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Front Page » June 14, 2011 » Opinion » Letter to the Editor: Emery County public lands
Published 2,085 days ago

Letter to the Editor: Emery County public lands

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By Joan Powell


I've had the opportunity to follow the progress of the Emery County Lands Bill that will soon be sent to Congress. Why did I choose to be interested in this matter? Because it will affect my lifestyle in various ways. Mostly recreation, and the future employment opportunities that will be affected in our two counties.

I didn't get to go to all the Public Lands Council meetings, or join them on all the field trips that they went on, but I wanted to. I believe these people who represent you have done a great job in trying to come up with a plan that we can live with. I know there has been a great number of hours spent viewing the area and discussing what the future of the land will be.

I want you to know right up front, I do not believe in wilderness. I believe, that it's gone far beyond it's original intentions.

I have come to understand it to be socialism, and we do not live in a socialistic country. At least in my lifetime, it hasn't been. But that trend is changing. I believe our grandchildren are being sucked into bondage with all the "government control", and they don't even know it. Why? Because it is subtly being brought upon them with issues such as wilderness designations.

The people who want the Red Rock Wilderness in place want control over you and me. They want to deplete our ability to be independent. They want us to be dependent on them. Wilderness designations take away the value of the land. It becomes "nothing land". You can't do anything with it once it gets a wilderness designation.

Think about it. The town of Virgin, Utah has since found that out. They can no longer "grow" their town, as the water is now locked up under wilderness designation. That happened under the Washington County Lands Bill.

What the people sent to Congress, and what was approved by our elected officials was two different things. Who changed it? Why weren't the people of the area consulted about the changes before it was "approved"? Just another way environmentalists have control over our elected officials. Check out the latest from the EPA department concerning water regulations. He who controls the water, controls the land.

Recently, when the legislature adjourned, I believe I read that there were over 300 new bills, (or laws) passed. What kind of message does that send to you? Pretty soon, you'll have a time limit on how much time you can spend in a restroom, because there will be a law in place governing that. It's all out of control, more like who is trying to impress who with a new law.

I don't want to get away from my original intentions of this letter. I just wanted you to know, the draft of the Emery County Lands Bill is going to be presented to you in various places throughout your county. I understood it to be, one in Ferron, one in Castle Dale, one in Huntington, and one in Green River.

I want you to attend these open houses, find out what has been done and let your Public Lands Council know how you feel about it. I urge the lands council to be open and up front with the people. I urge them to allow people to see the maps and to explain to them so they understand the reasoning for the decisions that were made. I urge them to listen to the concerned citizens. The owe that to you. The plan isn't perfect.

We've given up a lot, probably more than we should have had to. It hasn't been sent yet, so you still have a chance to have your say. Don't let a silent voice be a voice of acceptance because you figure that you don't matter. That's why I went to the meetings that I could. That's why I am writing a letter such as this.

I have in my possession a copy of the Lands Bill, why? Because it matters. The timing for this bill is a little better than when the Washington County Bill went to Congress, and I believe our elected officials have had their eyes opened a little more.

Thanks to people in positions such as USA-ALL, our voices have become louder. We must not be passive in protecting our great state from potential land grabbers. There is along way to go, and perhaps this battle will never be over, but at least we are fighting back, and using resources that are available to us.

Take the time to go to these meetings. Your grandchildren will be depending on you to make the right choices concerning their future. Do you want them to stay? Or leave the area because it no longer offers them a lifestyle that you and I have enjoyed.

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June 14, 2011
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