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Why I'm donating my Christmas to Southern Utah

Jeffrey Williams

House on Fire Ruin, Bears Ears National Monument.

House on Fire Ruin, Bears Ears National Monument.

I've been bumming around Southern Utah since 1973, when I was 8 and my dad took me backpacking in the Zion backcountry for three indelible nights. 

It's my favorite father-son memory.

In the decades since, I've returned to the region countless times -- with friends, geology classmates, with my children, and all by my lonesome. One spring in the 90s, I spent two weeks hitchhiking my way from Canyonlands over to St. George. The whole fortnight cost me $70.

I've been around the world and Southern Utah is the place I always want to go back to; the place where, when I'm there, I don't want to be anywhere else. 

This is holy land. 

That's why the president's announcement that he wants to chop down two national monuments -- Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante -- felt like a sacrilege. 

Look, I think most of us feel a little shellacked these days -- I say the serenity prayer every morning just to make it through the day -- but last week an idea came to me. Maybe God had granted me the courage to change one tiny thing I could: my Christmas.

I could donate my Christmas. 

So, for what it's worth, the only present I'm giving myself, and the only thing I'm asking friends and family to give me, is a donation to Earthjustice. 

They're an environmental-law nonprofit  representing a number of other conservation organizations in a lawsuit to protect the monuments.

So, if you're reading this and we thinking of getting me a gift certificate to Powell's (books, sigh) or a big mixing bowl or some running gloves, don't. 

Get the planet a little something. 

Send a few bucks to Earthjustice instead.