Utah’s Newly Protected Wild Gems

Many of our country’s best remaining wild public lands were recently protected when the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act was signed into law. Of particular personal note for me are the Utah provisions. Utah now has more than 600,000 acres of new Wilderness and more than 100 miles of new Wild and Scenic rivers.

Fortunately I have spent many nights in several of these places, including the now Wild and Scenic and Wilderness protected Green River through Desolation and Gray canyons and the San Rafael Swell. I have taken my family to these wild gems on multiple occasions and spent half a life exploring and dreaming of being there and going back over and over again.

It was a proud moment when I had the privilege to acknowledge that efforts and advocacy by so many friends of wild public lands had paid off and we now welcome improbable but well-deserved protections for places near and dear to my heart. Below are photos from some of these newly minted safeguarded wild lands. It is not often we get to celebrate. This one is especially sweet for me and I hope it is for you too.

New wilderness in the San Rafael swell in western UT. Photo: Aaron Kindle.

Petroglyphs in Desolation Canyon. Photo: Aaron Kindle.

A placid stretch of the Green River in Desolation Canyon. Photo: Aaron Kindle.

A beautiful stretch of the Wild and Scenic Green River. Photo: Aaron Kindle.

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