Trial over Canyonlands road begins

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  • big daddy
    Sept. 17, 2009 1:57 p.m.

    Sounds like a controversy is a brewing. The Angel Arch is one of the most beautiful in the state. It would be nice to be able to enjoy it.

  • Control
    Sept. 15, 2009 12:50 p.m.

    Its all about CONTROL!!! Fed. State and local Gov. want to control everything. Church and religion want to control everything. The Utah culture wants to have control on behavior and choices. My parents tried to control everything. Granted not all is bad in what they are trying to enforce, but not all is great either.
    Are you tired of being controlled? I am...

  • BH
    Sept. 15, 2009 12:24 p.m.

    While I understand the frustration with the Federal Governemnt coming into our backyard and telling us how we will take care of our beautiful countryside, the evidence is strong that someone has to provide guidelines and rules to protect the land from those who do not have the self discipline to stay and established roads.

    Here in my native Box Elder County, it is extremely discouraging to see the destruction that is caused by those that feel every square foot of public land must be driven over with an ATV. The destruction and subsequent erosion will be here for generations to come. All so someone can get their kicks and giggles.

    So, since we do not have any self control, through our actions we have essentially told the Federal Government that we need Big Brother to come in and baby sit us. Yep, it's no one's fault but our own. So, unless we are ready to grow up and take stewardship of this beautiful part of our country, then we just have to concede to someone else doing it for us.

  • Slippery slope
    Sept. 15, 2009 12:23 p.m.

    The implications of this seem pretty far reaching. The trend is toward more restrictive federal control of access: first limiting resource development, then motorized access, then bicycles and then on foot. If the feds continue to win these sorts of cases, look for even more fences and gates around public lands in the West.

  • Marlin Sharp
    Sept. 15, 2009 12:08 p.m.

    I really miss journeying on this road to that awesome and amazing place. I have many fond memories with my family. It has been tragic that we no longer have access with my family who cannot walk the 10 plus miles in our older ages. The road and area was never injured due to journeys there.

  • DL Part Two
    Sept. 15, 2009 11:52 a.m.

    I wish my friends in wheelchairs, or the feeble, or those who choose to ride ORVs could experience many of the places I’ve been. But I know they may, in other ways, enjoy a quality of existence I cannot. I wish I could climb Annapurna, but I’m not physically capable. Still, I am pleased for those who have.

    There are already numerous dirt roads in the Canyonlands area that are 4WD accessible. Many of them lead right to arches, Ancestral Pueblo ruins and other remarkable sites. Plus there are thousands of arches throughout Utah that are easily accessed.

    Considering the cost, is it really essential that this road be opened?

  • DL Part One
    Sept. 15, 2009 11:50 a.m.

    There are some places in our world that should not be easily accessed. If everyone has a pot of gold, the gold loses its value. It’s quality versus quantity.

    Most of us agree that everyone should have access to public wilderness lands. The disagreement occurs hidden within the supposition. The key word is “access”. If we fulfill the urge to allow easy access to all public lands, we have then eliminated the possibility for wilderness to exist. Wilderness is defined as “An unsettled, uncultivated region left in its natural condition.” If too accessible, a national park becomes an amusement park.

    Maintaining wilderness is a delicate balancing act. What is sacred to one individual is irrelevant to another. I respect differing opinions, but I prefer to err on the side of maintaining more pristine wilderness. I’m well into middle-age and realize that soon there will be many places I cannot access. So be it. Those same places would have little meaning to me if they were heavily populated or easily accessed.

  • ComnSense
    Sept. 15, 2009 11:10 a.m.

    I too have spent many years traveling the road in Salt Creek until it was closed. As a student in high school it was a favorite day experience, it was the "day date" before the prom, our county enjoyed the area. If we met someone on the trip, we knew them. Today, it is so sad to go to Canyonlands and see the area we so loved turned into a playground for the masses. True it was nice to take visitors there when we were young, but it is tragic now to see how the federal government has exploited it for their purposes and profit! What was once a 'true love for an area and experience' for home town people is now a 'stay out of there' feeling as rangers and government (strangers to the area) have taken over. The road should be open, travel isn't doing any damage in the shifting sands, and the state and country should have control of the road!

  • Re. Angie
    Sept. 15, 2009 11:03 a.m.

    Angie, you state that “the use of the land belongs to the people who live in that area.” By the same logic I suppose you would gladly accept it if your next door neighbor sold pornography and libations? After all, that is the area in which they live and it is their property to control?

    Sometimes the government is too controlling, but in this case I would much prefer the federal government's control than that of the state or county.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 15, 2009 10:50 a.m.

    It's time to take our lands and rights back from the Feds. It seems that the guise of "Protection" has been the Fed's primary tool for seizing power and taking away life and liberty from the citizens of these United States for several decades now. I've had enough, haven't you?

  • Another Geezer...It is lost !!!
    Sept. 15, 2009 10:36 a.m.

    My view also goes back into the 50s and 60s when we took our Jeeps and kids there. For all I know we opened that road. Elephant Hill and rest of it also.
    Those were good times and it was enjoyed by the locals and Utah people in general.

    TODAT, the area is notning like it used to be. Enviornmentalists have made the area famous, like other parts of the state. It is impacted by people from all over the world. One can not even find a room to sleep in in Moab. It is all over folks, the FEDS and bikers have taken it over. It is lost!

  • Angie
    Sept. 15, 2009 9:35 a.m.

    I don't believe the government had the right to close that road. Sometimes they are way too controlling. The use of the land belongs to the people who live in that area.

  • swalbr
    Sept. 15, 2009 8:51 a.m.

    san juan are not live in a want freedom? move to somalia or afghanistan, otherwise follow the rules or pay the cosequences...

  • Cats
    Sept. 15, 2009 7:48 a.m.

    As a resident of San Juan County I'm sick to death of the Feds controlling everythng here. I hope the County wins big time. And I hope it has wider implications for the nation as a whole.

    As a former resident of Washington, D.C. I can tell you that the Federal Government is way too powerful and insensitive to the needs of rural America.

    I can also tell you that people in San Juan County love and reverence Canyonlands and all the other scenic places in the area. They have no wish to destroy them.

    I hope the County and the State win.

  • Utahn
    Sept. 15, 2009 7:37 a.m.

    Nathan, try hiking there. I did. Public access does not mean Jeep access.

  • Feds to Utahns
    Sept. 15, 2009 7:37 a.m.

    Get back on your city reservations and into your little human coops. The Rulers have spoken.

  • Chris
    Sept. 15, 2009 7:30 a.m.

    I don't like the Feds dictating policy in most land / road situations, but I also don't mind some places being preserved from off-road travel. It seems anymore you can't find a place where an ATV hasn't been. I think there are plenty of places to drive your jeep, motorcycle, and ATV, but fewer and fewer places that require the effort and reward that come from a good hike. Open the road, call Angel Arch paradise, and suddenly paradise isn't as appealing. Just my .02 cents.

  • Anonymous
    Sept. 15, 2009 7:04 a.m.

    Those who want the feds out, who's going to pay for everything you are enjoying? Poverty in rural Utah (and for the entire state) would shoot way up if the feds did what you want. Or are you hypocrites, demanding they leave but want federal dollars to stuff in your pocket?

  • To Feds should have nothing
    Sept. 15, 2009 6:35 a.m.

    Perhaps you need to reread the Constitution yourself. Particularly Article IV Section 3 Paragraph two which states:

    "The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State."

  • Nathan
    Sept. 15, 2009 5:59 a.m.

    Jeeping down a stream bed to angel arch sounds like fun. I hope the county wins!! I could use an adventure! What good is Angel Arch if nobody gets to see it?

  • Rural Guy
    Sept. 15, 2009 4:28 a.m.

    We would appreciate it if the feds would turn tail and get out of our backyard. We didn't invite them and neither does the Constitution.

  • Dissappointed
    Sept. 14, 2009 6:34 p.m.

    that the State of Utah is party to this action and would actually attempt to lay claim to a road within the park.

  • Geezer
    Sept. 14, 2009 5:59 p.m.

    The Salt Creek route was never deeded to the county. It has been continuously in federal ownership. Congress designated the area as a national park in 1964, with the strong support of Utah's congressional delegation. I sincerely doubt the San Juan county commissioners ever heard of RS 2477 until many years later, when some ORV folks claimed it was their magic bullet to undo conservation laws.

  • Abominous
    Sept. 14, 2009 5:28 p.m.

    I remember jeeping to Angel Arch as a kid in the early 60s. There was no road. We just drove down the stream bed, occasionally leaving that to bash over the stream-side vegetation. The fact that we were NOT on a road was a major part of the adventure.

    How little we knew back then. When I think of the many thousands of people that have made that same trip in more recent times, it makes me sick.

    In any case, the notion that there was a "road" there in continuous use for at least 10 years prior to 1976 (the legal standard for county ownership) is ridiculous.

  • Feds should have nothing
    Sept. 14, 2009 5:06 p.m.

    Our federal government has been given power little by little until we THINK it's ok for them to do things to us, by us, and for us.

    Read the constitution of the US. The feds have no business having ANY authority over lands, PERIOD!

  • Arch
    Sept. 14, 2009 4:59 p.m.

    Mr Welch seems should reread the NPS mission:
    The "Organic Act" of August 25, 1916, states that "the Service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations...purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."
    Lets hope the judge is wise enough to consider the implications of the issue upon the entire national park system (read "national" not "local").

  • Hey Geezer
    Sept. 14, 2009 4:29 p.m.

    Its the feds who are blatantly attempting a land grab at the public's expense. No fed has the authority to usurp control of a road they deeded out of federal ownership years ago.

  • Geezer
    Sept. 14, 2009 4:14 p.m.

    If San Juan County succeeds in this ripoff, it will mean county commissioners all over the West will have a veto over the National Park Service's decisions about roads in every national park.

  • Rallytime
    Sept. 14, 2009 3:55 p.m.

    Where are your champions, locals? The ones that swore to stop the federal interference a scant few weeks ago? Oh, that's right, they're busy doing their cushy federal jobs. The posturing and lip-service is sickening, isn't it?

    I hope y'all win, btw. Should you, please don't abuse it.