Letters to the editor: Don't close old mine works
I am asking that the public please consider taking the time to respond to the public comment period about the closure of 172 abandoned mines in the San Rafael Swell.
My opinion (in case you wanted it) is this:
*The history and heritage of all public lands and especially the San Rafael Swell should be enjoyed by the public.
*It should not be destroyed by the federal government. If there is a particular vertical shaft that needs to be fenced, then fence it. If there's a particular adit that is collapsing, then block it off. But, to arbitrarily close hundreds of mines just because somebody might, possibly, somehow, someday get injured is absurd. People need to accept that they are responsible for their actions and that risks taken, involve consequences. Bottom line is, "life leads to death".
*The federal government can't legislate common sense. It's time they quit wasting time, energy and money attempting to do just that.
In my comments, I am going to ask that they not close 172 abandoned mines, but that they manage them just as they would manage any other resource. If some need closing, close them. And, why not use a fraction of the money, time and energy to provide some education to the visitors about the history of the mines and any potential danger? A small sign at each site seems much more logical and less destructive than bulldozers and explosives. Then let the visitor determine what risks they are willing to take. I think there are far more urgent needs of our tax dollars and labor hours. I will encourage the BLM to leave our remote public lands and it's mining history just as is.
Imagine the disturbance required to achieve the goal of closing 172 remote, isolated mines. Many of these are in Wilderness Study Areas where supposedly the imprint of man is not noticeable.
Hmmm, I'm seeing some hypocrisy in this scenario. Mines in WSA, go figure.
Whatever your opinion is, provide it to the BLM. After all, public land is your land.