Enviro Directory

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Enviro Directory

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by Katherine Pioli

Do you love Utah’s natural gifts? Here’s a list of her champions. Lend them a hand.

envirodirectoryUtah, the “reddest state in the nation,” has a surprising number of environmentally minded nonprofit organizations, each working enthusiastically every day to preserve the air, land and water of what is undeniably one of the most beautiful states in the nation. Whether you’re interested in brushing up on what’s going down, or hoping to get involved yourself, our directory of Utah’s enviro orgs is a great first step!

FRIENDS OF GREAT SALT LAKE —Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

Understanding the Great Salt Lake is key to protecting it. That’s why FRIENDS of the Great Salt Lake (FOGSL) works through education, research and advocacy to achieve sustainability of this hemispherically important ecosystem. By building partnerships this group promotes watershed health while focusing on threats such as industrial discharge, oil and gas development, expanded mineral extraction, and water diversions that threaten the lake’s ecology.

Programs and Campaigns:

FOGSL’s educational outreach spans all levels of learning. Through the Lakeside Learning program, FOGSL takes 4th grade students on field trips to the lake where they learn about the life in this unique ecosystem—its plant, brine shrimp, bird and human interactions. ­FOGSL is developing a continuing program for middle school students. For students of higher learning, FOGSL gives a science research scholarship each year to university and graduate level students. These projects enhance the scientific firepower necessary to drive responsible management decisions and formulate sound policies for the lake.

Get Involved:

Help preserve and protect the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem for generations to come: http://www.fogsl.org for volunteer information.

GRAND CANYON TRUST
—Flagstaff, Arizona

Mission and History:

Founded in 1985, the Grand Canyon Trust is a highly effective regional conservation organization that advocates collaborative, common sense solutions to the significant problems affecting the area’s natural resources. Their mission is to protect and restore the Colorado Plateau—its landscapes, rivers, air and animal and plant diversity. Their work focuses primarily in the greater Grand Canyon region of northern Arizona and in the forests and slick rock country of central and southern Utah.

Programs and Campaigns:

Ongoing work at the Trust in 2010 includes protecting lands adjacent to Grand Canyon from uranium mining, working with the U.S. Forest Service and others on sustainable management plans for Utah and Arizona national forests and using the 850,000-acre Kane and Two Mile ranch operation as a working scientific laboratory for finding best grazing practices for arid lands.

Get Involved:

The Trust has an extensive volunteer program headed by Kate Watters in which participants participate in on-the-ground restoration projects as well as science-based research. http://www.grandcanyontrust.org, kwatters@grandcanyontrust.org.

HEAL UTAH—Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

The Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah) engages citizens in efforts to protect public health from nuclear and toxic waste and promote clean energy policies for our state. With the help of their members, they are working to create a world in which people, not polluters, determine Utah’s environmental and energy policies.

Programs and Campaigns:

HEAL Utah is putting pressure on Utah state senators to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. This international treaty would end the threat of any further testing of nuclear weapons at the Nevada test site thereby eliminating a major heath concern for Utahns as well as increase global security and bring us closer to the eventual elimination of nuclear weapons.

EnergySolutions, operators of the nation’s largest nuclear waste dump, has applied for a license to import 20,000 tons of radioactive waste from dismantled nuclear reactors in Italy for ultimate disposal in Utah’s West Desert. The vast majority of Utahns are opposed to this plan. HEAL Utah is supporting legislation co-sponsored by Reps. Matheson and Chaffetz that would ban the import of foreign nuclear waste.

Get Involved:

Eric Spreng, Community Outreach Director. http://www.healutah.org or 801-355-5055.

HIGH UINTAS PRESERVATION COUNCIL—Hyrum

Mission and History:

The people at the High Uintas Preservation Council like to define the Uinta Mountains by the creation of life, not the production of resources. For this group, the ecological processes and biodiversity of the alpine ecosystem really matters. This is why they believe in the preservation of wilderness in the Uinta Mountains. They strive to foster ecological literacy and activism, seek community-based solutions and work to maintain inherent biodiversity and natural processes.

Get Involved:

Dick Carter: 435-245-6747. http://www.hupc.org

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
—Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. In Utah, the Conservancy has completed more than 170 land and conservation projects and protected 900,000 acres of public and private land—from Dugout Ranch in San Juan County to Scott’s Basin in the Deep Creek Mountains of Juab County to the shores of the Great Salt Lake.

Projects and Campaigns:

Currently the Nature Conservancy is working on an unprecedented effort to protect the lands and waters of the entire Colorado River Basin, including key stretches of the Escalante and Virgin Rivers, and they have launched a climate change research initiative at the iconic Dugout Ranch near Canyonlands National Park.

Get Involved:

In 2008 Utah volunteers contributed 1062 hours of their time to the conservancy. http://www.nature.org/utah, utah@tnc.org, 801-531-0999.

RED ROCK FORESTS—Moab

Mission and History:

Formed in 1999, Red Rock Forest aims to protect the ecological and hydrological integrity of the La Sal and Abajo Moun­tains —the sole watersheds for southeastern Utah’s Greater Canyonlands Basin. Through local and regional citizen outreach they recruit traditional and non-traditional constituencies, then work to enact lasting local and regional watershed and ecosystem protection policies as well as to achieve substantive, on-the-ground improvements for these high desert oases.

Programs and Campaigns:

Red Rock Forests is monitoring the Manti-La Sal National Forest as it moves through a forest land management planning process, a revised Oil and Gas Environmental Impact Statement, statewide Wild and Scenic River designations, and anticipated travel planning in the La Sals. Red Rock Forests is actively appealing any proposal/project that specifically and significantly impacts the ecological fabric of either mountain range.

Get Involved:

The group organizes and runs trail restoration projects as well as other projects. Executive Director Terry Shepherd: 76 S. Main Street, Suite 20, Moab, UT 84532, terry@redrockforests.org, http://www.redrockforests.org, 435-259-5640

ROUND RIVER CONSERVATION STUDIES—Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

Round River Conservation Studies takes its name from an essay by American ecologist and forester Aldo Leopold. The organization adopted Leopold’s idea that ecological study enriches one’s personal land ethic and strengthens a community’s collective wisdom. Following this concept, this student-based organization blends science and local engagement to build local constituency support for conservation projects.

Projects and Campaigns:

Internationally, Round River gives instrumental assistance to indigenous tribes in British Columbia, Canada for conservation activities on over 60 million acres of boreal and coastal forest lands and is assisting the Namibian government in the design of a new national park. Here in Utah, Round River is working with Native American and rural communities to preserve the Colorado Plateau—an area that contains perhaps the largest contiguous unprotected wilderness remaining in the lower 48 states.

Get Involved:

Gavin Noyes, Program Director: gavin@roundriver.org, http://www.roundriver.org 801-359-4250.

SAVE OUR CANYONS
—Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

In 1972, the Wasatch Mountains faced the threat of a new ski resort—Snowbird—swallowing up acres of mountain backcountry with plans for tramways accessing satellite villages throughout the Wasatch. This catalyzed a movement to protect the Wasatch Mountains and Save Our Canyons (SOC) was born. For the nearly 40 years since that first campaign to save the Wasatch, SOC has been instrumental in the protection of our mountains.

Without this rugged organization, today the view from the valley below would be vastly different. SOC works for all valley residents to protect drinking water, the air we breathe and the exclusive recreation opportunities available in the Wasatch Mountains.

Projects and Campaigns:

Save Our Canyons needs help with frequent mailings and tabling at events. They also currently have two huge campaigns that desperately need community help: Wasatch Wilderness and an update of the 1989 Salt Lake County Canyons Master Plan. SOC wants you to be informed and speak up about the uses of Utah’s most sacred and scenic places.

Get Involved:

801-363-SAVE, info@saveourcanyons.org http://www.saveourcanyons.org

SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE—Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) advocates preservation of the outstanding wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau, and the management of these lands in their natural state for the benefit of all Americans. SUWA is the only organization currently working full-time to protect Utah’s roadless BLM lands from oil and gas development, off-road vehicle damage and other immediate threats.

Projects and Campaigns:

SUWA mobilizes support for the protection of Utah’s Redrock country through legislative and administrative means. Essential to this effort is demonstrating that Utahns support the protection of Utah wilderness. Volunteers can participate in various ways, including Women Protecting Wilderness, a network of women who use their voices, stories and diverse life experiences to celebrate Utah’s wild lands and call for their stewardship. Faith and the Land is a new initiative that is bringing people together across diverse faith traditions to call for the protective stewardship of Utah’s spectacular wild places.

Get Involved:

SUWA welcomes new participants in either of these projects, and can always use volunteers to help with event tabling and office work, too. Contact Deeda Seed: 801-428-397. http://www.suwa.org.

SIERRA CLUB, Utah Chapter
—statewide

Mission and History:

It is the Sierra Club’s mission to explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out those objectives.

Projects and Campaigns:

The Sierra Club groups in Utah have a regular program of outings such as group hikes. Their conservation programs range from supporting wilderness and protecting public lands to promoting a renewable energy future for Utah and fighting new coal-fired power plants. Utah Chapters of the Club meet in Weber/Davis Counties, Salt Lake County and in southeastern Utah centered on Moab. The Utah Chapter Conservation Committee meets every other month to co-ordinate programs run by these groups.

Get Involved:

New volunteers are welcome to help with conservation projects, outings and contacting legislative and political committees. See activity schedule, too. http://www.utah.sierraclub.org/groups.asp, http://www.utah.sierraclub.org/join_volunteer.asp. http://www.utah.sierraclub.org/saltlake_group.asp.

TREE UTAH—Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

TreeUtah is dedicated to tree planting and education, inspiring and empowering our community to become more active, knowledgeable stewards of our natural environment. Since 1990, TreeUtah has planted over 320,000 trees throughout the state.

Programs and Campaigns:

Through the Urban and Community Forestry program, TreeUtah encourages people to plant trees in their communities by offering funding opportunities and partnerships as well as educational programs that highlight the environmental, economic and social benefits that healthy tree communities provide.

Additionally, along with numerous partners, TreeUtah has been working to restore 120 acres of riparian songbird habitat on the east banks of the Jordan River in South Jordan City. In 2006, TreeUtah established the EcoGarden, an Edible Food Forest & Demonstration Garden directly adjacent to the Day-Riverside library in Rose Park, to facilitate education and skill building around the topic of permaculture and urban sustainability.

Get Involved:

These programs are continuing and a few new projects are slated to start up this year. As always, TreeUtah needs the help of dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to make all this possible. 801-364-2122, volunteer@treeutah.org.

UTAH ASSOCIATION of CONSERVATION DISTRICTS
—statewide

Mission and History:

Responding to the ecological disaster of the “Dust Bowl” in the early 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt motivated the creation of conservation districts. These districts, drawn along natural watershed boundaries or county lines, are to this day still responsible for local soil and water conservation programs. Utah alone has 38 districts all grouped under the Utah Association of Conservation Districts (UACD).

The Association’s principal purpose is to educate and support the work of locally elected conservation district supervisors and their staff. Utah’s conservation districts focus on natural resource issues on private agricultural land.

Programs and Campaigns:

Conservation districts help farmers, ranchers and other private landowners access state and federal voluntary natural resource conservation programs. Information available online directs interested landowners to programs such as the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program and the Colorado River Salinity Control Program.

In addition to on-the-ground conservation efforts, the districts focus on natural resource education. They host outreach programs that focus on noxious weeds, water quality and conservation, soil erosion, agricultural land preservation and other related topics.

Utah Envirothon is a UACD-sponsored environmental science/natural resource competition for high school students. Teams of five students prepare during the school year to compete in five study areas: aquatic ecology, forestry, soils/land use, wildlife and a current issue that changes each year. Each team develops a land management plan based on a real life scenario that they present to a panel of resource professionals who serve as judges for the oral competition. The winning team earns an all-expense paid trip to the Canon Envirothon in Calif., where they compete against over 50 teams from across the US and Canada.

Get Involved:

Staci Strenkert, Education Director: staci.strenkert@uacd.org, www.uacd.org.

UTAH ENVIRONMENTAL CONGRESS—Salt Lake City

Mission and history:

Reclaiming and acting upon our ancestral responsibility to the land, the Utah Environ­mental Congress (UEC) brings people together to engage in genuine protection of living forest systems that provide islands of refuge in Utah’s desert country. The UEC is a grassroots organization working to protect and conserve the National Forests and native wildlife in Utah. Their Forest Monitoring Program covers all six National Forests in Utah, and monitors timber sales, oil and gas development, coal mining, livestock grazing and motorized recreation.

Programs and Campaigns:

As a membership organization UEC invites the public, who owns National Forest lands, to join in forest protection efforts. Members receive a bi-monthly newsletterl, email action alerts and invitations to special events including field trips to National Forest lands.

Get Involved:

Bob Brister: bob@uec-utah.org, 801-466-4055, http://www.uec-utah.org.

UTAH MOMS FOR CLEAN AIR
—Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

The Utah women and men that make up this organization are a diverse group of people—some have doctorates in biology, others in art history, and professions such as pediatricians and lawyers. Their common interest, however, lies in our children. These Salt Lake mothers, fathers and grandparents are committed to addressing the root causes of air pollution along the Wasatch Front through public outreach and education as well as through support of legislative and regulatory measures.

Programs and Campaigns:

Utah Moms for Clean Air are actively involved in the Salt Lake City anti-idling campaign and the Clean Air Challenge. They continually strive to make their website more educational, responding effectively to clean air issues as they arise.

Get Involved:

Cherise Udell, founder. nomadicmuse@yahoo.com; http://www.UtahMomsForCleanAir.org.

UTAH OFFICE of WESTERN RESOURCE ADVOCATES
—Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

Western Resource Advocates, founded in 1989, runs offices in six states, including Utah. The WRA advocates on behalf of clients and works with partners to protect and restore public lands and watersheds and to advance clean and sustainable energy. Recent projects include a study exposing extensive water rights in Colorado held for the purpose of oil shale development, and a report on how to design an efficient and low-environmental impact transmission line grid for newly developing renewable energies.

Programs and Campaigns:

The Utah staff focuses on protecting Utah’s National Forests, the Great Salt Lake ecosystem and visibility and air quality in Utah’s National Parks, as well as promoting clean coal technology and combating global warming.

Get Involved:

jwalker@westernresources.org, http://utah@westernresources.org.

UTAH RIVERS COUNCIL
—Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

Utah Rivers Council believes that the health of people and their communities are tightly intertwined with their local waters. Thus, they work not only for clean and healthy water, but also for healthy communities through grassroots organizing, direct advocacy, research, education, community leadership and—when absolutely necessary—litigation on the behalf of rivers and people.

Campaigns and Projects:

There are a whole slew of campaigns underway at the Utah Rivers Project. One concentrates on the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers designation, and is designed to protect and preserve our nations river system. Currently Utah has not one river or river segment listed under the Act and Utah Rivers Council thinks that should change. With help from concerned citizens the Council is working to include some of Utah’s water on this list.

Get Involved:

Gwen Springmeyer: gwen@utahrivers.org.

WESTERN WILDLIFE CONSERVANCY—Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

The predatory animals of the Rocky Mountain West—the gray wolves, Canada lynx and grizzly bear—are, in the eyes of the Western Wildlife Conservancy, essential and integral parts of the wildlife community and vital regulators of ecosystems. That’s why, beginning with its conception in 1996 (when it was known as the Predator Education Fund), the Western Wildlife Conservancy has worked to restore and protect native wildlife and wildlife habitat through research, education and advocacy.

Projects and Campaigns:

The Western Wildlife Conservancy’s main work focuses on predator habitat in the “Uintas-to-Yellowstone Connection,” a wildlife corridor connecting the northern and southern Rockies. They are currently collaborating with state and federal agencies, as well as other NGOs, to ensure that the Western Governors Association’s Wildlife Corridors and Crucial Habitat Initiative is implemented effectively to protect wildlife from the onslaught of habitat fragmentation and climate change. This means building wildlife crossings on our highways; it means controlling some of the causes of habitat destruction, such as uncontrolled OHV and ATV activity; and it means educating the public about the roles of strongly interactive species in ecosystems and working toward restoration of some of these species, including the wolf and beaver, to parts of their historic range.

Get Involved:

Kirk Robinson: lynx@xmission.com, 801-468-1535.

WILD UTAH PROJECT
—Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

Since 1996, the Wild Utah Project has been applying conservation biology to protect Utah (and surrounding states) wild places. The staff at Wild Utah Project is a group of scientists who bring to their conservation partners (including land managers) additional expertise, such as GIS or computer mapping, to ensure that the health of the land is an overarching goal in land use.

Projects and Campaigns:

Projects currently underway at the Wild Utah Project focus on grazing issues, ORV management and preservation of riparian areas. Their grazing program, for example, works with federal agency land managers such as the BLM and conservation groups using science and the law to create ecologically sensitive grazing policies and to monitor rangeland health.

Get Involved:

The work undertaken by Wild Utah Project occurs in some of the best places in Utah, a bonus that this organization hopes will attract volunteers since they love help. Join Wild Utah Project in Logan Canyon, Wasatch Front canyons, Escalante Canyons as they conduct fieldwork.

Jim Catlin: 801-328-3550, jim@wildutahproject.org, http://www.wildutahproject.org.

This list is a work in progress. If you are affiliated with an environmental nonprofit not listed here, please submit Mission/History, Programs/Campaigns, and How to Get Involved to: Katherine@CatalystMagazine.net. We will periodically update this list on our website.

Uranium Watch- Moab

Mission and History:

Uranium Watch (UW) was established in 2006 as the only organization in Utah that focuses primarily on uranium mining and milling operations and issues. UW works to educate and advocate for protection of public health and the environment from impacts of mining, milling, and nuclear power in south eastern Utah and the West. Uranium Watch promotes informed public participation in the permitting and regulation these fuel cycle operations, particularly in Utah.

Programs and Campaigns:

Uranium Watch protested the transfer of water from the Green River for the proposed Blue Castle Project nuclear reactor in Green River. The group is also addressing regulatory issues related to current and proposed uranium mines and mills in Utah, including the uranium mines in La Sal, the White Mesa Mill, proposed Mancos Mill, and Daneros Mine. Uranium Watch posts public notices, information, and documents on their website.

Get Involved:

Contact Sarah Fields, Program Director: sarah@uraniumwatch.org or 435-210-0166. http://www.uraniumwatch.org

Sustain Utah- Salt Lake City

Mission and History:

There are over a hundred non-profit organizations in Utah that promote sustainability, yet up until now, these groups have only loosely communicated or cooperated on a regular basis. Sustain Utah aims to be the communication hub for these groups as well as a place where ideas can cross-pollinate. Via this communication hub, each group will also be able to amplify their voices by drawing upon the collective membership of every organization. Additionally, Sustain seeks to nurture budding non-profits with what they need most: human resources, capital, supplies, networking, marketing and media support.

Projects and Campaigns:

Sustain Utah is still a young and growing organization. As a group designed to organize and support other pre-existing groups, most of the work of Sustain Utah appears to be centered around its website. Unfortunately, the website currently lacks content. The events calendar, however, already shows great commitment to the group’s goal of disseminating important information about Utah’s many environmental groups. Hardly a day on the calendar remains empty. It is a great resource for looking up events from the Save Our Canyons annual fundraiser (time, date and place) to HawkWatch sponsored events like the Wind, Power and Birds lecture at the Ogden Nature Center.

Check out and participate in the website at http://www.sustainutah.org or contact Shelley Marshall at sustainutah@gmail.com for more information.

 

Also see:

Glen Canyon Institute- http://www.glencanyon.org
Great Old Broads for Wilderness- http://www.greatoldbroads.org
Great Salt Lake Audubon Society- http://www.greatsaltlakeaudubon.org
HawkWatch International- http://www.hawkwatch.org
Trout Unlimited- http://www.tuutah.org
Uranium Watch- http://www.uraniumwatch.org
Utah Native Plant Society- http://www.unps.org
Utah Open Lands- http://www.utahopenlands.org
Wasatch Mountain Club- http://www.wasatchmountainclub.org

 
 
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