Op-ed: Utah's public lands are more complicated than we think

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  • wasatchcascade Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 26, 2017 3:42 p.m.

    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.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 24, 2017 5:35 p.m.

    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.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Dec. 24, 2017 12:12 p.m.

    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.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 23, 2017 1:16 p.m.

    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.)

  • jackjoh RIVERTON, UT
    Dec. 23, 2017 11:30 a.m.

    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.

  • texas ranger Leeds, Utah
    Dec. 22, 2017 6:31 p.m.

    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 complicated.

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    Dec. 22, 2017 6:09 p.m.

    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.

  • DNdep West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 22, 2017 5:01 p.m.

    Great insights into the controversy. Well done. Others should think closely and understand the ramifications of the blustering and paranoia currently in sway.