Webinar to touch on conservation efforts, struggles in protecting Utah’s red rock wilderness


James M Phelps Jr

BEAUTIFUL RED ROCK- Inspiration Point is one of the many breathtaking views in Utah’s vast landscape. Those who attend the webinar will learn about efforts to protect this area and how to get involved in conservation efforts in the area. Photo Courtesy of “Inspiration Point” by James Marvin Phelps is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Justin Van't Hof

NMU’s earth, environmental and geographical sciences department with help from Lions Club International will be hosting a digital webinar focused on public land conservation efforts in Utah’s Red Rock Wilderness. 

The event, “Saving Utah’s Red Rock Wilderness,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20 over Zoom and will feature keynote speaker Clayton Daughenbaugh, conservation organizer of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. His talk will also be accompanied by a viewing of the documentary “Wild Utah: America’s Red Rock Wilderness” which touches on the fight for the protection of public land from various special interest groups. 

Daughenbaugh will be discussing topics and answering questions surrounding conservation efforts in Utah that he has gained in his 25 years of work in the Red Rock Wilderness. The topics will include the threat of unclean energy extraction, ideological threats from political interests and the threat that offroad vehicles pose to the land.

“Folks, typically younger folks, are increasingly concerned about climate change. I want people to understand the contribution that protecting wild places makes to the fight in regards to climate change. It’s not commonly understood that there is a very substantial contribution protecting wild places makes to preventing the increase of global warming gases,” Daughenbaugh said.

He also says that it’s important for people to take away an understanding of the role Native Americans have played in conservation efforts in Utah and their fight for land recognition.

“One of the things that have become an increasing factor in conservation efforts in Utah is the role of Native Americans. I want people to come away with some understanding of the importance of that and the relevance of the past history in the United States relating to lands and public lands and Native Americans; a very unpleasant history,” Daughenbaugh said. 

The short documentary “Wild Utah: America’s Red Rock Wilderness,” which Daughenbaugh was a producer on, will allow attendees to see for themselves the beauty of Utah’s Red Rock Wilderness and the dilemmas facing its protection. 

The event is free and open to the public for viewing. Those who are interested in attending can do so by registering for the Zoom session or by contacting (906) 227-2500.