The RS2477 Threat

Lands at Risk

Threats to
Private Property



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Utah Attacks Alpine Wilderness in Western Utah

AN ALPINE GEM. Rising nearly a mile and half in elevation above the desert floor, the Deep Creek Mountains are Utah’s most spectacular West Desert Range. The area is typified by glacially scarred peaks, alpine meadows, and forested canyons. The tremendous vertical relief creates a variety of ecological conditions that foster biological diversity unmatched in Utah’s desert mountains. Recognizing the area’s tremendous environmental values, BLM designated nearly 60,000 acres of the range as the Deep Creek Mountains Wilderness Study Area in 1991, closing a number of rough jeep trails in the area. Further, a 3,000-acre area of the Deep Creeks known as Scott’s Basin, formerly in private ownership, was purchased by The Nature Conservancy to protect the area’s natural values, and became part of the WSA in 1993. The imperiled Bonneville cutthroat trout -- Utah's official state fish -- can be found in Trout Creek and Tom's Creek. For more background on the Deep Creek Mountains, check out the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and The Nature Conservancy .

UTAH'S ATTACK. The thought of the Deep Creeks being preserved for future generations of Utahns to enjoy in a natural state was apparently too much for the State of Utah. On August 25, 2005, the state filed suit in federal district court in Utah alleging that routes up three drainages -- Trout Creek, Granite Creek, and Tom's Creek -- were "constructed highways." See the state's complaint and press release. BLM was apparently angered by the suit, and said so. Conservationists panned the suit as well. See the Salt Lake Tribune article of August 26, 2005.

See a map of the claims cutting into the wilderness study area.


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