Letter to the editor: Thinking about the gov
In response to Richard Shaw's editorial (Sun Advocate, Oct. 7) "What was the governor thinking," I would like to make several comments.
What was the gov thinking? He might've been thinking "the individuals who were riding illegally, off-trail, in a posted reclamation area had caused enough destruction to have committed a crime."
Mr. Shaw started off with a scenario where he was listening to his Ipod riding down the trail, and then equated that to spinning donuts around every tree, destroying single track and shredding the landscape.
How dare you. You give the impression that all ATVers are the same. As if the 10 percent or so of ATVers who can't have fun without trashing things are exemplary of every ATVer in Utah.
I would encourage you to contact the SEUOHV club locally and get their opinion of your assertion.
Most ATVers are good, responsible Americans. They ride trails, they volunteer for trail projects, and they are just as appalled as the gov when the low life among them vandalize and destroy.
Many local ATVers know of individual cases of an individual on an ATV doing damage to trails, campgrounds, etc.
The SEUOHV club was as outraged as we were when a large section of our Dead-Dog Singletrack Loop was destroyed, along with a campground, by some fool on an ATV.
I'd say about 90 percent of OHV/ATV users are absolutely responsible in their recreation. I know for a fact the SEUOHV club is made-up of damn good people. To put them on the same level as those few loathsome, destructive fools is ludicrous.
I have an ongoing argument about this subject with Mike Swenson of USA-ALL. He makes the same stupid generalizations that you did. Any mention of individual responsibility or enforcement gets his panties in a knot.
When the Southern Utah Wilderness Association takes the gov to see illegal off-trail damage done by the loathsome 10 percent (and you know it was the worst case they could find), the Gov found that appalling. SUWA uses these individual cases as examples of why all ATVs should be banned, and Swenson (and now you) plays right into it with implied approval and claims we all agree. Swenson's "leadership" has taken USA-ALL from being relevant to being a punch line. Under his direction USA-ALL has become the most effective tool SUWA has in it's mission to end outdoor recreation as we know it.
When SUWA, Greenpeace, Wilderness Society and their ilk try to ban ATVs, they are wrong. They want to punish all ATVers for the actions of a few. This is un-just and un-American. When Mike Swenson lumps all ATVers together to excuse that loathsome 10 percent, he tells the world that SUWA is right. When you say 80 percent of Utahns are on the same level as the loathsome few, it's even worse.
When those individuals who destroy for fun are punished individually, we should stand behind that action. Individuals who commit crimes in a free society must face the consequences of their actions. We are a nation of laws, with our individual rights against government oppression guaranteed in writing. SUWA and their friends like to divide us into "user groups" to get us to forget about those rights.
Stop playing into their hands.