Utah Rep. Chris Stewart proposes national park in Grand Staircase-Escalante

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  • Bill Keshlear Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 2:22 p.m.

    A model of how the state of Utah gains title to federal lands?

    Tucked away on the very last page of Rep. Chris Stewart's ‘‘Grand Staircase Escalante Enhancement Act’’ is this little bit:

    The Secretary shall convey to the State of Utah all right, title and interest of the United States in and to the Hole in the Rock Road (BLM Road 200).

  • goodnight-goodluck Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 10:58 a.m.

    Guess it would be too much to expect of the Utah delegation to propose N.P Status for both monuments with boundaries as previously defined.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 10:24 a.m.

    Rickydee says:
    "This land belongs to Utah not the Federal government."

    Which is simply factually wrong. I wonder where he got such a provably wrong idea?

    All the land we are talking about is federal. The Utah constitution forbids any claim to this land.

  • Thomas Jefferson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 10:15 a.m.

    Why bother? So the next bought and paid for politician can just undo it?

    Chris Stewart works for his 'donors', not us. Stop electing these self important career politicians.

    Reelect no one, ever. Politics should not be a career.

  • zipadeedoodah Lehi, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 10:11 a.m.

    A lot of pickle-sucking here from respondents, none of which have traversed the former areas included in such vast areas of sagebrush and desert. One floated the river 80 miles. Whoopee.

    You are arguing on preserving desert for the most part. The reduction this week still keeps the best parts. Get over it and hey... go visit it. Don't whine over that which you don't even visit.

    Go find a better cause. Otherwise you might as well write your congressmen/women to include the entire west as a national monument, because there is beauty in all of it. But that does not justify turning it into a national monument.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 9:02 a.m.

    This is a wolf in sheep’s clothing type of event. The Antiquities go away and a trailer park sized National Park is only talk. The former Presidents didn’t make these Monuments in a vacuum. Orrin May have been caught off guard but Clinton had the Monica event going on.

    Utah has plenty of its own State land that it cannot manage. This sounds good but it is still Federal Land. Is the United States in debt to the Russians for this land grab?

  • elkman11 salt lake, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 7:03 a.m.

    TOO littlt, too late.

  • kfbob Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 10:33 p.m.

    It appears that our legislators are finally thinking “outside the box” here and looking for a sustainable future for our lands. Not just a land grab.

    Dec. 5, 2017 7:13 p.m.

    Actually Ricky, the land is not "Utah's" land. The land was federal before the monuments were reduced and are federal after. Utah does not control these lands.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 6:53 p.m.

    My only suggestion is that it be named after Ronald Reagan.
    "Ronald Reagan National Park".
    He was truly a Great President and a Man of the West.
    Escalante was only briefly passing through....

  • Rickydee Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 5:27 p.m.

    This land belongs to Utah not the Federal government.
    If Utah wants to develop it then so be it.
    If you want it left alone then you can attempt to purchase it and do with it as you please.

  • Kristjhn Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 5:09 p.m.


    Have you never been to:
    - Snow Canyon
    - Goblin Valley
    - Dead Horse Point
    - Goose Neck
    - Antelope Island
    - Kodachrome Basin
    - Coral Pink Sand Dunes
    - Edge of the Cedars

    Those are all State managed lands. I've been to all of them. Multiple times. They are every bit as wonderful as the National Parks. And in some cases more spectacular.

  • airnaut Everett, WA
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:44 p.m.

    Every time I think of Utah controlled lands, I think of
    Beck Street,
    the I-15 corridor,
    Point of the Mountain,
    and the Refineries....

    Every time I think of Federal controlled lands, I think of
    the NATIONAL Parks
    Capitol Reef
    Bryce Canyon
    the NATIONAL Forests
    [Uinta-Wasatch-Cache, Ashley, Fish Lake, Dixie, Manti-La Sal]
    the National Monuments --
    [Rainbow Bridge, Bears Ears, Grand Staircase Escalante, Cedar Breaks, Dinosaur, Glen Canyon and Hovenweep ]

    I've been to all of them.

    Obama did the right thing --
    Trump did the wrong thing.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:12 p.m.

    Interesting comments about how making a national park makes for crowds of tourists, I thought you people were arguing that these national monument designations were economically harmful?

  • JSKM1232 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 3:15 p.m.

    @patriot - Cedar Hills, UT
    ". . . . . . What in the world are visitors going to travel far and wide to see? What is so unique or spectacular? This is very ordinary south eastern Utah country and nothing more. This is silly."
    - - - - -
    The only thing that is silly are your comments concerning some of the most unique, pristine and beautiful lands in the world, lands that you have obviously never seen nor visited.

  • dolce et decorum est Murray, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 2:40 p.m.

    With respect to Grand Staircase, just give me back the monument the way it was, intact, and in one piece.

  • JBs Logan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 2:39 p.m.

    I see daily what unregulated access to our lands creates, such as countless ATV trails on blue clay hills which then erode, glass and even a car dragged out to a beautiful campsite and used for target practice and left for others to "enjoy", trash from Easter weekend, Buckhorn Wash pictographs/petroglyphs vandalized and shot up, etc. Nine Mile Canyon, preserved for eons, is now experiencing more damage from pollution and vandalism.

    Monument designation helped curtail excesses in Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante by restricting unlimited access to fragile ecosystems. We'll have to see how this goes, but at any rate, this battle is just at the beginning stages.

  • dolce et decorum est Murray, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 2:14 p.m.

    With respect to Grand Staircase, just give me back the monument the way it was, intact, and in one piece.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 2:05 p.m.

    Whatever Stewart does, he should ensure that there can be no development, drilling, coal or mineral mining, etc., in the lands that were within the original description of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante. Protect the land from despoilment and pollution. Keep the land safe.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 2:02 p.m.

    If Stewart wanted to do what is right, he would restore monument status to the entirety of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante as they were described prior to Trump's atrocity yesterday.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 1:51 p.m.

    I really wonder whether Stewart can get something done to fix this mess, because Bishop, as committee chairman couldn't. I think he was sleeping for six years. He could have headed off all of this, but for some reason, he failed. But truthfully, I don't trust Stewart or anyone else in Utah's delegation. I think they are all bought off one way or another. It does seem odd that Stewart is willing to spend a lot more of the taxpayers money for this. Clearly, Republicans have no problem spending money or going further into debt as long as its for their pet projects.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 1:23 p.m.

    Your comment about Escalante not being unique shows how misinformed you are. As someone who has floated the 80 river miles to the reservoir, hiked almost every drainage, and walked many of it's wide open mesas, it is some of the most jaw dropping beauty I've ever seen, anywhere. It's not for armchair recreationalist like you see swarming all over Zions or Arches. It's wilderness with scenery that rivals the Grand Canyon.
    On a trip this Fall I was talking with one of the two rangers who oversee the Monument. He talked about the hordes of people who have come to the park with the exposure the internet has brought. Many of those visitors are not prepared for this rugged land and they should limit their exposure to Calf Creek Falls. If you think it's ordinary, Id' venture you're not prepared for the challenges its backcountry present. Better to stay at home.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 5, 2017 12:49 p.m.

    Great Utah. Destroy the best things about the state (the national parks) just like you've destroyed the breathable air.

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 12:48 p.m.

    At casual observer - by "both sides" you mean the democrats and who else? I am a solid republican and I don't support this at all. I want to use the land as I see fit, no have some national park cop following me around and telling me where I can camp, where I can ride my ATV, where I can' use the restroom and what kind of water bottle I have to use along with telling me I can't have a fire, or a million other restrictions that come with all national parks. You can keep your national parks and leave a little bit for those of us who actually want to use the land, rather than falsely enjoy it from pictures or a guided tour.

    Dec. 5, 2017 12:19 p.m.


    Given that you don't seem to know where the Grand Staircase is, how have you been able to arrive at your opinion that it's not worth visiting?

    I have been there, love the area, think it's worth preserving, but am concerned that National Park status would attract too much attention and development. Why not make it a wilderness area, Chris?

  • newwest Ferron, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 12:14 p.m.

    It shouldn't surprise anyone that land in the Grand Staircase would one day be nominated for National Park designation. Arches, Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, and many other National Parks were originally designated as National Monuments.
    Fact is, no designation (including Wilderness) will guarantee solitude on public land as our population grows. I would argue that by creating Monuments, Presidents Clinton and Obama greatly reduced opportunities for solitude, peace, and quiet in these landscapes.

  • Jimbobmccready Highland, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 12:07 p.m.

    The government still owns the property, which I am okay with. However, national park status means no atv riding which is allowed now. I would hate to see that curtailed. We don't need to expand it, but let's not eliminate other uses for the land.

    In addition, brace for the rush of people and all the garbage they bring.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Dec. 5, 2017 11:52 a.m.

    Irrespective of size or where, a national park is the right methodology. Monuments should be short-lived designations to allow Congress time to research the issue and then to pass (or not) permanent protections.

    The President (any president) should not have the authority to create monuments except on a temporary basis.

  • eldonp Parowan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 11:31 a.m.

    Sure, but why stop there? Why not have five or six new, smallish national parks? Perhaps some of the parks could offer nice views of an active coal mine. Others could have bleachers set up so visitors can watch folks ride their ATVs on adjacent land.
    But what happens when someone introduces legislation to create a 1.9 million acre national park called Grand Staircase-Escalante 2.0 or the same amount at Bears Ears? What will the Utah delegation do then? Blame Yvon Chouinard?
    If tourism is the goal, or even resource protection, then surely more is more. Go bigly, Mr. Stewart, or go home.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 11:23 a.m.

    No!! The National Park Service doesn't have enough money to maintain the parks they have so why on earth would we want to make this un-spectacular part of south eastern Utah yet another national park and dilute the money pool even further? A national park is supposed to be pristine in some fashion and spectacular. Zion, Canyonlands, Arches comes to mind. Yellowstone and Yosemeti and GrandCanyon also are typical. But this whole grand staircase place is NOT even close to National Park status. What in the world are visitors going to travel far and wide to see? What is so unique or spectacular? This is very ordinary south eastern Utah country and nothing more. This is silly.

  • a bit of reality Shawnee Mission, KS
    Dec. 5, 2017 11:22 a.m.

    Less wildlife protection. Bigger government. More government spending.


  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 11:08 a.m.

    Come on airnaut! You are being contrary just because you hate Trump. You should be thrilled with this. Let's be honest, if Nancy Pelosi was proposing this, you would be ecstatic.

  • RBC Cody, WY
    Dec. 5, 2017 11:07 a.m.

    Any time a landscape is designated as a national park a bunch of bad things happen. First off hoards of tourists arrive. On top of that a park designation takes away many management and recreational options that would otherwise be available, For instance, once a national park, there will be no hunting, no timber harvest, no livestock grazing, permit only camping and so on.

    Most of these recreation and management tools are still available if an area is designated as a monument. Rep. Stewart needs to do his homework and realize what a bad idea, this idea is.

    Dec. 5, 2017 10:57 a.m.

    I'd support this national park, provided that its creation doesn't include any new roads at all and no paving of current dirt roads.

  • airnaut Everett, WA
    Dec. 5, 2017 10:23 a.m.

    Let me guess ---

    Propose a new 'National Park', setting the boundaries at the new tiny Trump size...

  • JBs Logan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 10:17 a.m.

    National parks take away from the quiet and serenity of the area. Have you been to the national parks in tourist season? They're madhouses. And, Mr. Trump didn't create two new monuments, he reduced the size of existing monuments. Spin it however you want, Mr. Stewart, you are not helping preserve our lands.

  • airnaut Everett, WA
    Dec. 5, 2017 9:51 a.m.

    ...too late
    Mr. Chris (Trump enabler syphocant) Stewart.

    We want to see you thrown out of office next year.

  • Coval Spring City/USA, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 9:36 a.m.

    Well, perhaps I've sold Rep. Stewart short in the past. This is encouraging.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 9:34 a.m.

    Great proposal. Both sides of the preservation issue should support a national park in Grand Staircase-Escalante.

  • JSKM1232 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 9:34 a.m.

    "Another consideration, he said, is the “backpack tax,” a fee on camping gear similar to the surcharge on ammunition that funds wildlife management."
    - - - - -
    A better idea would be to buy fewer F-35 fighters and a whole lot fewer M1-A1 tanks that the Army and Marines do not want. Add a "Billionaires Luxury tax" to the current "so called" tax reform bill.