To the editor:
As is their custom in such matters, the Sierra Club has appealed the BLM's permit approval of the annual Easter Jeep Safari near Moab.This event, which draws thousands of people from all over the country and provides Moab with a great deal of badly needed revenue, is expertly orchestrated by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers in such a way that it evokes praises from all involved, including the professional land managers who maintain a particularly keen vigil due to its high profile.
In spite of the fact that the affected roads have been in general use for many years, these "environmentalists" demand that more studies, assessments and inventories be made, undoubtedly in the hope that some obscure provision in the plethora of well-intended laws can be used to abolish the event.
Laws enacted to protect endangered species, cultural resources and truly unique and inaccessible lands seemed innocent enough until they were embraced by the Sierra club and its cohort of lawyers and lobbyists. Acting as a virus of sorts they mutated these benign laws into a virulent cancer that threatens to devour all of our public lands.
If we do not soon restore some balance and responsibility to this process we might as well just deed all of these lands to the "Club" and get it over with.
Somehow these organizations have lost sight of their own greedy self interests.
We should find a new label for those groups whose main goal is to take control of our public lands and dictate with impunity who will and will not be allowed access. After all, this is really a land-use issue, not an environmental one.
To call them environmentalists serves no purpose other than to reduce the credibility of those who are actually interested in dealing with the true environmental hazards we face.
The conflict here is not between exploiter and environmentalist, but between those who believe in responsible multiple use and those who would exclude all human uses other than their own.
Utah Trail Machine Association
Salt Lake City