Lois Collins: Vandals are selfish thieves who should be dealt with accordingly

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  • KDave Moab, UT
    Aug. 16, 2018 8:58 a.m.

    The word is not vandals, it is tourists. Now maybe you can see why many opposed the Bears ears monument designation and the hordes of tourists it is bringing to destroy everything.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 3:05 p.m.

    No Names Accepted,

    May I also add!

    The new draft resource management plan just published today proposes SALE of 1600 acres of public land inside the old boundaries of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument!

    Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has said on multiple occasions that "we will not sell or transfer public land." Apparently we cannot take him at his word, either.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 1:17 p.m.

    Absolute selfishness, just like those who decided reduce our monuments.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 1:02 p.m.

    No Names Accepted,

    You note "Those who equate damaging and destroying natural wonders with a political decision to modify boundaries of monuments, to change management structure to what worked fine for 100+ years are, in fact, part of the problem."

    My dear sir, the modification of boundaries is not the problem here lol. It is the degradation of the landscape that comes with it. There are currently 4 new mineral extraction claims in what was Bears Ears as well as new claims at Colt Mesa on former Grand Staircase Monument land. This isn't some boy who cried wolf scenario. There are already plans to permanently alter these landscapes. This kind of thing might have "worked fine for 100+ years," but it is unacceptable today.

    In the immortal words of ... yourself, "We've learned since then and know better today - environmental mistakes of the past are no excuse for wanton vandalism."

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 11:17 a.m.

    Let us remember, it was the radical left that legitimized vandalism with their "monkey wrench" tactics. Yes yes. Those tactics were "only" intended to be used against private property and to endanger innocent human life in the noble effort to stop all logging and mineral development.

    But like fire, once started it can be difficult to control what direction things go.

    Those who equate damaging and destroying natural wonders with a political decision to modify boundaries of monuments, to change management structure to what worked fine for 100+ years are, in fact, part of the problem. If a change in boundaries is really tantamount to vandalism, then what harm is there in scribbling a name or taking a small souvenier home?

    And yes, go back to the 30s to 60s and folks carved initials in trees or rocks. We've learned since then and know better today. Just as Jim Crow of the 50s and 60s is no excuse for racism today, environmental mistakes of the past are no excuse for wanton vandalism and selfishness in the present.

    I do note, the areas off limits today have long been off limits to motorize use. It was hikers, not ATVers who did the damage here. No group is without bad apples.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 10:50 a.m.

    Education and enforcement of our laws are the only tools we really have. And both are extremely weak.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Aug. 15, 2018 10:06 a.m.

    This is part of the overall climate created by the Far Right that this country and planet are something we have the right to plunder. How dare Washington come in here and set aside millions of acres of land for the whole public to enjoy when we should be able to just drive out and cut down trees or drill/dig for oil/coal, etc. whenever we want?

    These guys who toppled the rocks made a decision on their own that impacts all of us. Even worse are the people who vandalized/stole artifacts in Bears Ears purely for political revenge. We have some sick people in this country and they're enabled/encouraged by our President and his cabinet officials.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 9:58 a.m.

    And let's not forget the vandals who chopped an entire national monument in half. Why settle for a little hoodoo toppling or scratching initials on a cliff face when you can unleash the ATVs and dozers on tens of thousands of acres?

    As Woody Guthrie sang, some will rob you with a six-gun, some with a fountain pen. Usually the scale of theft by fountain pen exceeds that of other means by many orders of magnitude.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 9:48 a.m.

    Great article. And a very important one.

    I often see small acts of vandalism along popular hikes in So. Utah and in the Wasatch. But I must defend the 'younger generation' that some commenters might blame. I can show you names carved in trees from the 1960s all the way through today. There are dates scrawled on rocks that prove every generation complicit in these small insults to our outdoor landscape.

    But one looming topic that we must also address are the much larger insults upon our wild landscape. Some of you might lament the lack of access to a ruin in Canyonlands. But what about a gas well or a mining operation or a clear-cut within what many consider beautiful enough to designate as a national monument?

    How can we as Utahns rise in disgust about spray painted rocks and remain silent about a proposed open pit coal mine on the Kaiparowits plateau?

  • Boyd in Provo , 00
    Aug. 15, 2018 9:45 a.m.

    Lois Collins is absolutely correct with what she has written. The sad fact of this article is that those who vandalize never read columns like these. They will never understand the full damage they do by their selfish acts. And that is tragic.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    Aug. 15, 2018 9:29 a.m.

    Collins is absolutely correct. Vandals selfishly destroy the beauty of life, and they should be punished.

    However, solely reacting by punishing is not enough. There must be proactive steps taken to prevent vandalism in the first place.

    Sadly, many young people grow up watching movies that glorify graffiti and vandalism in general. They also play video games in which they destroy everything in sight. Is there any surprise that teaching vandalism as entertainment leads to vandalism in real life?

    Responsible citizens must boycott all forms of entertainment that promote vandalism. That is irrefutable.