Utah National Monument Update

Submitted by Forplay4x4 on Thu, 01/31/2002 - 20:24

Following is an update on the potential to designate another national monument in Utah. Please take just a few minutes to read the fantastic work that USAAll is doing and then please call President Bush as Brian asks. All the instructions you need are toward the end of the message, including the phone number and what to say.
This could have a direct impact in our state, on our trails, because if this monument designation progresses the way that the Governor of Utah indicated it would, our Governor may take the same approach, depriving you of your voice in managing your favorite spots and favorite trails.

Thanks again for the time you spend helping the sport!

Utah National Monument Update

Dear Access Advocates,
I know that many of you are feeling strongly about the proposal to designate another National Monument in Utah. Our members and supporters from across the country have expressed feelings of both disappointment and outrage. Everyone at USA-ALL has tried to keep an open mind regarding the proposal, especially as we attempt to gather specific information.

Yesterday, representatives of USA-ALL spent several hours with members of the Emery County Public Lands Council. I can say that it is profoundly depressing to sit and listen to people who understand public land issues and are strong multiple use/sustained yield advocates be driven to the point where they believe a monument designation could save their communities. The hardworking people who live there, from the ravages of restrictive public land policies, uncompromising environmentalists and agenda driven BLM employees.
They are extremely concerned about the never-ending restrictions on access and use of important resources adjacent to their communities. They call it "wilderness creep" and it is real. It threatens the lives and livelihoods of the independent self-reliant culture that grew from a relationship with the adjacent public lands. While we may disagree with the methods they have chosen, we certainly sympathize with their plight.

I know that most of you know exactly what they are going through because you have seen rural communities devastated by lost resource jobs, seen the closed roads, witnessed the devastated forests, watched as stockmen were forced to become "willing sellers" as well as the countless other abuses of the current environmental movement. This is not right. It is not what America was supposed to be like.

While we don't have many details to report at this time, I want to assure all of you that we will keep you up to date on this important issue.

Here is what we have been told by Emery County officials: Despite what the Utah and National press has reported the proposal made by Emery County was to begin a process to determine if a monument should be designated in Emery County.

The process is supposed to follow the intent of proposed legislation once offered by Utah's Representative Jim Hansen. Our understanding is this legislation would impose a process requirement and require public input before large monuments would be established.

If the result of the process is not considered favorable to the interests of Emery County they will withdraw the proposal.

Friends, the reason Utahns were so outraged at President Clinton when he designated the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is because we all understood it was an abuse of the Antiquities Act for purely political reasons. Utahns watched helplessly as our access to and use of resources on public lands were traded for political favors.

The Antiquities Act does not authorize a president to reserve land as a national monument simply for the sake of changing an existing land management plan, even if the local residents request that he do so. We believe that the designation of a monument of this size can only be done by an act of Congress.

Based upon what we know of the proposal at this time, it is difficult to conclude how it would be any less of an abuse of the letter and intent of the law than when Clinton stood at the rim of the Grand Canyon that fateful day.

Our concerns are serious and are fundamental to the entire concept and we think they must be dealt with as soon as possible and certainly before this proposal moves forward.
For this reason, we have faxed an urgent request to meet with Utah's
Governor Leavitt before the proposal gets forwarded on to the President.

Everyone at USA-ALL urges our members and supporters as well as Access Advocates across the country to be vigilant and prepared to TAKE ACTION if our worst fears are realized. Certainly, contacting the President and your elected representatives, both state and local, is appropriate at this time.

ÿ President Bush's number is (202) 456-1414. Press 1 to leave a comment and follow the prompts. Comments can be made between 9 and 5 Eastern Time. Tell him that restrictive public land management threatens Utah's rural communities. Ask for his support of continued multiple use/sustained yield management.
ÿ Ask him to help us protect rural communities and keep public lands open.

Remind the President that OHV access is a legitimate use of public lands and you wish to preserve vehicle access to our scenic treasures.

Finally, a personal note:
We've been a bit overwhelmed by the support all of you have given in recent days. We appreciate all of our supporters in Utah and across the Nation. Thank you!
Brian Hawthorne
Utah Shared Access Alliance