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Front Page » November 26, 2013 » Opinion » What is good for the goose...
Published 338 days ago

What is good for the goose...


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

There seems to be many people along the Wasatch Front that want to see President Obama create by executive order new red rock preserves in southern Utah. This would mean bigger areas around Canyonlands National Park would be part of that park and places like the San Rafael would become a national monument. These places of beauty have been a big issue amongst environmentalists. They have taken to the airwaves (and cable waves) and are pushing their agenda on everyone who watches local television. Consequently the rural areas around these potentially locked up lands have had little chance to say anything. The fact that having national parks and monuments would squash energy/mineral development, hinder ranching and crush motorized recreation seems inconsequential to them.

So then, if that is to be the case, then what is good for the goose should be good for the gander.

Henceforth I propose the rural area populations around Utah form a new organization. I think it should be called the Northern Utah Monument Alliance (NUMA). Forming this group would make sense since most of SUWA's members live either along the Wasatch Front or in other places in the country, not along side the red rock country they are asking to preserve. The membership of the new organization could mostly reside in places like Duchesne, Vernal, Moab, Castle Dale, Escalante, Richfield, Panguitch, Delta, Monticello and of course Price, amongst many other smaller towns.

The purpose of this organization would be to save the beautiful canyons along the Wasatch Front from the destruction they are facing by ever encroaching Wasatch Front developers. The group could work on action concerning all the canyons from Sardine Canyon near Brigham City south to Payson Canyon. The organization could fight to stop development, halt the building of roads, and most of all to stop the ultimate scourge of the Wasatch Mountains, ski resorts.

The organization could file lawsuits in federal court and have protests in the mouths of the canyons. Members could chain themselves to machinery that would be building any new ski resort facilities or expansions. They could fight building any more houses or cabins in the canyons even if there is private property there.

Finally the group could appeal to the President just before he leaves office in a couple of years to protect the canyons by making them all part of one big national monument so no additional development could take place there anymore. The Wasatch Mountains National Monument as it would be called could be huge and bring a lot of tourist dollars to the area with people coming to see the newest national treasures. Forget the past monetary benefits to the area, the new more environmentally friendly situation would replace all that going downhill on some little boards at 60 miles per hour.

Of course with that kind of a designation there would come a lot of restrictions. There would be no more development at all. And some of the development that is already there would have to go, particularly those ugly ski resorts that have torn up hillsides and continue to grow almost unrestricted except by the amount of money available that they want to spend to build them and their adjacent mountain communities.

Once enacted there would be no allowance for out-of-resort downhill or cross country skiing in the remaining resorts because skiers might affect the habitat of the Utah Snow Worm. While none of these worms have ever been found in that area (or anywhere for that matter), the fact they might be there should be enough to prevent those kinds of things from going on. You know, just in case they do exist.

Hiking would be restricted in the canyons to the already paved roads. The same would go for any kind of bicycle. And that would be the only way anyone could get up the canyons as well. All motorized vehicles would be eliminated because of the sensitive nature of the canyons ecosystem. If you can't walk or ride a bike up the road, it will be just too bad. You should have gone there when you had two good legs and the health to do so.

All hazards will be closed off for the publics safety. There would be fences along all the streams to keep anyone from falling in and any other points of interest will be cordoned off.

Just think, most of what isn't developed would remain just the same forever, without the touch of humans. Just knowing it is there should be enough to make us all feel good even if we can't go there.

Of course all of this effort would be because we are concerned our grand children and their children will not be able to share in the beauty of the canyons in their natural state.

NUMA will have done its job once it is done, but there will be new objectives to fight for, even though we don't know what those are as of yet. Why let a perfectly good and organized Alliance go to waste. It could work on things like preserving the Point of the Mountain Prison even after the prisoners are moved so that we can have tours of it and remember all the wonderful history of the place. To heck with building homes or businesses there. In fact we should do away with Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake and rebuild the old Utah Territorial Prison that shouldn't have been taken down when they built the Point of the Mountain in the 50s. Rather than have people use a free park, it could be a tourist draw and we could charge for getting in. Many along the Wasatch Front want our counties to survive on tourist dollars only, so why shouldn't they be in the same spot?

Or how about preserving the refinery stink in North Salt Lake and Woods Cross. While it is a bother to some who live around the area, it certainly makes a lot of money for Salt Lake and Davis counties. And the stink is, after all, a part of our heritage.

There are a thousand other things I can think of, but I have taken to much room being silly already.

I wished those that want to turn everyone into minimum wage tourist dollar earners in the eastern part of Utah would stop being so ridiculous as well.

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November 26, 2013
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