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katmai RichardCunningham's article
Dec 14, 2017 at 22:08
Dec 14, 2017
Opinion: Great Rides Don't Always Have Happy Endings
@bkm303: Well, my personal experience is different. I've walked 700 miles across the Brooks Range, averaging over 15 miles a day with no trails. 20 miles would have been a relatively easy goal for a particular day if we needed to cover that far. I can't think of a spot in the lower 48 that I couldn't get to within a days walk.
katmai RichardCunningham's article
Dec 14, 2017 at 13:25
Dec 14, 2017
Opinion: Great Rides Don't Always Have Happy Endings
@gunnerMTB: Under current law, in order to have almost any private natural resource extraction on federal lands, the feds actually have to offer it for lease/sale for that kind of operation. That had not previously been undertaken by the feds, hence no risk of that kind of activity. But there was also nothing in law to prevent that from happening should a future administration decide to proceed that route. The monument makes that protection longer term.
katmai RichardCunningham's article
Dec 14, 2017 at 13:14
Dec 14, 2017
Opinion: Great Rides Don't Always Have Happy Endings
@gunnerMTB: Those laws only protect the individual sites themselves, not the broader context of where they sit. No federal law prevents installing a mine, oil rig, diversion canal, hotel, road etc right next to a historic site. The monument protects the context in which they sit. Case in point, one of the very largest puebloan sites happens to be in downdown Aztec, New Mexico. Its protected as part of a historic park, but other than the remains of the buildings you can't see the site in context at all. Instead you see modern urban development. The monument protects both the sites and the context in which they sit. That is important to many of us that want to see them that way and leave them that way for future generations. Again, I fully understand that there is a different view out there. But, I reject any argument that the locals or Utahans don't want the monument. Many don't, but many do as well.
katmai RichardCunningham's article
Dec 14, 2017 at 13:09
Dec 14, 2017
Opinion: Great Rides Don't Always Have Happy Endings
@gunnerMTB: I mentioned that Blanding has the same position as Monticello. But you didn't mention Bluff. My concern was that you were presenting one side of an argument. There are two and two very vocal ones which extend locally, regionally, statewide, and nationally. I think if we start trying parse down who should make the decision by anything other than who actually manages the land, we can easily descend into our own tribal camps that support our position. I fully recognize that many in the region do not want the monument, but I get tired of people commenting that everyone doesn't want it because there are a lot of them that do.
katmai RichardCunningham's article
Dec 14, 2017 at 12:58
Dec 14, 2017
Opinion: Great Rides Don't Always Have Happy Endings
@gunnerMTB: Props to you for going to Monticello, but you realize you just went to one town in the county. Did you go to Blanding (same position as Monticello), or Bluff (totally opposite view on the momenment) or any of the rural areas of the county (you'll find a mix there). Over half of San Juan County is Native American and they were the ones that pushed hard for the monument.
katmai RichardCunningham's article
Dec 14, 2017 at 12:54
Dec 14, 2017
Opinion: Great Rides Don't Always Have Happy Endings
@bkm303: Actually, the most remote spot in the lower 48 is less than 20 miles to a road--less than a days walk for a fit person. That's in a land area of 3.2 million square miles. Sure it can feel remote, but its pretty packed with development.
katmai RichardCunningham's article
Dec 14, 2017 at 12:49
Dec 14, 2017
katmai RichardCunningham's article
Dec 14, 2017 at 12:47
Dec 14, 2017
Opinion: Great Rides Don't Always Have Happy Endings
@bkm303: Really?? I live 2 miles from the Mesa Verde entrance and look at it every day from work and home. It is far from overcrowded--its among the lowest visitor statistics of any of the regional park units. The reason for its size is several fold: (1) It is bordered on the south and east by Ute Tribal lands (you can't take tribal land and make it a park); (2) Its bordered on north and northeast by private land, which has been in ranching since before the park was adopted (you can't take private lands and make them a park without compensating the owners); and (3) its bordered on the west by a mix of highways, the City of Cortez and the Navajo nation (again, nothing to make a park out of). Bears Ears by contrast is a broad mix of canyons and mesas which are (a) all federal lands; and (b) have quality cultural resources spread throughout. Your argument is like saying Grand Canyon National Park should be way smaller because of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. They are two totally different resources.
katmai RichardCunningham's article
Dec 14, 2017 at 12:13
Dec 14, 2017
Opinion: Great Rides Don't Always Have Happy Endings
Ok, lots in there, so let’s unpack this one at a time: 1. Who Makes the Decision? – You say that all of this stuff is being decided by people outside of Utah. But where would you draw the line? You live in Lehi, but I live 40 miles from the Utah border in Mancos, CO. I’m far more likely to be personally affected by Bears Ears than you as its less than a 90 minute drive for me. Maybe I should have more of a voice than you. What about the tribes who actually live in San Juan County? They are more than 50% of the population of that county, but have only 1/3 political representation because of gerrymandering (they are suing over this). Finally, this is FEDERAL land. It is owned by ALL AMERICANS. Just because it happens to fall in the borders of a particular state shouldn’t mean it should be governed by that state. 2. Was it protected land before monument status? NO. It was general federal land only subject to general federal land statutes. It did not have any specific protections against sale, leasing, agriculture and natural resources extraction. 3. You lost some of your favorite 4X4 and bikepacking routes? Which ones?? You need to provide facts here. I’ve seen nothing in the monument designation or subsequent regulations closing any existing lawful 4x4 or bike trails in the monument. 4. Too much tourism? I understand the frustration, but pull your head out of the sand. The reason they are trying to reverse this isn’t to keep it pristine and hidden. Its to open it to natural resource extraction interests.
katmai RichardCunningham's article
Dec 14, 2017 at 11:11
Dec 14, 2017
Opinion: Great Rides Don't Always Have Happy Endings
Thank-you for writing this Richard. Nearly everyone who has enjoyed outdoor recreation in the western US has done so on federal lands protected under the Antiquities Act. Without these lands, the west might be a very different place and our $700+ billion dollar recreation economy a lot smaller.
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