavering in our nonpartisan commitment to public lands – to protecting this nation’s spectacular natural places – the mountains, deserts, prairies, waters and forests that tens of millions of Americans from all backgrounds cherish and enjoy annually. The nation’s outdoors have benefited from longstanding support on both the left and the right of the political spectrum. Today’s decision hurts the people who love these places. Americans enjoy our public lands in every part of the country, irrespective of politics. Not only have hikers, cyclists, climbers and hunters enjoyed national monuments, but economies have been built around them through outfitters, guides and retailers. The $887 billion outdoor recreation economy employs over 7.6 million people in good, sustainable jobs.”

Outdoor Industry Association: “Outdoor Industry Association and the outdoor industry view the announcement by President Trump as detrimental to the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy and the 7.6 million American jobs it supports. This decision is part of a long pattern of attacks against public lands and will harm hundreds of local Utah communities and businesses, will stifle millions of dollars in annual economic activity and threatens thousands of jobs in the region. Outdoor Industry Association will continue to educate the industry and all Americans about President Trump’s assault on our industry and our nation’s public lands, and we will continue to support the members of Congress who defend both and who understand the importance of the outdoor recreation economy to local communities.”

Earthjustice:  Three days after President Donald Trump issued a proclamation taking an axe to Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah, conservation organizations (National Parks Conservation Association, The Wilderness Society, Grand Canyon Trust, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Western Watersheds Project, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Wild Earth Gardians, and Defenders of Wildlife plus Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Natural Resources Defense Council as co-plaintiffs) filed a lawsuit attacking the order as an abuse of the president’s power. Following in the footsteps of the Native American Tribes who have already sued the President, Earthjustice is representing nine conservation organizations in a suit charging that the president violated the 1906 Antiquities Act and the U.S. Constitution by eviscerating the monument.


Political Response to Utah Monuments 

On Wednesday, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) introduced legislation to create Utah’s sixth National Park, Escalante Canyons Park and Preserve, H.R. 4558.

Stevens Arch“With their deep narrow canyons, high plateaus, sheer cliffs, incredible vistas, and vibrant colors, the Escalante Canyons are a crown jewel in the state,” Rep. Stewart said. “Escalante Canyons National Park is a win-win for those wanting conservation and access. It’s a win-win for those who want to share the beauty of this state but also to preserve the local culture that is so important to our communities. Additionally, this bill gives locals a stronger voice in how their backyard is managed.”

“There is a reason I live in Utah. I love it here! I love to ski. I love to hike and rock climb. I love these lands. I want to preserve them, and I believe Utahans are better suited to manage our lands than bureaucrats back in Washington.” 

Specifically the Grand Staircase Escalante Enhancement Act:

  • Creates Utah’s sixth national park – Escalante Canyons National Park
    • The new park conserves this nationally important area while allowing access for hunting, fishing, trapping, and grazing.
    • The park maps are still being finalized by the local communities, but the boundaries will fall within the newly created Escalante Canyons Unit of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
  • Transfers “Hole in the Rock Road” to the state of Utah in recognition of this historically significant Mormon pioneer trail.
  • Creates a “Management Council” comprised of local officials to draft and oversee a management plan for the new monuments and National Park, giving local leaders a powerful voice and seat at the table.
  • This bill creates three new seperate and distinct national monumnets, Grand Staircase, Escalante Canyons, and Kaiparowits. 

The bill is available on the Representative’s website.

In response, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance offered the following press release yesterday:

This week, following the outrageous and illegal repeal of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments by President Trump, Utah’s representatives in Congress doubled down on the effort to unprotect these iconic landscapes by introducing two bills that would essentially ratify Trump’s actions.

On Wednesday, Rep. Chris Stewart introduced H.R. 4558, a bill that creates three new national monuments – Escalante Canyons, Kaiparowits, and Grand Staircase, respectively. These monuments match the 48 percent reduction of the original Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument perpetrated this week by Trump’s Executive Order, but the language nullifies Trump’s proclamation in favor of that of the bill. The bill also creates the so-called “Escalante Canyons National Park and Preserve,” but puts management planning for that park and the three national monuments in the hands of local officials in Kane and Garfield County despite the fact that these are federal lands belonging to all Americans.

All of the new designations prioritize recreation, hunting and grazing over conservation, and the bill reopens the lands not included in the Trump monuments to mineral leasing. The bill also includes a public lands giveaway, handing the Hole in the Rock Road to the State of Utah, and will likely reopen destructive off-road vehicle routes that have been closed for decades to protect sensitive resources

Grand Staircase Escalante NM“This bill is a brazen handout to the extremist voices who wish to eliminate federal control of public lands that belong to all,” said Scott Groene, Executive Director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. “Though it purports to protect these landscapes, by handing control almost exclusively to development interests in Kane and Garfield County, it is clear the remnants of Grand Staircase-Escalante would become playgrounds for destructive recreation, poor lands management and dirty energy. The bill, with its throw away National Park designation, is a bait and switch. No one should bite.”

The other bill, H.R. 4532, introduced Tuesday by new delegation member Rep. John Curtis, alongside Reps. Bishop, Stewart and Love from the Utah delegation, ratifies the new boundaries that Trump’s proclamation put forth for Bears Ears National Monument, replacing the Bears Ears with two significantly diminished landscapes: the 142,337-acre Shash Jáa National Monument, and the 86, 447-acre Indian Creek National Monument. These new boundaries are an 83 percent reduction in the original Bears Ears National Monument.

Like the Escalante bill, Rep. Curtis’ bill creates a new management council comprised of the same local elected officials that sought the undoing of the monument, as well as members of Tribes who are picked not by Tribal governments, but by the Utah delegation. Furthermore, the bill excludes thee of the five tribes who advocated for protection of Bears Ears from the council. This framework ensures that the protective status of the original Bears Ears National Monument will not be honored in these newer, decimated parcels.

“The fact that these bills even exist is evidence that the Utah delegation knows Trump’s actions were illegal, and they are scrambling to set up a Plan B,” Groene said. “But the two million acres of lands that Trump stripped from the original Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments still belong to all Americans, and we will work with our allies in Congress, who are more motivated than ever, to ensure that neither of these efforts to hand over these national treasures ever see the light of day.”

New Bermuda National Park

Bermuda Environment Sustainability Taskforce (BEST) cofounder Stuart Hayward welcomed the addition of Southlands to the Bermuda National Park System on Wednesday.  Hayward said the group was relieved that Southlands would at last get protection thanks to legislation passed by the House of Assembly.

Southland Park, BermudaThe National Parks Amendment Act 1 and 2, designed to modernize National Parks legislation and related fees, were approved by Members of Parliament at the end of last month.  The move by Government marks the end of a 10-year battle, which was first launched to prevent development of the area, by BEST to win National Park status for Southlands.

Mr Hayward said: “As I understand it, to be added to this list the park has to have a management plan, so one assumes there is now a management plan for Southlands.  The whole process in Bermuda has been neglected because of a shortage of funds and administrative difficulties. What it should mean is that Southlands is now protected against being cut into pieces for different commercial purposes and interests.”


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Video of the Week

When you are outdoors, you notice the weather,  kind of hard to miss.  This week’s video features the weather – lightning in particular.  Many of the videos we have presented in the past used time lapse photography.  This is a technique of taking a series of photos seconds apart and them assembling them into a video.  The process takes a long period of time and compresses it, speeding things up – like clouds.  The opposite of this is slow motion that takes a short period of time and extends it – like a lightning flash.  The process involves shooting the video at a high frame rate, in this case 1,000 frames per second, then playing it back at the normal 30 frames per second.  You no longer need to imagine what slow lightning would look like.  Just check out this video from Dustin Ferrall

This newsletter is compiled by Jerry Haugen and brought to you by
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