Letters to the editor: They have seen it
While I don't think Mr. Mainord's letter of Jan. 19 (Letters to the editor, Sun Advocate) quite rises to the level of "character assassination," I do think some of the questions raised deserve answers, and Ms. Miller and the Nine Mile Coalition should respond publicly.
The coalition is a non-profit 501-3(c), and is therefore required to make their sources of funding and expenditures available to the public upon request. By disclosing how much was spent to improve the conditions of the canyon in 2008, the level of trust could be considerably enhanced by such complete transparency.
While it's certainly anyone's right as a private citizen to speak up on issues to which he or she is committed, most would agree that the amount of time and resources dedicated to these endeavors must be solely one's own, and should not come at the expense of one's employer. Mr. Mainord poses a legitimate question when he asks if the College of Eastern Utah, thus the taxpayer's time and resources, are being exploited.
Again, one must ponder whether there is a sincere desire to protect the artifacts in the canyon by cooperating on collaborative solutions that enable responsible development to move forward to create jobs, or is the agenda simply to stop development at all costs by creating hysteria?
It would also be interesting to know if there is a consensus opinion of the Nine Mile Coalition and their comrades in arms at SUWA, or is there is a diversity of opinion?
If the BLM, Barrett Corporation and all the others who signed the West Tavaputs Programmatic Agreement are satisfied, what's left for coalition group to question? Ms. Miller and the members of the Nine Mile Coalition have a seat at the table as participating entities on the Nine Mile Canyon Road Committee, which carries rights and responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to work through the established channels and protocols of dispute resolution according to the Programmatic Agreement, and to adhere to the same public scrutiny as the other signatories.
If they aren't satisfied, why did they demand a seat at the table, and what would make them happy? This is a legitimate question, and they should respond.
Ms. Miller has, as spokesperson for the coalition, on several occasions, said that the group favors multiple use. They should put that in writing in front of the community. Further, any claims of traffic, damage, etc. should be substantiated by hard evidence, or those claims should cease.
As someone who has visited the area on many occasions and has written about the issues extensively for more than five years, I am very well acquainted with the facts of the West Tavaputs development.
Ms. Tanner (Letter to the editor, Sun Advocate, Feb. 2) talks about the general slowdown in the markets, which is partially true in other areas. It does not happen to be true in this case. According to public records, rigs would be running and people would be going to work every day if there were a signed Record of Decision in hand.
She mentions an alternate route that is preferable to her. That's fine. She and the others who are advocating for an alternate route should raise the funds and build it.
There is a measure of common sense here that must come in to play. The Bureau of Land Management has seen it; the signers of the Programmatic Agreement have seen it; it's time for the Nine Mile Coalition and the fringe elements to see it as well.