A Message from Terry Tempest Williams

The residents of Castle Valley know open minds are created by open space. They understand that the notion of community does not stop at the town boundary, but extends into the sage flats of Round Mountain, where the tides of deer move in and out of the valley like water. This is a place where both culture and wildness live side by side.

To live in Castle Valley is to witness the movement of light cast across the face of Castleton Tower creating the invocations and benedictions of each day.

To live in Castle Valley is to cherish an erosional landscape where the heat of summer melts all pretense and spring winds, so wicked whole hillsides seem to disappear under the shroud of blowing sands, shape a character that says less is not only more but preferable when it comes to the conveniences of city life.

This is a town in the heart of rural Utah that wants to create a conservation alternative to the indiscriminate growth and development preying upon the open spaces of the American West.

This is a community of diverse individuals standing together in their desire to preserve the integrity of their home. Our intent is to redefine prosperity in terms of a healthy ecosystem, our watershed, viewshed,and night full of stars.

We believe we can begin to live differently, that the preservation of one’s homeland is the preservation of the planet.

Castleton Tower is the center of America’s Redrock Wilderness. The ecological integrity of the Colorado River Corridor is threatened by the development of thousands of acres under the jurisdiction of Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration. The silences maintained in these fragile desertlands are a collective prayer uttered in the name of peace and restoration.

As residents of Castle Valley, we ask you to stand with us.
— Terry Tempest Williams

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Good News in July

The Castle Valley community and Utah Open Lands are celebrating the completion of the Castleton Tower Preservation Initiative, and the successful collaboration it represents –individuals, foundations, the outdoor recreation industry, climbers, local activists, and their conservation partners. We look forward to continuing the work of preserving additional spectacular wildlands in the region.

On July 2nd a deal was closed with Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration that will protect 530 acres of critical wildlife habitat in Castle Valley. Utah Open Lands and the Grand Canyon Trust joined forces with Utah’s State Division of Wildlife Resources to purchase the land from SITLA. A state legislative appropriation of $658,000 was matched by a $200,000 grant from the Eccles Foundation and a $50,000 grant from the Grand Canyon Trust. Utah Open Lands still must raise $45,000 to complete this purchase.

Let us tell you about a very special place while there’s still time to preserve it.

In the heart of Utah’s redrock desert, connecting the La Sal Mountains and the Colorado River, lies Castle Valley — a magnificent landscape at once sweeping and intimate. Our valley is home to diverse wildlife, threatened plant species, and a community of people who care deeply enough about this extraordinary place not to allow its indiscriminate development.

So many communities in the rural West have viewed development as inevitable. The Castle Rock Collaboration is saying that conservation values are just as high a priority as development. We are seeking a conservation solution.

Why save this land?

It is a spectacular stretch of wild lands bordering three Wilderness Study Areas.

It comprises regionally significant wildlife habitat.

Once spoiled by development, this open land is gone forever

Castleton Tower, Priest and Nuns, Round Mountain, and Porcupine Rim are icons of the American West — known to the world from films, calendars and postcards.

Here’s the problem — you can be part of the solution!


* Become a Castle Rock Collaboration / Utah Open Lands member
* Tell a Friend about this Website

The State of Utah’s School Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) owns 4500 acres in Castle Valley. For many years this land existed as open space with public access, but now SITLA has decided to sell the land. We want to buy these trust lands to secure their conservation. And we can do it with your help.

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