Were your father or grandfather "early" surveyors of Greater
Canyonlands, GSENM. Arches, Canyonlands (I-Sky, Needles, Maze), Natural Bridges
or Hovenweep (all former or present National Monuments) then would you have
spoken from a different angle? Utah has iconic territory and landscapes in the
Great Basin and in S Utah. GSENM can easily with a federal congressional push,
be turned into a maze of roads, coal operations and congestion in rural zones.
Uranium companies have already (on record) announced they wish to re -energize
claims in the eastern quadrant of (former) Bears Ears. Other zones in that area
with either a declaration or directive by Interior or BLM could shift quickly to
extraction "development". Viable employment and stability in rural
zones of this state is no different than the malaise that the rest of the rural
quadrants of this country resides in. It's been tough and over past decades
groups have migrated to urban zones, for employment. Monument opponents
popularly announce that the federal lands of Utah will continue to be protected,
but there is no proof of that. They remain at great risk. A myriad of different
points of view abound.
This article shows that making decisions about public lands becomes endangered
when thrown into the arena of public politics and letting uninformed public
opinions run rampant. Instead, knowledgeable individuals should advance their
positions using real information. There are bound to be different ideas, and
probably no one individual has all the necessary information. The author makes
an admirable start in this direction.
The Navajo's use Bears Ears for the gathering of firewood and hunting.
Many homes are heated by wood stoves so lots of wood is used each and every
year.Bears Ears is the size it is because Obama used natural boundaries
like Lake Powell, the San Juan river, a highway, Canyonlands, etc. They just
took it all instead of being selective.
Why was Bears Ears so big in acreage, compared to other monuments?The inter-tribal coalition proposed 1.9 million acres. Obama chopped that
down to 1.35 million.Trump slashed it to 200,000 acres.Remember, folks, it was the Native Americans who originally proposed the large
acreage. (It may have something to do with how they view the land -
aka "Mother Earth" - to begin with.)
Basically nothing changes except the title and bringing more people to Utah. Of
course there will be no stopping the ever present companies, like Patagonia, and
N G O'S, like SUWA, in their quest to make money and stay in business to
try and restrict use of Public Lands to the young, old and handicapped. Roads
need to be out of bounds to closure.
I think this is a very well written article. I think the "protection"
and "Conservation" is also complicated. Old growth forests can be
created by not doing anything. Old growth grasslands can only be created by some
type of disturbance and grazing, in other words the opposite of what most
conservation management plans are doing, therefore grasslands are turning into
dense forests of pinion and juniper in most conservation areas. Management for
both grasslands and forests in the same conservation area seems to be too
One would think with the benefits we all gain from the public lands from BLM to
the National Forests to the National Parks , that our elected officials would be
more supportive of them. This is not the case.
Great insights into the controversy. Well done. Others should think closely and
understand the ramifications of the blustering and paranoia currently in sway.