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Front Page » April 21, 2009 » Opinion » Letter to the editor: No Wilderness
Published 1,960 days ago

Letter to the editor: No Wilderness


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By JOAN POWELL
Wellington

Editor,

Have you ever noticed how birds of a feather flock together? Such is the case with Scott Groene from the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. I have been following the wilderness articles in the Emery County Progress. And as is the same as always these people tend to try to persuade others to their way of thinking, mostly by coercing the people they talk to into thinking that the lands they seek to protect will be destroyed forever by the general public. They believe they have the responsibility to protect these lands from us, you and me, from having any kind of contact with the soils, because humans, irresponsible people, like you and me will destroy the land. I've noticed that the Southeastern Utah OHV Association, the Castle Country OHV Association, Sage Riders Motorcycle Club, and the King Krawlers were not in on the development of the so called Citizens Wilderness Proposal which calls for 9.4 million acres of public land in Utah to be designated as wilderness. In fact, no motorized user groups nor elected officials from Utah support America's Red Rock Wilderness Act.

What these people fail to admit, is the world can never go back to the pre 1800s when the land was untouched. They do not want to admit that the needs of the world have changed, namely population growth, with greater needs for the elements of the earth to be developed. Many people call the earth, Mother Earth. Well, most mothers I know do everything they can to take care of the needs of the people she holds most dear. It is God's plan for people to come to this earth. It is His plan that we become more intelligent, and learn to use the resources He created for us. How can that happen if a certain few groups seek to hinder the growth of mankind? He, the Great Creator knew what the needs of mankind would be and He placed more than plenty here, for us to learn about, care for and to use.

We are meant to build dams to hold back water. We are meant to extract the usable natural resources from the soils, in a responsible way, and to use them. Yes, we are even meant to build the wind propellers to generate electricity. We are meant to build power plants, to develop coal mines, to find the uranium, silver, gold and other precious metals and gases and oils that are under the ground where we walk and drive. We are meant to find ways to dispose of waste and do it responsibly. We are living here, today, and now. Not the way these people dream of, because that was 200 years ago. We are meant to discover areas that are pleasing to the eye, and gladden the heart. Places full of wonder and amazement.

We get so tired of listening to the lies these people conjure up. They have the financial resources to publish what they want the world to hear. Recently, an article was published in the AARP magazine concerning trail building in San Juan County. The woman who wrote the article, is a member of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness from Colorado, wrongfully accused the trail builders of using dynamite to create the trail, blasting away timeless artifacts and whatever else was in their way. The trail builders were accused of destroying precious artifacts and sites by using a bulldozer. I'm ashamed of AARP for not checking out the facts before they printed the article. Not one stick of dynamite was used, the trails were all built by hand, pick, shovel and plain hard work. It's like feathers in the wind. AARP cannot reverse the damage their article did to the motorized community, as it went all over the United States. I'd like to see them print an article about the Arapeen Trail Council for the work that has been done on the Manti Mountain and is still being done. All the hard work done by Bill Allinson from the Price BLM and the OHV communities should be written about by the AARP.

Bill accomplished in a few short months what the BLM may still not have gotten done today, by bringing together users who care. He had help from local OHV clubs as well as clubs from throughout the state. Ask him how many volunteers he's gotten from SUWA or any other wilderness advocate group to help him.

The Arapeen Trail has received national recognition because of good honest, hard working volunteers who have taken time out of their lives to join in working with Bill Broadbear and Mesia Nyman from the local forest service offices. Their goal is to give people places to ride and allow them to enjoy the beautiful great outdoors. Where was SUWA in all this? They have been doing what they do best, working to create in their minds, more wilderness.

Another thing I would really like to know, what is the purpose of the Emery County Public Lands Council? Is it to counsel with SUWA? Is this the birds of a feather syndrome.

Carbon and Emery counties are sister counties. We work together, play together, we date and marry people from either county, and life is intertwined among us. The decisions that Emery County makes affects both areas, as does the decisions Carbon County makes affects the good people in Emery County also. Utah is a state of industry and energy. Other states depend on us. We have it all. Why should we allow it to come to an end for the sake of wilderness. Don't you want your children and grandchildren to stay in the area? I do.

I've noticed that Wade Allinson, Alan Peterson, myself-Joan Powell, Scott Wheeler and a short list of others are also the ones who write letters to the editor. Are we the only ones? I was grateful to see a letter from Gale Anderson in the paper. Are we the only ones who get mad at what is trying to be shoved down our throats? I highly doubt it. But, we won't see change unless we pressure the decision makers. How do you think SUWA gets away with what they get away with? It's like the environmentalists who want to do away with the coal mines. The bottom line is coal mines are the beginning of the power behind the switches in their homes. But try explaining that to people who just know we can live off the sun and wind.

My bottom line is two things, wilderness advocates get out of Utah; I don't want you here, I don't need you here. We the people who play here, work here and choose to live here can do so in peace without you. Secondly, BLM, I won't be in to any BLM office to pay $90 for a special recreation permit, tell you who I am going with, when and where, and wait for 180 days for you to tell me whether I can or can't go. I will continue to enjoy the great outdoors with my family and friends as I always have. It's one of my life's greatest pleasures. You can seek to take that away from me if that's what you choose to do, but you'll definitely have a fight on your hands.

If you agree with me one these issues, put Aug. 8 on your calendar. Join me and others at the Utah State Capitol for another OHV rally. One was held in February and I truly feel the door was opened and our legislators were listening. We need to make more noise, so SUWAs whining is drowned out by what we feel to be right.

Remember that wilderness is no more coal mines, no more power plants, no more oil and gas exploration and development, no new dams for water retention, no more farming, ranching and grazing permits, no more free outdoor recreation, no new lands for food production, no access to State Institutional Trust Lands for money for education. In other words, I feel wilderness is no future.

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April 21, 2009
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