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Front Page » February 12, 2002 » Opinion » Letter to the Editor: Monument Scheme
Published 4,643 days ago

Letter to the Editor: Monument Scheme


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By DON W. KEELE
Ferron

I am uncomfortable with the monument conception for some of the following reasons:

I don't believe you will aggressively pursue the RS2477 roads and rights-of-way that do not fit your perception for control and "funneling" of visitors to the area.

Most of the people we are getting are people that want to have all types of motorized access to ride OHVs, see the scenery, the sheep, rock-hound, camp, bike (not take passenger cars on unmaintained or gravel roads) and these interests can only be pursued off main roads.

I believe your expectations of tourists from all over the country are very optimistic.

There are no historic sights of national interest � only local. The dinosaur quarry has been here for decades. We do not see any motels, gas stations or restaurants on the road to the quarry. If someone wanted to make this kind of investment, the BLM would not let them.

With your monument scheme you are telling the world that multiple use is not working so we need special designation to protect this area, which is a lie.

In researching other towns affected by monuments or national parks, I have been informed that local opinion of people on boards was and is totally ignored. So your assessment of your impact on a board of management composed of the BLM and others is overrated

Since the Wilderness Act and Endangered Species Act, etc., was made into law, the sponsors of these bills have told the BLM where, when, why and how far (or the BLM is sued). Local input will never be considered.

One of the largest tar sands deposits in Utah is in the San Rafael Swell. Look in the first BLM wilderness inventory. Just because there is not the technology in place today does not mean that there won't be tomorrow. Why lock up this natural resource and support countries that manipulate the price of oil, then kill U.S. citizens. This is the height of hypocrisy.

I don't know what the public lands council budget was for the past years, but their budget for this year is more than $100,000. If the money the public lands council has spent on their schemes had been spent on RS2477 litigation we would be farther ahead.

You have made the claim that you can stop this national monument designation if the people of Emery County say "no." How can you stop it when everyone in the United States is supposed to be able to comment. When Leavitt announced it to the world, we were screwed.

There is no reason to add another layer of bureaucracy. With a good, fair, balanced RMP and travel plan by the BLM, there are adequate controls in place and we should be more proactive in helping in that direction to keep our rights rather than a national monument. However, until the BLM and SUWA get a divorce, Emery County will come up on the short end.

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February 12, 2002
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