Below is an alert from Utah Shared Access Alliance regarding the establishment of another National Monument in Utah. You don't have to take any action at the moment except to hit the forward button on your e-mail to get this information out and take just a few minutes to read the alert.
One of my concerns after reading Brian Hawthorne's alert is that if this National Monument is declared we can look for this to be a model for other states to use, particularly those states with Democratic Governors whose party platforms are traditionally environmentalist supported.
Thank you for taking the time to stay informed and helping to pass on this valuable information.
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This ACCESS ALERT contains information vital to anyone who enjoys or whose livelihood depends upon access to resources on public lands. It is especially vital to the hundreds of thousands of Americans struggling under extremely restrictive "Park Like" management regimes on various National Monuments designated during the Clinton/Gore administration.
Last night in Salt Lake City Utah, during the State of the State speech, Utah's Governor Leavitt announced plans to ask President Bush to designate a National Monument on more than 620,000 acres in the San Rafael region of central Utah.
In his speech, he said: "I'm proud tonight to announce that local and state officials will formally request that the President of the United States use his executive powers to create the San Rafael National Monument."
Contrasting the designation of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument he stated; "Unlike the scenario involving the Grand Staircase National Monument in September of 1996, this is no stealth proposal. While both regions contain spectacular land that deserve protection, the Grand Staircase was created by a different president who developed his executive order in complete secrecy and with no notice and no collaboration."
The Governor added: "By stark contrast, the San Rafael proposal is the product of 7 years of intense negotiation involving many stakeholders."
This came as quite a shock most "stakeholders" who were just learning about the plan as they watched the Governor on TV!
In fact, the plan to designate a National Monument was keep a highly guarded secret until just 48 hours before the Governor made his announcement!
The staff of USA-ALL (Utah's largest public lands access organization) is in the process of gathering details of this proposal. Clearly, the implications of designating any additional lands in Utah as a National Monument will have profound implications. Not only to the citizens of Utah, but also to the many hundreds of rural communities struggling under oppressive public land management policies all over the United States.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY:
Forward this message to anyone you know concerned with access to public lands. What little information we have regarding this proposal is below.
Please take a moment to read it. Keep an eye out for further ACTION ALERTS and bookmark our website ( http://www.usa-all.com ) . Detailed information and analysis will be posted there tomorrow morning.
Utah Shared Access Alliance
P.O. Box 131, Payson Utah, 84651
DETAILS OF NATIONAL MONUMENT PROPOSAL
By now, many of you know Emery County in Utah is home to many premier OHV destinations. Families who have enjoyed traveling along the Devils Racetrack, Eva Conover Road, Behind the Reef Road and the Temple Mountain Trail System (aka Dick Brass Trail System) number in the hundreds of
Last week, a small unobtrusive notice appeared in the local Emery County paper. It said, in part: ".the Emery County Public Lands Council will hold a Public Information Meeting on January 26, 2002. The purpose of this meeting is to provide information and receive input regarding a pubic lands and resource management concept development by the Emery County Public Lands Council and potential designations and/or management strategies for the San Rafael Swell".
I attended that meeting. A small group of citizens from Emery and Carbon Counties listened as the members of Emery County's Public Lands Council released the proposal for the first time. The plan is to ask the president to declare a National Monument to protect historic resources on over 620,000 acres of public lands known as the San Rafael Swell. The lands include nearly all of the many popular OHV destinations in Emery County.
County officials explained that they were extremely concerned about what affect a Wilderness proposal will have on their communities. Restrictive public land management of any kind, especially wilderness, would have a profoundly negative affect on the lives and livelihoods of citizens in their
communities. They are truly worried.
They have concluded that a monument designation would "add a layer of protection" for stockmen, recreationists, OHV enthusiasts, and the many thousands who travel to the San Rafael to enjoy the spectacular scenery. All of who stand to be locked out by wilderness proposals.
A surprising number of citizens supported the proposal. But many were unconvinced that the language proposed for the monument proclamation would provide any protection for grazing, access rights, water rights and other multiple uses. The commissioners assured everyone, that although the language was nearly the same as that contained in Clinton's proclamation creating the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, their plan would be different. It relied on a friendly administration, a different attitude in the BLM (?) and an "advisory council" that would "give the county a voice" in how the lands would be managed.
The impression that I was left with after the meeting ended was that the County would take input from citizens before formally making a proposal to President Bush. 48 hours after the meeting, I sat in utter shock as I listened to Utah's Governor state; "And Members of the Emery County Commission and the Public Land Council are here tonight to formalize this request."
USA-ALL is extremely concerned about any proposal that withdrawals public lands from the strong multiple use/sustained yield mandate contained in current law. We came to the meeting with an open mind because we are
sympathetic to the plight of communities that are forced to suffer under extremely restrictive public land policies. We are meeting with county officials to examine the details of their proposal. It's not clear if they are still open to input or if they have already made up their minds. We will let you know.
The implications of this proposal are profound. Today, many hundreds of communities are in the process of negotiating with lawmakers and federal land managers in an effort to moderate the extremely restrictive land management regimes currently in effect on existing National Monuments.
USA-ALL stands in strong support of those efforts.
Action will probably be needed to prevent a similar tragedy that is the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Please watch for further updates, ACTION ALERTS and detailed analysis and information.
USA-ALL is committed to protecting the rights of those who choose or are required to use vehicles for access and recreation on public lands and National Forests in Utah. Thanks to all of our members and supports, without whose generous support, our efforts to keep public land upon would not be possible. STAY TUNED!!!
Utah Shared Access Alliance