Letter to the Editor: it's a Dirty Job
Tourism is created when a traveler designates a destination and journeys on to the location. Accidental discovery of an area generates limited exploration and therefore few visitors.
How much area contrives the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and are the tourist facilities in place to support it? How does this measure in comparison to the San Rafael National Monument ("watch your language") and its tourist facilities? Is the monument a designation or does it need to be refined to become one?
Put on a pair of hiking boots, load the kids in the car and head out for the Staircase. Once you get into the area (large circumference around the Monument) ask the first "local" resident you see where to find the Staircase. This will surely elicit a few chuckles and a smirk followed by a well rehearsed answer, "There is no Staircase, you idiot. Everyone comes down here looking for "the" staircase. In all practicality it is "all" that area out there," as he points south and makes a big sweeping motion with his arm. Carefully make a visual examination of the area just pointed to, get back in the car and drive down the road. Keep driving as you continue your visual experience. After you have driven 50 miles, across some of the most spectacular scenery ever imagined you come into Bryce Canyon National Park. "Wow, where did everyone come from?" is the statement of the day. Ruby's Inn, a tourists dream of a hotel accommodation awaits the weary traveler. People actually have stopped here and are spending money. Lots of money.
It seem to be the general consensus of those mandated for the care of our county's well being, that they just don't want to "make waves." Every decision made concerning sensitive issues effects groups of people differently. Someone needs to step up, take the reins, make a decision and get the job done. "It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it." Whenever there has been a major development completed, it has taken an individual who doesn't care if he offends some of the people because of his decision. He does what his conscience tells him and gets the job done. Take for example, the national monument designation in Escalante. President Clinton didn't care who took offense he just did it. Now what is done from that point is up to the citizens. They can make hay or they can postpone the scenario for ever.
Capitol Reef National Park was designated a national monument in 1937. Some of the things changed for the ranchers and general citizens in the Wayne County area, for awhile. There was a little discontent of the people and adjustments were made.
In 1971, the monument status was changed at Capitol Reef to a national park. This also contributed to changes in the area. The cattle allotments in the park were purchased from the ranchers, but they survived. New irrigation systems were implemented to reap the most from the land in order to feed the cattle that were displaced. Investors were attracted to the area and a new approach to tourist attraction was incorporated by building motels, eating establishments and other facilities drawing more visitors to the area. Property values went up because of a big shakeup of the existing economy when Capitol Reef was made a national park.
What mode of existence is in store for the economy of Emery County? Are the directions of development, pursued by those in charge of overseeing the betterment of our livelihood, being wisely devised? Take a vacation, travel to other tourist designations and observe the necessities of economic development. Experience the realism of a tourist attraction and how it can benefit the local economy.