It seems that both sides of the issue are trying to accomplish the same thing. Both sides want local control and federal bureaucracy out of the picture. After a long hard look at the issue, and realizing that the people of Emery County do not want SUWA, the Sierra Club or any other extreme environmental groups dictating the future of Emery County, nor do we want the eastern constituents dictating their ideology when they don't understand the local people, use of this land, or have a clue to what is reality here. All they know is that they are on a "save the earth" campaign and a feel good euphoria when they dump their excess into the pot of the so called environmental community coffers.
I have spent my entire life in this county and spent a big part of my youth in the hills hunting rocks with my father, while also enjoying camping and exploring in the same areas. I have hiked the area, hunted the area, and rode my ATV in this area. Little did I know that some day people would be fighting and arguing over this free land. More shocking is the fact that people who live thousands of miles from here are trying to dictate whether or not I can do those things that I have always enjoyed. My freedoms are at risk in the outcome of this issue. I am no different than the majority of the residents in Emery County when I say we don't want outside control of our local lands.
We are definitely between a rock and a hard place here. Much is at stake and after a lot of deliberation on the issue I came to this conclusion.:
1) The environmental community is a powerful arm. They have a lot of backers with the law makers and they have tried to force wilderness and/or other environmental control down our throats. The have stopped Emery County's Public Land Council's proposals to protect the land in such a way that we could still use the land and still protect it. In fact there is a bill for the San Rafael to be wilderness this very minute.
2) Very little credit has been given to our local leaders. Did we not vote them in? Have our local county commissioners and lands council been trying to sell us down the river, as I read in the negative ads? I would suggest that these people have spent endless hours and studied the issues well. They have been trying to save our land from the very people that want to take it away from us. I would suggest that they have an insight into the issues that most of us don't understand. They have fought a brave battle. I think they are to be commended for the work they have done. They have gotten the eastern constituents attention and because they have become familiar with the laws that protect us as well as those that heavy armed lobbyists impose upon us, they should be the ones we turn to for the solution to this problem.
3) I don't see an alternate plan for those that propose to stop the monument. With no plan, we have no chance of succeeding. There are two great monsters here. Which one do we let eat us that will be the kindest to us? The red rock people have plans in motion and they won't stop until either a plan is set in place by either them or us.
4) The monument would at least give us a voice in the plan. It would certainly be a far greater benefit to us than that of the alternative. We would stand to gain tourism, federal funding and an increase in awareness to our area.
5) We have the support of our local leaders, local lands council and the governor as well as the president.
My vote is for the monument.