Recently, I traveled to the Green River via the Range Creek road through Little Park. I have worked in the East Carbon/Sunnyside area for over 10 years and have heard the residents talk about this road that started at Horse Canyon and ended up on the banks of the Green River. After traveling approximately five miles from the Horse Canyon Mine an old BLM sign is placed, which makes a statement that I am sure is not the philosophy of today's BLM. As you travel from Turtle Canyon and turn south for three miles, Range Creek flows along this canyon as it has for hundreds maybe thousands of years and meets the Green River. The sign makes a statement that it is a wilderness study area and is closed to all motorized vehicles. At this point visitors have to decide if they want to turn around or make the 1.25-mile hike down to the river. The group I was with chose to make the walk. What we first found out is that the sign is misleading. The actual distance is close to two and one half miles, not the 1.25 the sign stated.
Next we found barricades of sticks, logs and rocks placed along the now closed road. I thought this effort was from the people utilizing the river entrance. If they would of known what type of barricade was placed upstream they would see their efforts were not needed. Closer to the river you see evidence of the amount of traffic that uses the beach and river entrance. Trails and footprints are everywhere. Rocks have been placed and arranged for seats. Logs have been located so people can sit and camp. So obviously the area is being used. The only people who get to see this beautiful place are those who can pay for it during a river rafting trip or make the two and one half mile hike.
It was very beautiful and the water was a welcome sight after the two and one half mile hike. It was very sad for me to think that the only ones who can utilize this place of public land was people who pay the high price of river rafting companies.
The BLM continues to close more and more public land that at one time was a treasured spot for the residents of East Carbon/Sunnyside for many years. When we arrived back at the barricade, we found eight to 10 East Carbon/Sunnyside residents, some who I work with, sitting at the barricade having a picnic. They were dipping their feet and getting wet in Range Creek. The creek is putting out a small amount of water that they were making the best of. I thought to myself that two and one half miles down the road is a wonderful place. A place to swim, camp and enjoy like others at one time had done for many years until someone at the BLM decided what was best for them and placed this huge barricade. What a shame to deny this land and area only to those what was best for them and placed this huge barricade. What a shame to deny this land and area only to those who have the money, political power and insane ideas. If truth was known most of the people who utilize the river entrance are not even residents of Utah.
I now can understand why so much anger I have heard from the residents of the East Carbon/Sunnyside area is directed to the people responsible who placed the barricade. To deny this area to them and their children or to Carbon County residents is not right. We as Americans continue to talk about the injustice and loss of freedom. We are in many countries now fighting for that freedom and a chance for others to live as we do here in the United States. And right under our own noses are people taking away public lands, denying us access to places that truly belong to the people. I can now see that the BLM would like us to stay out of it.
Eventually we will be boxed in where we as residents of Carbon County and American citizens can dip our toes in kiddy pools found in our front yards because what was at one time made available to all is now closed only to the select few.