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San Rafael Desert


This past Easter weekend brought lots of people out to our desert to enjoy the unique opportunities that the San Rafael provides. Four wheelers, horses, dune buggies or the family car, it didn't seem to matter; people were there just to have a good time.

Last fall, we, the Emery County voters decided that we did not like the proposal that was placed before us on the ballot. The proposal was basically, do we want to proceed with having the San Rafael designated a national monument. And we, the voters said no.

I now ask the question "What really should be the fate of the desert?" This is a special place and it deserves special consideration. I dare anybody to drive across this place and not say wow. I do not think that it can be done. I marvel every time that I travel to a new part of the desert.

I recently had the opportunity to drive across this great country of ours. I drove from New York through the mid-section of this country to home here in Emery County. Guess what I discovered. Most of this country is rather boring. This country is filled with rolling hills. In the eastern U.S., these hills and valleys are covered with trees. In the plains, they are covered with grasses and crops. Most of this country is naturally wet and green, Utah is not.

After leaving Lake Erie, which is really just a big body of water that really doesn't make anybody go wow, you drive for hundreds of miles to see any natural characteristic that is different. The next one on the agenda is the Mississippi River and that is pretty cool. You then drive hundreds of miles again before you see something really cool and that is the mountains. After flat for miles and miles, the Rockies do seem special.

And then it is our turn, our San Rafael desert is really the first geological formation that people driving across this great country can drive through, stop in and take pictures and just plain go WOW!!! Our desert is unique. Travelers notice right away, as do visitors to our county.

So what really should be the future of our desert? This past Easter weekend shows that people from everywhere want to camp and play here. People enjoy exploring here. People enjoy its breathtaking views. They should, it is gorgeous.

This question will be answered one day. The future of the San Rafael will be decided, it just probably will not be by us. We had our opportunity; we should hope to get another.

If you really want to keep enjoying the desert year after year, this county should get united and be the catalyst for this change. It is not to late. The change will come; it will probably be better if we are behind it.

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