About Us

Citizens for Dixie’s Future was established in 2006 in response to legislation that would have sold 25,000 acres of BLM land for development. The threat of more rapid unplanned growth was a great concern to residents. Southwest Utah is a special place of unparalleled beauty. Our signature scenic vistas, accessible open space, and clean air are all qualities worth protecting for future generations. Washington county continues to be one of the West’s most desirable places to live. As our area grows, the need for citizen involved to protect the things we value about our place becomes increasingly important. Please join us in our effort to protect our special places.


Southwestern Utah grows in a manner that enables conservation and restoration of its natural and cultural resources.


Citizens for Dixie’s Future (CDF) is a grassroots coalition of local citizens committed to being stewards of the area’s natural and cultural resources and to be advocates for Smart Growth that enables conservation of those resources for the benefit of present and future generations.


  • Promote a vision of balanced growth that prioritizes conservation stewardship of land, air and water resources to benefit local communities.
  • Support smart growth planning that results in quality economic development and fiscal responsibility while minimizing tax impacts and sprawl.
  • Create a stronger, more effective local voice to support conservation-oriented public and private land-use planning to protect watershed, recreation, wildlife and scenic open space values.
  • Educate citizens about crucial growth proposals and inform citizens of opportunities to help shape a better future to benefit local communities

Citizens for Dixie’s Future Board and Staff

Tom Butine- Board President

Tom grew up and received his engineering degrees in Michigan, and then moved to Seattle to start a 32 year career with Boeing, designing airplanes and the computing systems to help design them better. After earning an MBA in Finance and several management positions in research and development, he concentrated on large-scale complex systems architecture, design, integration, analysis and certification. He is a member of Boeing’s Technical Fellowship, holds patents in systems engineering, and has consulted in engineering since retirement. Tom is a lifelong avid outdoorsman and spends time hiking, biking and sailing. He and his wife Diane retired to St George in 2010. Working with this citizen’s group is his first experience with involvement in a local community, and he hopes to merge his interest in environmental and energy policy with his engineering background and facts-based, apolitical approach to contribute to the future of this terrific area.

Art Haines – Vice-President & Board Member

Art has devoted his professional life to health care management and administration. For the first 30 years of his career he served as a manager and executive in hospital/health care systems in the Puget Sound area. For the past 12 years he has worked as a consultant and executive coach to physician groups, hospitals and other health care organization. Art was born and raised in Southern California and lived in the Seattle area for over 30 years. During this time he experienced first hand how poorly planned population growth, traffic congestion and pollution can ruin areas that once had a high quality of life. He brings a love of natural world, concern about the impact of unwise growth and broad experience in organizational management/governance to the CDF board. Art is graduate of Pomona College and UCLA. He lives with his wife, dog and two cats in New Harmony. He loves to hike and backpack and enjoys photography and music of all types.

Jane Whalen – Board Member

Jane is from Hurricane and is a realtor who has been an environmental activist for over 30 years. She is president of the Grafton Heritage Partnership, working to preserve the historic Town of Grafton, which she helped put on the National Register of Historic Places. She also helped establish Hurricane’s Historic District and put it on the National Register. She is president of the Rockville Historic Preservation Commission and recently wrote a book on Historic Rockville. She was the architect between environmental groups and ranchers in Kanab to protect their water rights from the coal slurry pipeline and prevent a coal strip mine next to Bryce National Park and a coal fired power plant in Hurricane near Zion National Park. She sat on the BLM Arizona Strip Advisory Council for two years and was an advocate for environmental protection with careful resource management on public lands. She helped craft the first BLM wilderness bill in the country, the Arizona Strip Wilderness bill that she helped change from 60,000 acres to over 300,000 acres. Jane also managed the Grand Canyon Dories in Hurricane for many years.

Sandy Johnson- Board Member

I think I was a conservationist almost from birth. When I was 5 years old we lived with my grandparents in very rural Alabama for a year or so while Dad was overseas fighting in Korea. During that time I roamed the woods, “cricks”,”hollers” and pastures very freely. I felt a deep bond and appreciation for those wild places even at such a young age. My husband and I moved to Ivins in Southern Utah in 1977 to be closer to family and because we liked the area. There has been tremendous growth in Southern Utah since we moved here. My goal in working with Conserve Southwest Utah is to help preserve the beauty, open spaces and quality of life that we enjoy in this beautiful area.

Susan Crook- Public Lands Conservation Program Manager

Susan Crook is a licensed landscape architect and certified arborist who is passionate about conservation, sustainable design, and the preservation and responsible use of historic and cultural resources. She has worked in the public and private sectors in landscape architecture and planning, and has served on the boards and staffs of non-profits. As Utah Heritage Foundation’s field representative, Susan providing technical preservation services, advocacy, training, capacity building, and funding assistance to communities, organizations, and individuals throughout central and southern Utah.