Can tradition, recreation and tourism co-exist in Grand Staircase and Bears Ears areas? Should they?
Funny that these business owners are worried about what might happen to their
business if the monument is reduced but they do not care to listen to those
business owners that making the monument is going to hurt. Selfishness at its
best. I am a business owner in the Bears Ears area. I am in tourism and have
been for 10 years. I do not believe it will be good for my business due to the
influx of outsiders coming to start their tourism based businesses. A monument
will definitely not be good for the land, ruins and wildlife.
The Monument designation is supposed to protect "Antiquities".
"limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area
compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be
protected."Nowhere in this Antiquities act of 1906 does it say
anything about jobs. Let the Chamber of Commerce and the Mayors of these
towns worry about the jobs. If President Trump and Secretary Zinke get
these "smallest areas " redrawn and redrawn correctly and according to
the actual intent of the Act, the boundaries will be reduced providing for more
and better local management, protection and access by the public. Redrawing the boundaries should also create more opportunities for businesses
to serve and support visitors who now have better access to these Antiquities.
Here's an alternative cutline:Plantation life in the New West?
Seasonal workers pick fruit and vegetables to serve upscale tourists at
Hell’s Backbone Grill in Boulder. Mobile housing is in the
background. Environmentalists and small business owners such as
Blake Spalding, chef and co-owner of Hell's Backbone Grill, who support
Bears Ears National Monument also prop up low-wage, tourist economies.
Lou, in response to your last statement, we will.
''they can't get to places they'd like to see like Hole in
the Rock, which is 60 miles of hell to drive on that road because they
won't let us pave it. People from all over the world want to see it, and
they can't." Nothing new. Remember this headline from the DesNews?
US government shutdown closes *** monuments, By Mark Scolforo Associated Press,
Oct. 1, 2013. ''Visitors arrived to find "CLOSED"
signs at the Statue of Liberty, the Smithsonian and other parks and historic
sites across the country. Callers looking for help from the government reached
only voicemail. *** Campers and hikers at the Grand Canyon, Yosemite,
Yellowstone and other national parks were given two days to pack up and leave,
"There has to be better ways to run the government than to get to a
standstill like this," said Cheryl Strahl, a disappointed visitor from
Atascadero, Calif. "Why take it out on the national parks?" In Utah,
rafting outfitters were not allowed on major rivers, and the state's five
national parks closed during what is normally a busy time of year.''
@Robin138:Actually, you have overlooked several important facts:1. All land in Utah is governed by Utah laws, so to say Utah has no
sovereignty over any land within its borders is patently incorrect.2. As noted by others on the board, land that was improved by the state, and
in many cases previously owned by the state, at the state's expense, such
as the roads through Grand Staircase are state investments and state creations.
If you are talking only about "property rights" then there are interests
on this property that are inherent to the state, and courts of law regularly
recognize such in title considerations.3. As most out-of-staters are
not aware, both national monument creations seized not only land use, but state
land itself. It is regrettable that out-of-state interests have obfuscated the
outright seizure of Utah School Land Trusts by these presidential
administrations. This is particularly galling for Utahns as the funds are
critical for our underfunded state educational system. I could go
on, but these are indeed legitimate issues. One idea might be to
encourage federalization in other states, such as Virginia, where this has yet
to happen even once.
If we follow the true spirit and purpose of Teddy Roosevelt, and the great
American Romantic tradition of Nature (Emerson, Thoreau, etc), upon which his
movement was built, we would find that it is indeed quite different than the
current rhetoric applied to monument-making and "preservation." The legal and historical American principles of access to outdoors and
Nature were not designed to prop up restaurants, coffee shops, tourism, or, for
that matter ranchers, lower beef prices, or expensive outdoor retailers
catering to consumers. These are just different ideas about economic activity.
If we are having an economic discussion, than those economic traditions of the
local state should have precedence, keeping in accordance with the ideas of
state sovereignty and congruence and equality with Eastern US states.But the premise is not primarily economically based. It is access-based and
multi-use based. The draconian ideas of banning simple camp fires, proscribing
simple geological rock specimen collection, firewood gathering, and temporary
motorized access for the disabled was never meant to be a part of the purpose.
But it has become a perverse irony of the times.
I have been involved in Utah public lands issues since the 1980s. A big problem
has been ideological opposition to wilderness designation. Unlike national
monuments, wilderness areas don't imply mass tourism and development. But
stubborn resistance to wilderness created political roadblocks that led to the
proclamation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Bears Ears
National Monument.After 20 years, the Grand Staircase-Escalante has
probably done more for the local economy than a coal mine. Yet there
hasn't been runaway development, or even reductions in grazing. Last time
I was there, I saw many more cattle than people. The chorus of complaints about
national monument management rings false.
I am for the responsible enjoyment and use of our public lands.If these
two monuments are reduced in size, as i suspect they will be,Utah and the
Feds will be able to protect the antiquities and provide better access and
protection of this beautiful country. Many times we have seen the BLM and
the National Forest service close off areas and trails with gates to
"protect" them. When this happens no one benefits. If they are
truly our federal lands , let us visit, view, and enjoy them.
The county commissioners want to keep tourism and not run off all the
traditional occupations that were there before the monument designation. The
chamber of commerce wants hiking tourism only. I think the county commissioners
plan is for a lot healthier local economy. Hells backbone grill will do just
fine being along side the most beautiful highway in America, hiway 12. If the
grazing land around Big Water is no longer part of the Monument, i don't
think it will hurt Hells Backbone Grill at all.
I initially didn't understand how anyone who wanted to protect the
environment would want tremendously more people because of the monument
designation. It's all about the money and lifestyle they want. I feel
really bad for all of the good people who have had these lands for so long. Even
all the tribes who want this monument designation have financial interest and
power in that declaration. The local navtive americans don't want it
because they treasure the solitude, peace and spirituality of the place. Pretty
sad that money and greed by some outweigh what has existed for years.
"The areas not being touched by grazing are being washed away. Most of what
they call a monument is Bureau of Land Management rangeland that needs
The only monumental battle I am aware of is in the mindset of Hatch, Lee,
Bishop, our Governor and a drove of other politicians and County leaders. These
same "fears and concerns" were lodged when Canyonlands was announced;
"economic damage"" and the same with Capitol Reef, Arches and Zion.
The GSENM has gained quiet acceptance by a majority of residents and visitors
and if there is an effort to disrupt it, lawsuits will certainly result and in
particular emphasis will be placed on the millions paid by the Feds to Utah (20
years ago) and that viable coal mining operations were swapped from Garfield to
Emery County. Publicity and notoriety re the "negative effects" of
monuments crowds out the enormity of the landscape in Utah, that is unlike any
other local in the nation. Maybe Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce, Capitol Reef and
Zion should be "shrunk" while we are at it, and then Trump can set up
mini Mar a Lago's on the new monument edges. Rob Bishop and Mike Lee would
likely applaud. Mike wanted both monuments rescinded - in total.
It seems those who are affected by this monument designation were never part of
the equation. Big donors usually push and dominate the conversation. Then
newcomers move in with their big wallets and slowly push out the locals by
buying up cheap real estates. Eventually, the locals couldn't afford the
rent or the prices tourists are willing to pay for their one day or weekend
wilderness excursions. I guess Moab is a prime example of it.
Service Industry jobs don't support families. Mining jobs are primary jobs
that support families. Logging jobs are primary jobs that support families.
Mining and logging jobs support trucking companies. Trucking jobs are primary
jobs that support families. Ranching can support a family. Working as a
housekeeper in a new hotel or a dishwasher at the Hell's Backbone Grille
isn't going to support a family. It might support one person and their pet
cat. People who aren't involved in the ranching industry (Ashley Korenblat
the mountain biker) shouldn't speak as experts on the ranching industry.
Her comments on the ranching industry highlight the fact that she knows next to
nothing about ranching out west.
Utah needs to do what Montana does, "Stick it to the Tourists!"
If most of urban Salt Lake City residents had their way. Rural Utah would only
be a tourist destination and the only jobs available would be to sell vegan
burgers to them as they pass through to visit about 50 acres of the 100,000 acre
"The saddest thing about a tourism town is that it no longer exists for the
people who live there. It exists for the people who are passing through."How true, consider what that really means. Moab for instance - as one
who has frequented Moab for nearly 60 years, and many years multiple times;
with family roots there from initial settlements: I have seen Moab survive the
mining boom, survive the movies, and survive other ups and downs. Never has
Moab changed so much and the area been stressed so severely as it is now by too
many people. Too many people passing through who, while they
remember the vistas the rest of their lives, leave behind the impact of their
presence. I'll take a cow-pie on a trail here and there any day rather
than used toilet paper strewn on sagebrush.
The fight over massive monuments in rural Utah is not really about land use or
even economics per se. After all, in reality, the industrial and pre-industrial
utility of the region isn't changed that much by monument designation.In particular, "Bears Ears" contains almost no mineral or energy
value and, as noted in the article, was already heavily blanketed pre-monument
by wilderness or other protective designations. The looting or vandalism of
antiquities was already illegal under multiple state and federal laws, and the
use of the land by Native Americans is neither expanded nor contracted by
monument designation.So it's true that the monuments
aren't the primary culprit in the fading fortunes of the industrial-age
components of the economies of southern Utah and it's also true that
designating monuments actually does nothing for conservation.What
the monuments really are is an effective tool in the campaign of amenity
migration and rural gentrification that spans the intermountain West: amenitize
an area by giving it a slick new brand, and let the OIA army do the rest. In
other words, this is not a land use struggle; it's a class struggle.
"The Native Americans in favor of the Bears Ears National Monument see it as
a way to preserve not only a lifestyle but their very culture"Per liberals because Native Americans lost the wars, Native Americans
practiced slavery, Native Americans were racist about other tribes and Anglos,
Native Americans have no right to demand the protection of their monuments,
their lifestyle nor their culture.But, I do not believe this. There
are many good and good and noble people living on these allowed sovereign
grounds, that are not part of the monuments.But to use this argument
for saving the size of the monuments, is total hypocrisy in the progressive push
to remove any and all Southern lifestyle and culture.So remember if
you hater all things southern culture, you rate up there with those that hate
other races. Be they Black -Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans,
Notice that when it comes to this topic most out-of-state respondents (including
the Outdoor Retailers Association) are on the band wagon to take over Utah
lands... of course, in their opinion, they are not Utah, but federal lands.
Most Utahns see it differently. The irony of this is that many of
these self-touted environmentalists are not really that but, like wolves in
sheep's clothing, have not so pure motives. They are often the ones who
bring the visitors into an area who, in turn, mess it up. OR did that. In the
name of protecting our lands, they really want more access to them so they can
sell their wares. This in turn leaves a bigger footprint on the land.My observation is that States generally do a much better job of managing
things, including the environment. Compare most federal to state parks and you
will see what I mean.I concur: "They want this to be their own
playground," charges Garfield County Commissioner Leland Pollock. "This
is their paradise. ... it imperils the land the campaigns hope to
"save."It turns lands into a tourist zone enriching some few
businesses (and OR companies) at the expense of displacing the rural
I feel Utah has been unjustly eaten up with national parks of such huge size.
The west has been eaten up with so many large pieces of land - way more than the
eastern states that are beautiful also. Why shouldn't the western states
have the right to use and manage their resources. In the past, we used to be
able to take much better care of our forests and avoid the huge fires that now
take such a toll. When I fly over states that manage their forests and produce
wood products I see forest kept alive and thriving. I believe we need to
responsibly manage our lands and the resources so it can continue to thrive -
the fracking in Canada is a horrid mess, some of the coal mines back east have
not been wisely managed - but they could be. There could be regulations to
control that kind of destruction. States have the right to responsibly manage
their land - even Utah.
The founding fathers of this country stated that the government should NOT own
land, and for the eastern states, this guiding principle ruled, but as
state's rights began to collide with federal governmental control, things
changed. As the southern states sought to leave the union over the states
rights issues, the feds clamped down. Some good came out of the civil war (such
as abolishing slavery), but it also emboldened the feds to demand major
concessions for western territories to become states. The territory of Deseret
was carved up into a number of smaller "states", and all were required
to give up large tracts of land to the feds (for what reason, other than for
control). Utah has every moral right to demand equity and fairness in the
debate over land within its borders, as does every other western state. The
federal government overreach has now reached a point of telling us how to live,
how to marry, how to educate our children, choosing judges, and how to provide
for the health and welfare of our people. They envision one nation, with one
ruling governmental body, and they are getting it.
There simply is no need for such large monuments. This is just the usual
environmentalist goal that there should be no development anywhere at any time.
If these designations are so important, why were these vast tracts of land not
already covered with industrial plants? A few mines here and there is not going
to ruin 2 million acres. No one is suggesting mines right on top of famous
landmarks. For some reason, leftists must stay up at night worrying about how a
vista that no one ever sees or wants to see is ruined by a mining operation,
even though there are hundreds of vistas just like it that will remain
"The demands of a tourist town would never allow that (Sunday closings) to
continue," he said. "The saddest thing about a tourism town is that it
no longer exists for the people who live there. It exists for the people who are
passing through."No truer words were ever spoken.I remember
taking my family of 6 out to the desert to camp, go four wheeling and rock
hounding and the only additional expense was .25 cent a gallon gasoline. This
got us away from the big city hustle and bustle and added to the education and
experience of my children. Now if you want to go to places like Yellowstone gas
is $2.50 (1000% increase) and a campsite is $100 (Immeasurable increase) and you
can not go on old 4x4 roads and pick up rocks.This is not progress unless
you are a young healthy person (not handicapped or too young or old) or a
government employee overseer of the so called Public Land (Kings Forest). Since
this is a National Park you may think this is a poor example but I have been
there when the fee was $6.00.Basically what it means is that all public
land is being utilized contrary to the original Federal Land Policy and
Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976. Preservationist take note.
I remember them trying to sell that same line to me back in high school about
how service industries are the future, now they have robots that can do a fair
number of those jobs, more being built every year. I don't mind the
monuments, but frankly the size of them is obscene, they could have easily
accomplished the protection of important areas with a fraction of the size. We
could have easily avoided these problems if the people in charge had actually
cared about both sides, but why care what the side not donating to your campaign
@No names accepted, "rural areas exist for rural residents, not big city
tourists" That is the most "rural centric" statement to come out of
this discussion. Last time I looked, it is still public land belonging to all
Americans, even those in the big cities.
The monuments do not belong to Utah or the 1% of the US population who are
citizens thereof. The extraction industry and ranchers are funneling money to
extreme right wing groups trying to sell the issue as a state's right issue
and it is not. The monuments belong to all 325 or so million citizens of the
United States. It is quite simple. There is not one iota of legitimacy to the
arguments made for and of an extremely minor percentage of the US population to
@KSMThe restaurant is located next to Grand Staircase not the Bears Ears.
Two different Monuments designated by different Presidents.
"They want this to be their own playground," charges Garfield County
Commissioner Leland Pollock. "This is their paradise. They don't like
us, they don't like Mormons, our traditions. They come out here from
screwed up places like New York or California and expect us to listen to them.
Why would we, when they've made such a mess of it?"(Typical
voice of people who blame everyone for everything wrong in their lives.)"Eighty-five percent of our tourists are driving a car — and
they can't get to places they'd like to see like Hole in the Rock,
which is 60 miles of hell to drive on that road because they won't let us
pave it. People from all over the world want to see it, and they
can't."(I have never heard of it and I doubt 99.999999% of
the world has.)"They all hate drilling, they all hate coal mines
and they all hate fossil fuel except for the fact that it runs their air
conditioner in the summer and it gets their vehicles to where they are
going," (These comments sure assume a lot about what people
think.) When all else fails blame the liberals and the government.
"Eighty-five percent of our tourists are driving a car — and they
can't get to places they'd like to see like Hole in the Rock, which is
60 miles of hell to drive on that road because they won't let us pave it.
People from all over the world want to see it, and they can't."Seriously, that road needs to be paved. As a tourist who has a mini van
with a bunch of kids, the wash board effect dirt road needs to go. Also, the
dirt road turn off to spooky etc is far worse. You need a 4 wheel drive to get
to the proper parking lot, so the minivan type need to hike a mile farther each
way. Sure, you could pay a 4 wheel drive company $100 each person to take you
places. Is that economical or accessible to most families?If you
are going to tout tourism as why this region should not complain about vast
expanses of acreage being tied up in a monument, make the jewels of the area
I agree with Commissioner Pollock.This monument needs to be vastly
reduced. I've ridden horses over a large chunk of this land and frankly,
there is nothing that makes it any different from any other area in Utah or
Arizona. Very few remarkable features. Canyonlands this isn't. However,
there is one of the worlds largest deposits of low sulfur coal within the
monument boundary that Clinton locked up for reasons known only to him and his
buddies (think Chinese coal and Algore).
The web site for this restaurant states it is celebrating its 18th season.
Bears Ears was made a monument last year. It didn't become successful in
the last 6-8 months. Stating the reduction of a monument created last year as
the reason you may not see a 19th season is a little disingenuous.
There is an old saying which I will paraphrase.....If you are afraid
to condemn something bad, people will not listen when you try to praise
something you think is good.Our so-called environmentalists,
welcomed Clinton's sleazy declaration of Grand Staircase purely for
political gain. Well, that broke every rule that "environmentalists"
have claimed they stood for and which they used to a fair-thee-well for decades
to fight roads, refineries, water projects, private developments and etc.They only want tough rules when the tough rules block society in only
one direction. When the left wants "no rule" for their great ideas,
then NO-RULES rule the day.This two-faced approach by Leftist
pseudo-environmentalists is, I think, one of the main reasons that millions in
America will not listen to warnings about Global Warming.You have
brought this situation on yourselves.
60 years ago the road from Escalante to Boulder was a rough gravel road and few
people other than those who lived there traveled to that country. The State
decided to pave these roads and suddenly many people came to the area and seeing
its beauty began to cry for protection.Now the area is a monument
and people who have only been there for a short time but are making money
because of the monument don't want it reduced. Greed is everywhere.
Ironically, had Grand Staircase been made a monument 100 years earlier, we would
not have the amazing stretch of road that allows so many visitors to see the
spectacular beauty of the monument. Building the road required altering the
landscape. In exchange, rather than a couple dozen professional backpackers
having a pristine view, tens of thousands of regular people can experience the
beauty of the area.We need to preserve some landscapes. But let us
remember how amazing the east river looked before it was developed. Consider on
what the Great Plains looked like with massive herds of bison roaming free.
Providing housing, food, clothing, and income to millions of souls also has a
kind of beauty.Western States must be allowed to develop our
resources just as Eastern States did.That doesn't mean wall to
wall skyscrapers ala NYC. Utahns don't want that. But neither does it
mean locking put am but a few extreme athletes.Rural areas should
exist for rural residents, not for big city tourists.