After the election results indicated clearly that the Emery County residents did not want the San Rafael locked up as a national monument, so be it, but the local residents of Emery County had better step forward now with their idea of a plan and what they want, then push for it. Or they are going to end up sucking the hind tit. Any time you have the environmental groups standing on the side line watching, this brouhaha, be prepared to get hammered.
As I see it the San Rafael had only one of three possibilities. State monument, national monument of wilderness. Conservation area? Yes, you had that chance in the beginning and you nixed it.
If the four wheelers, dirt bikers, or anyone else believe they are going to keep it open for their personal playground, wake up and smell the roses. You are not. You only have two choices left. You shot one of the potentials down last Tuesday.
At the present time all the active enviro-groups here in Utah are, as I write, collecting data on the San Rafael and when they get all their ducks lined up in a row, they are going to push for putting the entire San Rafael into wilderness or endangered species habitat. You gave them that possibility in this past election.
If those hard liners of Emery County do not have a plan, you had better get one and get it started in motion NOW!!
Having fought the enviro's since October 1964 with my first letter to the editor, I know what I am writing about. I have been there, seen it, done it.
As I suspect the direction the enviro's will take, is to take a specific area, pick an endangered species and then plan the environment around it. They do this all the time and it has proven to be nearly 100 percent successful for them.
Once an area has been designated as an endangered species area, it will be closed and locked up to only hikers and in some areas they might allow a horse. When I write of endangered species, it does not always have to be an animal, it can be a plant, an insect or a bug. You name it. They will use every ploy to pull off the Endangered Species Act and lock the San Rafael up tighter than it would be under the Wilderness Act. They do not necessarily have to have the approval of your commissioners just a camouflaged possibility. Nor are they required to get congressional or presidential approval. I have seen it in action here in Washington County with the Desert Tortoise and several other so called prefabricated endangered species. And yes, they can lock up more land under the Endangered Species Act than they could have under the Wilderness Act. You have been advised and counseled in advance.