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Front Page » June 22, 2004 » Opinion » Realize what is happening?
Published 3,774 days ago

Realize what is happening?


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By KEN LARSON
Sun Advocate publisher

Three times in the past two weeks I have been approached to sign petitions, either to get an item on the ballot or to use my name so a group could gain signatures to send letters in support or opposition of a cause.

The questions were basically geared to an emotional issue, do you want your children to drink dirty water? Do you support assisting employees to find quality jobs?

I have learned over the years that the question may or may not have any relivance to the petition or letter that I am about to sign. In many cases, paid signature gatherers are simply there to get names and addresses and the more they get the more money they make.

This all ties into a movement that is being staged right here in Carbon County and yet the players are not necessarily from the local area. SUWA, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, is one example. Its comes across as a group concerned with protecting the area's environment, but is really a fund raising organization. Recently, members have latched into our Nine Mile Canyon as their latest project to raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. They have had representatives locally, in front of Wal-Mart and in Salt Lake gathering signatures to oppose the development of natural resources in and near the Nine Mile Canyon area. Their efforts are creating quite a stir nationwide and are certainly putting the Nine Mile area on the map.

My question to you as Carbon County citizens is who do we want making decisions for us?

SUWA is capable of generating thousands of comments and dollars through a single e-mail. The comments are then sent to agencies like BLM and the Forest Service, requesting public input for the studiies and environmental impact statements.

We can make a difference. If we want to allow these groups, to impact our future, then we can continue signing letters or petitions without knowing what they really say.

If we do not care what happens with our canyon, our future, our economy or our valued artifacts, then we can sit back and let the other voices call the shots.

All public land users should be aware of the many threats against our privilege to recreate on public lands and to develop natural resources, which will improve our local economy.

If you are wondering what you can do to help protect your way oif life, our local economy and the privileges that we currently enjoy, then I recommend doing three simple things: join, participate and donate.

Join a local organization and get involved with issues right here in your own backyard. There all local, state or federal groups that match your views and these organizations are fighting battles for multiple use all around the intermountain region.

Once you are a member, don't just be a number. Get active, voice your opinion.

Remember, if we sit back someone will make your decisions for you.

Ask to be added to BLM or Forest Service mailing lists and stay informed as to what decisions are being made and how you can have an influence on these decisions.

If you are serious about making a difference, then you need to invest some money into the most important part of the whole process. access and develoment of natural resources. Without funding from individuals like us, these organizations can't win these expensive battles.

We have a lot at stake here and many citiaens in the West have stood up to groups like SUWA and taken back their communties.

We can either watch it all happen from the sideline or we can get involved and make a difference.


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June 22, 2004
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