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New Partnership Strengthens Wildlands & Wildlife Protection Throughout West
Denise Boggs, (406) 222-2723
Salt Lake City - The Utah Environmental Congress has merged with WildEarth Guardians, a move the groups believe will significantly enhance protection of national forests and wildlife in Utah.
Utah Environmental Congress (UEC) is Utah’s statewide National Forest watchdog with a 15-year record of leadership shaping policy in and out of the courts stopping logging, roading and other damaging activity on National Forests in the state. Much larger, WildEarth Guardians is a regional leader protecting wild places and wild animals. By acquiring UEC’s Utah expertise and taking advantage of deeper resources the expanded regional conservation powerhouse is certain to make a big splash on National Forests in Utah and the Southern Rockies.
Denise Boggs, founder and current board treasurer of Utah Environmental Congress said, “Being a part of WildEarth Guardians creates many exciting possibilities. Together we can reach a larger audience, protect and restore more wild places and most importantly, increase our ability to implement our mission and achieve our mutual vision of National Forest and wildlife protection in Utah.”
The two organizations share a common purpose to protect, restore, and preserve wildlife, wild lands, and waterways along the Spine of the Continent. Integrating Utah Environmental Congress’ mission, expertise, and staff complements and fortifies WildEarth Guardians’ vision for wilderness and wolves ranging from the north rim of the Grand Canyon through Utah and into the northern Rockies.
“This merger strengthens WildEarth Guardians. We can do an even better job to protect national forests, combat fossil fuel development, and recover wolves in the West,” said John Horning, Executive Director of WildEarth Guardians. “Our staff with greater resources can have a more powerful voice for nature.”
The UEC staff is now a part of WildEarth Guardians’ Wild Places program which works to protect, restore and re-wild our public lands. The merger means WildEarth Guardians will build an even stronger presence in Salt Lake City and the rest of the Beehive State. Guardians also has main offices in Denver, Santa Fe, and Missoula, and satellites in San Diego, Tucson, Portland, Eugene, and Laramie, as well as more than 100,000 members and e-activists from throughout the country.
“UEC has always been lean and exceptionally effective, and we’d never backed down till there’s a win” said Kevin Mueller, UEC Program Director of 14 years and Guardians’ new “Utah-Southern Rockies” staff, “The UEC tenacity with Guardians’ powerhouse resources will be prominent and will immediately address the devastating oil field development on our National Forests east of the Wasatch Front!”
The expanded WildEarth Guardians will also confront the coal industry in Utah, including Utah’s largest: the SUFCO mine, where coal is destined for Japan. A 2012 UEC appeal prevented a large expansion of SUFCO north of I-70 on the Fishlake and Manti-La Sal National Forests. The newly formed WildEarth Guardians is poised to keep those millions of tons of coal in the ground for good.
Utah Environmental Congress existed for nearly 15-years, protecting and restoring national forests in Utah and being a voice for the wild. The organization established important legal victories and prevented the Forest Service from logging native forests, building roads, drilling and mining our national forests.