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Shining a Light

Rachel Sanders energizes Alliance for a Better Utah. By Christie Marcy

In her first week as executive director of Alliance for a Better Utah, Rachel Sanders wrote a scathing op-ed in The Salt Lake Tribune, blasting Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes for insensitive hyperbole in referring to predominately white Utahns as “second-class citizens” in the public-lands debate. Even worse, the single mom of five says, is lawmakers doing public business behind closed doors. “What I want Greg Hughes to do is the same thing I want my children to do. I just want everyone’s hands above the table.” Sanders has joined the alliance at a time of redefinition for the publicpolicy lobby group. Most Utahns are unfamiliar with her organiza-

tion, she says: “Better Utah wants to have an honest conversation about what’s happening in Utah and what our politicians are doing. We want transparency and integrity. We’re connecting on the things we have in common, and listening when we don’t have common ground.” The nonprofit has progressive roots, but doesn’t exclude anyone, she says. “What we’re looking for is to be the ones saying the things other people aren’t saying and to be a stronger voice.” Sanders knows she has to convince busy citizens that decisions at the Capitol affect their daily lives. “If you want people to engage you have to meet them where they are.”

Postcards from the Past Photographer Jonathan Bailey hopes to protect the Southwest’s ancient art.

Three hours south of Salt Lake City lies a vast desert that is a gallery of pre-Columbian art. These red-stone canvases, some yet to be discovered, display carvings, paintings and epic tales of an ancient past. Walking among the monumental canyons transports visitors back in time. Jonathan Bailey, author of Rock Art: A Vision of a Vanishing Cultural Landscape, hopes to enlighten people to value and preserve such historical sites and “assure these sacred landscapes for future generations.” Growing up in the deserts surrounding Emery County, Bailey rambled in the vast Utah wilderness. From the back of “Ol’ Blue,” his parent’s pickup truck, he developed a relationship with the rocks around him. For him, the timeless drawings were more than just anthropological. “When I glance at these ancient images, it


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is similar to looking into the photographs of loved ones who have passed on.” Even as Bailey began taking photos of the rock art, the cultural sites were being vandalized and falling to development. To protect what is left, Bailey pulled together an anthology of photos and words. His journey to create Rock Art hasn’t been an easy one. While exploring Utah’s backcountry Bailey suffered dehydration and injuries. “I have climbed hundreds of feet above the canyon floor on ledges that were no wider than a deck of cards.” As a result, he says, “some of the images in this book, quite literally, are likely the only images in existence thus far.” For more information:


By Emily Norell

Salt Lake Magazine July August 2016