Please accept my public comments on the proposed closure of 172 abandoned mines in the San Rafael Swell into the official record.
I ask that you not move forward with this wasteful and unnecessary project.
The history and heritage of all public lands and especially The San Rafael Swell should be enjoyed by the public...not destroyed, by the Federal Government.
If there is a particular vertical shaft that needs to be fenced, then fence it. If there's a particular adit that is collapsing, then block it off.Â But, to execute a blanket closure of 172 mines because somebody might, possibly, somehow, someday get injured is absurd.Â
People need to accept that they are responsible for their actions and that risks taken, involve consequences. Bottom line is, "life leads to death".Â
The Federal Government can't legislate, nor enforce common sense.Â It's time they quit wasting time, energy and money attempting to do just that.Â
I ask that the BLM manage these areas just as they manage any other resource found on public lands.Â If some of these mines need closing, close them.Â
And, while you are managing them instead of destroying them, why not use a fraction of the money, time and energy to provide some education to the visitors? You could enlighten the visitors about the history of the mines as well as any potential dangers.Â Â
A small sign at each site seems much more logical and less destructive to the environment than bulldozers and explosives.Â Then let the visitor determine what risks they are willing to take. I think there are far more urgent needs of our tax dollars and BLM labor hours.Â
Please leave our remote public lands and its mining history just as it is today. These sites add to the intrigue and to the value of remote areas. These mines are proof that man has been there, that man has extracted important minerals and that man has used the land and minerals to establish the high standard of living that we all enjoy in this country.
The amount of disturbance required to close 172 remote, isolated mines would be staggering.Â At the same time the BLM is managing many of these areas as if they had never seen the hand of man. Many of these are in Wilderness Study Areas where supposedly the imprint of man is not noticeable.Â
Hmmm, I'm seeing some hypocrisy in this scenario. Mines in WSA, go figure.
Please leave these mines as is, allow them to tell their story, help them to tell their story through information provided at select sites. Please do not repeat the disaster that took place at the MK Tunnels.