Emily Martinez @rebelliouspebble

Hearing Recap

The April 22nd, 2024 congressional field hearing was purportedly about empowering local voices on public land issues, but it excluded local and indigenous voices, and was one-sided and full of misinformation. The speakers did not represent the majority of the audience in attendance or the broader Washington County community.

PHOTOGRAPH by Hans Glasmann

Over half of the people in attendance at the hearing wore green and “No Highway Thru Red Cliffs” stickers to show their support for the better, cheaper alternatives that meet traffic needs without bulldozing a four-lane highway through Red Cliffs’ treasured recreation areas, scenic vistas, irreplaceable cultural resources, and critical wildlife habitat. The hypocrisy of holding a hearing about dismantling public lands on Earth Day was not lost on the over 100 people who came out to support keeping Red Cliffs intact and to oppose the Northern Corridor Highway.

While the way the Committee organized the hearing did not permit oral testimony from dissenting views, Conserve Southwest Utah and four other conservation organizations submitted this written testimony, which will be included in the Congressional record. Bill Mader, the first HCP Administrator, also submitted this excellent written testimony. 

The Congressional record will be open for a short time for Washington County residents would like to submit testimony. If you are not a resident of Washington County, the best thing to do is to instead contact your own Congressional representative.

Two options to submit your Washington County resident testimony:

1) Sign on to one of the prepared testimonies by April 28th:

2) Write your own personal testimony and email it to CSU by April 28th (we will submit it for you).

Guidelines for preparing a personal testimony:

  • At the top of the page, write: “Testimony of [Your Name]”.
  • Keep it brief (no more than 4 pages).
  • Sign it with your name and [your city], Utah.
  • If you’re looking for inspiration:
    • Click here for the testimony from CSU and four other grassroots and national organizations.
    • Click here for a summary of our response to the misinformation we often hear, including at yesterday’s hearing.
  • Save your testimony as a PDF file and email it to admin@conserveswu.org by April 28th. We will submit your testimony to the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands.

Hearing Proceedings

You can read the full testimonies from the five oral testifiers here or watch the full hearing recording below.

Residents Respond to the Hearing

“I feel the red sands and red rocks of southern Utah in my blood. I have had 38 years with the red sand staining my feet and I want my son, Arlo, to have experiences of joy and awe that comes from exploring these wild places. A highway is no place of joy. A highway is not a place a father and son can bond. Please do not build a highway through this part of southern Utah’s identity.” – Trevor Anderson, Washington County Resident.


“I was born in Salt Lake City and was raised near a 4-lane highway. The noise is unbearable, day and night: racing cars, bullet bikes and semi trucks with loud Jake brakes. You have no peace. My wife and I moved to enjoy our golden years next to the stunning Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. There are other transportation options available to expedite traffic in Washington County without running the Northern Corridor Highway through the crown jewel of Washington County.” – Mike Brand, Green Springs Homeowner.


“We moved here because of the natural beauty, peace and quiet, and quality of life. Every morning my wife wakes up, looks out our windows at the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, and says “Hello world!” It is this beauty and serenity that helped her get through her battles with various cancers over the last few years. She says God created that beauty for us to see and enjoy, and not to destroy!” – Jerry Haffley, Green Springs Homeowner.


“As a resident of the Reserve at Green Spring, the community most impacted by the proposed Northern Corridor Highway, I am asking my elected officials to perform for the best interest of the people. Keep public lands in public hands. You were entrusted to uphold the Federal Laws that designated the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area for the benefit of present and future generations. Do not bend to special interests seeking to develop these lands at the expense of homeowners and the threatened Mojave desert tortoise.” – Karen Vincent, Green Springs Homeowner.