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President Trump rattles the Middle East, saying the U.S. will recognize Israel’s authority over the Golan Heights. Also on our Friday rundown: A judge blocks laws limiting the power of the new Wisconsin governor. Plus, momentum builds across party lines to abolish the death penalty.

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“Red Desert Week” Connects Conservation to Faith

April 25, 2011

LARAMIE, Wyo. - This week, it's all about the Red Desert around Wyoming. Faith-based groups are holding events to celebrate the unique landscapes in the region, as well as to explain why the area is considered sacred.

Tyler Edgar with the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice program is visiting Laramie to share stories about how faith communities around the country have taken action as stewards of public lands.

"People have really connected their faith to the unique and irreplaceable pieces of God's creation that they call 'home,' or that really define them."

Laramie Mayor Scott Mullner signed a proclamation declaring today through May 1 as "Red Desert Week."

As she tours the country, Edgar says one of the stories she details is the history of the Wyoming Range Legacy Act, which was a rallying point for diverse communities and religions.

"People in the congregations around the state really felt called to be engaged in that dialogue."

Presentations throughout the week will go beyond the religious aspects of conservation, with lectures about the biodiversity of the Red Desert, its values for energy production and art inspired by the region. "Red Desert Week" events are being hosted by the Wyoming Association of Churches, National Council of Churches and On Sacred Ground groups around the state.

Edgar speaks Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the University of Wyoming Robert and Carol Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center, Laramie. Events are also scheduled in Rock Springs, Casper and Lander. A complete listing is available at

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY