I wanted to respond to Professor Jeffery O. Durrant's opinion piece that ran in the Sept. 3 issue of the Emery County Progress. I know that Durrant was speaking about the various "processes" swirling around Governor Leavitt's San Rafael National Monument proposal, but I feel that no discussion of this issue is complete without at least a mention of another "process" going on. I'm speaking about the Resource Management Plan amendment that the BLM is currently working on.
This very important plan amendment will affect all BLM land in Emery County, even those outside the Swell. It will change everything, including the still-in-limbo travel plan, grazing allotments, oil and gas development and even dispersed camping rules. If that wasn't enough, it looks likely that the BLM will try and create new Wilderness Study Areas. I understand the BLM is even considering recommending Eagle Canyon as a wild and scenic river. Unbelievable!
It just burns me up that our political representatives are spending so much time and effort on trying to sell us on this risky monument idea when they should be focusing their efforts on more important matters. Imagine what progress Emery County could make if our leaders focused that kind of attention on helping residents participate in the RMP planning process.
I encourage all Emery County citizens to get involved in the BLM's planning activities. Floyd Johnson at the BLM can give you an update on what's going on. Since our leaders seem to be paying so much attention to other matters, it's up to us to make sure no one drops the ball. Call the BLM at 636-3600. Tell them you want an update on what's happening.