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
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.
Absolute selfishness, just like those who decided reduce our monuments.
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."
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.
Education and enforcement of our laws are the only tools we really have. And
both are extremely weak.
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.
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.
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?
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
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