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Coloradans can help protect Greater Canyonlands
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By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Feb 29, 2012
Whaaaat?
Umph! wrote:
I provided several points and examples in my second post. . .


No you didn't. Your second post reads:

Umph! wrote:
And for river runners. . . the put-in and take-out points.


... and you didn't provide one single example in your third post either.

Umph! wrote:
Read the SUWA proposal you've attached - wow, are you really this unobservant?


I observed just fine. I found that for you because you seemed incapable of finding any specifics.

Umph! wrote:
This WILL limit your freedom.


Alright big shot. Please explain how my freedom will be limited by the Greater Canyonlands being protected. I've hiked much of it already and would still have access to hiking it. However, if this land is handed down to energy companies I could surely envision NO TRESPASSING signs.

Umph! wrote:
I've always been is sensitive to bullies


Obviously. And, you're not handling yourself very well.

Umph! wrote:
OK, I'll play one last time, BC.


For your own sake, please abide.

FLAG
By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Mar 5, 2012
Andrew Gram:
“I'd be worried about how this would affect fixed anchors. The no fixed anchor rule in Canyonlands(not even bail slings) is completely ridiculous, and I would hate to see that extended to more of the desert.”

National Parks can only be created by acts of Congress (not much chance of them acting on this, or much of anything anytime soon). With an executive order, the President can sign into being a National Monument. LIke the Grand Staircase and Escalante National Monument (GSENM), signed into being by Clinton, The "Greater Canyolands" zone would be run by the BLM. The GSENM has no restrictions on climbing, fixed anchors, pitons, etc. No fee to enter. But it does have regulations against the creation of new roads and against motorized travel off of existing roads.

EDIT: sorry not to be clearer BC Sorter. Here: Yeah, climbing in all the places included in the proposed Greater Canyonlands would be unaffected; therefore I think it's a great idea for climbers to support the Greater Canyonlands proposal. It's a pre-emptive strike to forestall development and exploitation of the still-pristine land circling Canyonlands National Park.

FLAG
By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Mar 5, 2012
Whaaaat?
So, Crusher, are you for or against the idea of a Greater Canyonlands National Monument?

BTW - loving your book!

FLAG
By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Mar 5, 2012
Whaaaat?
Here's another map showing some of the threat locations:




nationalparkstraveler.com/2011...
Threats
Threats

FLAG
By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Mar 5, 2012
From the excellent article linked by camhead:

“The threats to The Land are greater than they have ever been. And many of those threats come from the same forces that have always endangered the last special places. Oil. Mining. Timber. Motorized Recreation. Industrial Tourism.”

Yeah. Quite right. I’m a big fan of Jim Stiles. He points out how the tourist industry itself can exploit and damage wilderness. Moab and the surrounding lands have been transformed in the last couple decades by bikes, ATVs, motels, commercial guiding outfits, but still, in the background there still the old threats, the nodding donkeys near the entrance to Canyonlands National Park, pressure for new uranium mining south of Moab (even as trucks are slowly removing the vast pile of radioactive waste just north of Moab).

Stiles rails against SUWA because their stubborn push for their vast Red Rocks Wilderness is going nowhere and merely frightens developers into hysterical action. But in the Greater Canyonlands proposal, SUWA has joined forces with a number of other organisations to promote a more modest, eminently do-able idea. One worthy of support.

I think what is key is to have appropriate uses for appropriate places. Moab itself is now a big, big town. Indian Creek is, and now always will be, a world-class, heavily used climbing area. Sand Flats is a heavily used area for camping, biking and 4WD. Behind the Rocks is mixed, with much 4WD use, as is Gemini Bridges. But much of the land surrounding Canyonlands National Park, especially to the west and south is still barely touched.

Canyonlands National Park itself was Ed Abbey’s favorite corner of Utah. You can, to this day, camp on the White Rim Trail and not see a single artificial light. The night sky is deepest black, the stars are on steroids, blazing with an intensity seldom seen any more. The silence is profound, unsettling. When a jet plane goes over you can almost hear the pilots talking to each other. I’ve been privileged to have had lots of fabulous adventures in and around Canyonlands National Park. I support keeping those same opportunities open for future generations. What better than to protect the lands surrounding Canyonlands National Park from exploitation and development--while we still can.

FLAG
By Jeff Stephens
From Carbondale, CO
Mar 5, 2012
Eastside
Access is overrated. Wildness is disappearing. Ecosystems are dying. Climbing doesn't help. Now would be a good time to demonstrate that you have an interest beyond facilitating your own personal utility of any public acre. It is OK if there are just a few cliffs in the world that you can't drive to. Using the commons for personal recreation is one thing, but shirking your obligation to invest in the sustainability of that commons is not only stupid, it is, as they say, a tragedy. When climbers choose to sacrifice wildness for access, essentially subverting a place to their own special interest, they reduce themselves to the level of mindless consumers, crackheads, out for the quick, easy hit, willing to steal from the future to satisfy a useless craving. Far removed from noble explorers, have modern climbers become so athletically specialized that they can no longer walk, use maps, or find water, or even act civilized?

Umph!, c'mon... regardless of the content of your posts, which, as pointed out above, are devoid of evident information, but full of claimed knowledge, your belligerent and arrogant tone is insulting, small-minded, and careless. You are also very loose with several dubious and unsuported assumptions that you present as "points and examples". I know, you are paranoid about an orchestrated agenda by the government to interfere with YOUR freedom. That's what you call it, right, "freedom"? That is really, really upsetting, I can't even imagine what that must be like, however, the toxic ambience of your argument, even if you had been equipped with some facts, would help galvanize any thoughtful reader in favor of the side you oppose. I pretty much try to tune out dogs and infants when I'm listening to people speak.

P.S.> I love how you call the OP a liar and compare him to a chimp, then accuse him of bullying you. Nice.

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By Steve Bond
Mar 5, 2012
Photo.
BC,

Thanks for posting on this topic, I was unaware and now will move to support the opposition as much as possible. I know that sounds confrontational, but allow me to explain.

I do not trust conservationists and wilderness folks. I used to vote Wilderness until too many of my mountain bike rides became threatened (i.e. Hidden Gems in the Roaring Fork area for example). I climb, mountain bike, dirt bike, drive/bike the White Rim trail, hike slot canyons and just enjoy that whole general area. Unfortunately conservationists have become exclusionary to everything but their pet pursuit (usually hiking) so I cannot team up with this group, no matter how bad the enemy may be (tar sand drilling). I'd rather be able to bike past an oil rig than not be able to bike in a place at all (I even hate that I've come to this!) Its sad what a divide these "hiker only" conservationists have caused. Will I be banned from riding the White Rim trail or hundreds of miles of other established, sanctioned (not social) trails. Sorry guys, I don't trust you. I for one will fight any expanded designation, national monument, whatever because of the exclusionary approaches of the folks organizing the fight.

The Wilderness designation is wielded too broadly and is splitting off factions that would otherwise support some level of protection. Then the oil guys win. SUWA, having "wilderness" in the name clearly places this organization as "hiking only".

So BC, I appreciate your passion, but consider what the "Wilderness" in SUWA does to alienate folks that would otherwise support your fight.

That's my two cents -- wanted to get that out there but don't have much time for MP.com so may not be back for a couple weeks (hence, can't get into a conversation on the finer points). Thanks again for the heads up.

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By Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Mar 5, 2012
Wall Street, Moab, UT
Jeff Stephens wrote:
Access is overrated. Wildness is disappearing. Ecosystems are dying. Climbing doesn't help. Now would be a good time to demonstrate that you have an interest beyond facilitating your own personal utility of any public acre. It is OK if there are just a few cliffs in the world that you can't drive to.


This. Yes.

In fairness, I've also developed some mistrust of "hiker only conservationists", and SUWA sometimes irritates me (as does the Sierra Club), but I still have an interest in a bigger picture than my own chosen pursuits.

FLAG
 
By Jeff Stephens
From Carbondale, CO
Mar 5, 2012
Eastside
Steve,

Name the mountain biking trails that were threatened by Hidden Gems. I am specifically curious about that.

Your discussion of "pet pursuits" was hypocritical and fallacious.

You refuse to be part of a solution. But you assert your right to use what belongs to nobody. That is a problem.

Wildness in the human spirit is becoming harder to find than wilderness itself. You make me sad and sick.

I appreciate your candor though.

“If there is such a thing as spiritual materialism, it is displayed in the urge to possess the mountains rather than to unravel and accept their mysteries,” - Polish climber Voytek Kurtyka.

FLAG
By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Mar 5, 2012
Whaaaat?
Steve Bond wrote:
I was unaware and now will move to support the opposition as much as possible.


Steve Bond wrote:
no matter how bad the enemy may be (tar sand drilling).


I understand that nobody likes their good times taken away, but I don't think you know how the oil in tar sands is extracted. None of us will be anywhere near these open pit mines.

Tar sand mine.
Tar sand mine.



I support SUWA because there aren't many options to help bring the dial back the other direction. Deep pocketed energy companies and developers are doing all they can to snatch up as much of the potentially profitable lands they can find. They're a crafty bunch of profit driven individuals that would put a mine right in the middle of IC if they could make a buck from it. This isn't about pushing everyone else from the land so hikers have it for themselves. That's just an ignorant statement. It's about trying to protecting as much land as these greedy profiteers wouldn't give two squirts about ruining, and it's a tug-o-war.

Peter Stokes covered it well:

Peter Stokes wrote:
I still have an interest in a bigger picture than my own chosen pursuits

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By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Mar 6, 2012
I think Steve Bonds' question is quite reasonable. For sure around Boulder there is sometimes friction between hikers and bikers for trail access in and around the Flatirons.

In the case of Greater Canyonlands, I understand that that the local Moab bike community are supportive; there is no threat to any established bike trails. One bike trail somewhere near Bartlett Wash travels the boundary of the proposed monument; and thus is not affected.

FLAG
By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Mar 6, 2012
Stabby
This helps:

Steve "Crusher" Bartlett wrote:
From the excellent article linked by camhead: “The threats to The Land are greater than they have ever been. And many of those threats come from the same forces that have always endangered the last special places. Oil. Mining. Timber. Motorized Recreation. Industrial Tourism.” Yeah. Quite right. I’m a big fan of Jim Stiles. He points out how the tourist industry itself can exploit and damage wilderness. Moab and the surrounding lands have been transformed in the last couple decades by bikes, ATVs, motels, commercial guiding outfits, but still, in the background there still the old threats, the nodding donkeys near the entrance to Canyonlands National Park, pressure for new uranium mining south of Moab (even as trucks are slowly removing the vast pile of radioactive waste just north of Moab). Stiles rails against SUWA because their stubborn push for their vast Red Rocks Wilderness is going nowhere and merely frightens developers into hysterical action. But in the Greater Canyonlands proposal, SUWA has joined forces with a number of other organisations to promote a more modest, eminently do-able idea. One worthy of support. I think what is key is to have appropriate uses for appropriate places. Moab itself is now a big, big town. Indian Creek is, and now always will be, a world-class, heavily used climbing area. Sand Flats is a heavily used area for camping, biking and 4WD. Behind the Rocks is mixed, with much 4WD use, as is Gemini Bridges. But much of the land surrounding Canyonlands National Park, especially to the west and south is still barely touched. Canyonlands National Park itself was Ed Abbey’s favorite corner of Utah. You can, to this day, camp on the White Rim Trail and not see a single artificial light. The night sky is deepest black, the stars are on steroids, blazing with an intensity seldom seen any more. The silence is profound, unsettling. When a jet plane goes over you can almost hear the pilots talking to each other. I’ve been privileged to have had lots of fabulous adventures in and around Canyonlands National Park. I support keeping those same opportunities open for future generations. What better than to protect the lands surrounding Canyonlands National Park from exploitation and development--while we still can.


Steve "Crusher" Bartlett wrote:
I think Steve Bonds' question is quite reasonable. For sure around Boulder there is sometimes friction between hikers and bikers for trail access in and around the Flatirons. In the case of Greater Canyonlands, I understand that that the local Moab bike community are supportive; there is no threat to any established bike trails. One bike trail somewhere near Bartlett Wash travels the boundary of the proposed monument; and thus is not affected.



This doesn't:
dailycamera.com/guestopinion/c...

Jeff Stephens wrote:
Access is overrated.



Jeff Stephens wrote:
You refuse to be part of a solution. But you assert your right to use what belongs to nobody. That is a problem.




Tar sand mine.
Tar sand mine.



"Belongs to nobody" should actually read belongs to everybody; and the aerial shot of Ft. McMurray up near the Artic Circle, which conviently pays for Canada's single payer health system btw, is the height of hyperbole.

I get the sense here that failing to convince a majority to support this means that the proponents would then resort to the Progressive method of unilateral action by fiat by those who hold the "greater good" interests at heart and thus know better than the average citizen. If you sacrifice liberty for security, you deserve neither. Acquiesce this land to Washington and forever lose the right to have any input with how it should be used. Remember, it is a very short, very easy step for them to take to forbid any access at all once this is in place. And there are plenty of zealots in the environmental sciences working their way into government with that very goal in mind. They already have infiltrated Colorado's government.

I'm not pro-industry and environmental degradation, but you need to do better than that to convince me.

FLAG
By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Mar 6, 2012
Whaaaat?
bouldertheater.com/event/free-...

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By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Mar 6, 2012
Whaaaat?
Umph!, you so underwhelmed me with your previous attempts, I couldn't bring myself to reading the ramblings *below. Hopefully you didn't spend too many days putting together that pile of garble.

EDIT: *below

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By Umph!
Mar 6, 2012
There, it's below you now BC, try that. . . I know it really pains you to think, but, placing it below you is as much help as I can muster.
Amazing what capable people can do in an hour, BC.

Jeff Stephens wrote:
Far removed from noble explorers, have modern climbers become so athletically specialized that they can no longer walk, use maps, or find water, or even act civilized? Umph!, c'mon... regardless of the content of your posts, which, as pointed out above, are devoid of evident information, but full of claimed knowledge, your belligerent and arrogant tone is insulting, small-minded, and careless. You are also very loose with several dubious and unsuported assumptions that you present as "points and examples". I know, you are paranoid about an orchestrated agenda by the government to interfere with YOUR freedom. That's what you call it, right, "freedom"? That is really, really upsetting, I can't even imagine what that must be like, however, the toxic ambience of your argument, even if you had been equipped with some facts, would help galvanize any thoughtful reader in favor of the side you oppose. I pretty much try to tune out dogs and infants when I'm listening to people speak. P.S.> I love how you call the OP a liar and compare him to a chimp, then accuse him of bullying you. Nice.


Wow, dude. Freakin’ hilarious!

Apparently, being "civilized" is hard for some, Jeff. I know, facts are painful things for those not prepared, and pain can create anger!

I took a bit of my time (to do some quick homework afterall) this evening to put this together - you're welcome.
Some links in here re GSENM. . . just read down closer the end, after I bash Jeff and Co. for a bit:
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Look, Jeff, I could attempt dialogue with you, but what of anything I write will be processed through your temporal lobe?
You really are an angry, self-centered asshat – considering your repulsive retort to Steve’s honest post, and my own, and your utter lack of respectable, coherent communication and information.
BUT, it’s rather funny, so I hope you continue to have a meltdown!

The “bully” is SUWA, not BC Sorter. BC is simply a tool, and his role as a tool is to promote agenda through whichever means he finds/feels appropriate (scary pictures, false headlines, insupportable babble - SUWA doesn’t care).

His agenda (and yours, I guess, even though you don’t actually make a point) I oppose (we’ll come back to this in a moment).
I did reference a “chimp” for functionalities sake, but then I also “compared” him to a banana. . . . Analogous and metaphoric language is neither literal nor appointing/entitling, so don’t let that entertaining stuff deter your focus.

BC “acted” like he was concerned, but unsure, and wanted input from others. He said that existing roads and “points of interest” would not be closed; it’s just the “new roads or mining operations” that would not be permitted – you know, to keep from “pillaging and plundering” like the savage Viking hordes -lacking conscience, ethics and morals - that we are. . . .
Deceit.

I never did call him a “liar”, but rather a “regurgitator of lies.” Try to focus when you read, son.

And, “freedom”. . . really, this bothers you? FREEDOM?! This makes you angry too? Apparently you’re a communist to boot? Seems fitting I suppose.

Now, back to that agenda. . . . I don’t believe in blind agendas. My approach, in these cases: Logic, reasoning, a plethora of observable examples and evidence, to include both scientific and humanistic criteria and methodology. . . oh, and honest information.

I don’t work well with feel-goodism and pandering politics. . . makes me feel, well, stupid. Followin’ yet, cowboy?

BC, you and SUWA, you all like feel-goodism more than rational thought. As example, BC stated:
Please explain how my freedom will be limited by the Greater Canyonlands being protected. I've hiked much of it already and would still have access to hiking it.

He really doesn’t care to address the fact that “freedom limitations” go far beyond hiking (duh?).
Furthermore, and as insultingly, BC states nearly point-blank that he doesn’t care about anyone else and their abilities or desires, because, hell!, he’s “hiked much of it already”, and would still be able to hike it if all the vehicular access points were closed down! That is his kind, “from the horse’s mouth”. . . this is self-centered elitism, and it sucks.

Now, I highly doubt that BC has hiked “much of it”.
And, if this proposal were to be enacted, he would be able to hike much less of it than he’s already exaggerating about!
Have you been out there? Have you driven out there? Do you understand those distances in that desert environment? The vast majority of people would not be able to appreciate it without vehicular access. And that form of segregation and control, in this particular instance/proposal, is a form of “elitism”. . . but, I already covered that.

I do of course love petroleum. If you don’t, then you are too ignorant (pretty well proven) to understand what petroleum has done for you, and others not nearly as fortunate as you.
Tar sands extraction doesn’t concern me in the ‘Greater Canyonlands” site, as no permits nor proposals have been submitted for this mining method. . . . There you elitists go again, using deceit and scare tactics to raise support from the ignorant masses. You probably helped to bus in votes from paid homeless people, too, huh? Seems fitting of your ethics.

If you can prove me wrong, then PLEASE post up the permits or proposals for tar sands extraction in the “GC” area.
If not, quit with the deceit and BS. . . this isn’t the homeless shelter, and your BS scary pictures and BS “headlines” followed by BS rhetoric from SUWA do not motivate tax-paying, gasoline pumping, socially diverse and politically cognizant people.

If SUWA begins to campaign against ACTUAL threats from tar sands operations within the GC area, then I’ll promise to give my support, because that type of activity doesn’t bode well for this unique natural area, its wildlife/residents and economy.
I support organizations whose intentions and funds are well-aired and solid.

This SUWA, well, they are a bunch of BS’n political propagandists whose shallow intentions are single-minded and completely out of touch with realities call in this world. They’re elitist swine, and hypocritical, self-hating political tools. . . .

As of now, there are (and have been) many “combined hydro-carbon leases” for eastern (north south and central) Utah. There are (and have been) tar sands provisions within them. This said, tar sands mining operations require a lot of resources/materials that most of these areas are not able to support (ex: water).

Furthermore, I don’t know of any leases or “plans of operations” (or expression of interest) that have been approved or proposed. . . and I even made some calls - again, enlighten us with your factual information. . . .

A few examples I’ve provided links to below, for those who are interested (there are many more out there). I’ve even added an EarthFirst link regarding potential tar sands mining on a small site along the Grand/Uintah line (that’d be way north of "GC").

Crusher, I don’t know where you obtain some of your information. Fees are charged at our latest “Monument”, GSENM.
Fees are charged (and more will come!) for campgrounds, some picnic areas, some access areas, and if you don’t call TAXES a fee. . . . do you think all those federal structures and employees grow off of profit??
And don’t forget those special use permits (Special Recreation Permits).
Furthermore, access, as I’ve always stated, is affected in this “Monument”.

Roads and trails closed, roads paved, facilities built, NO FIXED HARDWARE regulation at the “majority of areas suitable for climbing”. . . .
And don’t forget the extensive “Outfitters and Guides” section – you’ll recall, those “green industries” that overtake areas like this?
I’m guessing you’ll change your stance on “climbers support” now?

I’m a little upset with Crusher, as he never asked me for my FA’s of kitty-litter piles and choss-towers for his latest “guide” (joking, kinda).
Crusher, you note that you’d like to protect the “still-pristine land” outside of Canyonlands NP. . . for future generations, so that they can enjoy it as much as you’ve had the privilege:
First, not even close to “pristine”: roads, mines, structures, facilities, trails, bathrooms, campsites, “survival school training areas”, etc. But, it’s so big and magnificent, that it feels pristine. . . guess we’ve been doing a pretty good job thus far?
Second, how is anyone going to be able to appreciate it the way you’ve been able to if many of those same roads you’ve used for 4wd access, are closed; or if fixed hardware bans are enacted; or if due to the increased fees, and gas prices, and horrible economy, people can’t afford the trips? Simple, they won’t.

As for Ed Abbey, I recall his favorite area(s) in this region were the Maze District and the Henry Mountains (of course, there was the Glen Canyon area too, but the Feds put an end to that!). . . both of which he used a 4x4/vehicle to access, just like you! (and at times with great difficulty).
Ed was an anarchist, as much as he could be – to him the government was more corrupt and foul than the citizenry, which he certainly wasn’t happy with. I have his entire collection, literally.
He’s an American treasure.

Some simple links (that were easy to find) that support my points, below - hope they all work:

4x4now.com/trut262.htm

news.heartland.org/newspaper-a...

litigation-essentials.lexisnex...

blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/grand_stai...

blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/grand_stai...

earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2...

.

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By Jeff Stephens
From Carbondale, CO
Mar 7, 2012
Eastside
Umph!,

Your passion is infectious and you made a really good point, but I can't seem to find it now. Where did I set my damned notes? That new maid must've set them somewhere. Here they are... I wrote: "How can we be lovers if we can't be friends?" Hmmm...I must've been lost in thought.

Your latest post reminds me of a Dr. Bronner's bottle, and was at least as informative, so you must give me time to absorb its message. I have some questions, like "What's a meltdown?" Could you show me one?

I've never met a libertarian conservationist and energy advocate. What kind of conservation do you do? Diversity is neat. Like you, I'm not seriously concerned about tar sand development down there. For me, honestly, its about old-fashioned wilderness ideals. I want to fend off the growing masses, not accommodate them. I am against growing masses in general. I think growing masses should live in tumors. Furthermore, remoteness is rare and silence is golden. I like rare and golden things.

You are so mega-passionate that your instinct might be to attack me for saying so (collect yourself Umph!, draw your breath into the abdomen and remember: Mercy is power), but I sincerely suggest you edit your posts down to a readable length to make them easier to comprehend. Too much to go through and respond to coherently. (I admit, as you suggest, that I may not be intellectually up to the task.)

For the record, I was born and raised in Utah, and have been in all areas of Canyonlands multiple times.

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By Umph!
Mar 7, 2012
BC Sortor wrote:
That's just an ignorant statement.




A Picture from Canada, NOT Utah.  Deceit. . . .
A Picture from Canada, NOT Utah. Deceit. . . .




BC, do you carry Saul Alinsky's books with you at all times? Do you really believe continuing to submit deceitful propaganda, and outright lies is going to bring you the support you desire?

Nice picture of a Canadian operation. . . why did you put "UTAH" on it? Wait, I have the answer: deceit, IS your ethic.

SUWA's proposals are excatly about pushing others from the land to meet their (and their BIG $$$ funders!) benefit and expectations.

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By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Mar 7, 2012
Whaaaat?
It's mockery of Utah's tourism slogan: Utah - *Life Elevated. There are no tar sand operations in Utah, but if there ever are this is surely what they'll look like.

I have another one here you might enjoy...
Utah trails.
Utah trails.

Edit: *Life

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By Umph!
Mar 7, 2012
.
Oh yeah, STRAWMEN. . . watch 'em burn baby, watch 'em burn.
.

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By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Mar 7, 2012
Welcome back Umph! Tough crowd here, eh?

A couple things:

First, fees in Grand Staircase and Escalante National Monument. You asked where my information came from. It comes from firsthand experience. Never paid a cent in fees, over many visits. I have put lots of money into the local economy, to stores, motels, gas stations, restaurants. Only fees I’ve ever paid in that area were at Kodachrome Basin, which is a Utah State Park. Yes, GSENM does charge for camping at two developed campgrounds, Calf Creek and Deer Creek. Never camped at either one. Sorry if you felt I was misrepresenting things.

As for mining. Well, you might, just might be right about there being no realistic prospects for tar sand mining near Canyonlands. Among other things, they would need lots of water, and yeah, it's a desert.

But I don’t know for sure. I don’t trust or believe anything regarding the extractive and energy industries. They have a long history of lies, corruption, mismanagement and greed. The nuclear power industry for instance should, in this day and age, be a safe, clean, reliable source of energy. But it’s not. Last year’s disaster in Japan is just the latest incident where greed, hubris and incompetence has overruled common sense. BPs oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico likewise.

And on the Colorado Plateau? Vanadium Company of America, in cahoots with the feds, made millions of dollars mining uranium from the Navajo Nation in the 1950s. They neglected to inform the locals about the hazards. They were too cheap to install fans and other safety precautions in their mines. They left a legacy of death and destruction, and in 1967 the VCA conveniently disappeared, merged into another company. Our tax dollars will be paying for radiation and health issues for generations to come. Then there’s the story of John Boyden, a high-powered Salt Lake City lawyer (who twice stood for governor of Utah) who represented both the Navajos and Hopis in their negotiations with Peabody Coal, who wanted to mine coal on Black Mesa, situated between the two reservations. The Hopis wanted to stop the mining. The Navajos had doubts, but were a bit more amenable. Peabody ended up getting pretty much all they wanted. Including access to plenty of water, despite their operations being in the middle of a desert. Years later, after Boyden died, it became apparent that he was secretly being paid by Peabody the whole time. Corruption at a very high level.

So, if I read that, “tar sand mining around the Tar Sands Triangle (the relevant area near Canyonlands National Park) won’t happen, it’s impractical, nothing to worry about” or words to that effect, then I’m going to be skeptical. Plus, if you go to the website of US Oilsand:

usoilsandsinc.com/

especially their Corporate Presentation, here:

usoilsandsinc.com/documents/pr...

you will find a much more upbeat assessment.

I don’t really know what to believe, who to trust. The feds can be grossly inefficient, slow, frustrating. For that matter, wilderness advocates can sometimes sound strident, elitist, deaf to local concerns. But their hearts are in the right place. I do know that the extractive industries are hugely profitable, have boatloads of money and have enormous influence over Utah politics and political discourse at all levels. And I also know that if the Tar Sands Triangle area is made part of a National Monument then it WILL be protected from mining, just as the creation of the GSENM ended plans for mining on the Kaiparowits Plateau. So I support the Greater Canyonlands proposal.

Lastly, Ed Abbey. What Abbey loved was the wild desert. “Indeed I am a butterfly chaser, a googly-eyed bleeding heart and a wild conservative.”

What Abbey hated was development. Particularly roads and all who build them, whether it be federal bureaucrats, county officials, miners, local businessmen. When Rainbow Bridge became accessible by boat, when previously it had required a 6-mile hike, he was incensed and railed against “the wheelchair ethos of the average American Slob.” Hey, is that elitist, or what?

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By Umph!
Mar 7, 2012
I have my points of contrast (nuclear and other), but have voiced enough for this media and topic.

A pleasure to read, Crusher. . . thanks, man.

.

"Be of good cheer. All may yet be well. There's many a fork, I think, on the road from here to destruction." E.A.

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By Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Mar 8, 2012
Wall Street, Moab, UT
"Though men now possess the power to dominate and exploit every corner of the natural world, nothing in that fact implies that they have the right or the need to do so." (Edward Abbey)

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By the Ascender
From . . . CO
Mar 8, 2012
My shadow is forcing me into the overhanging crux.
I like this interview with Cactus Ed because it covers a lot of thought. It's Parts 1-3 and will take about thirty minutes. This is from 1982. Has a fun overall perspective and surprising how fitting it is with today. Much of this could have been recorded last year just the same.


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By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Mar 9, 2012
Whaaaat?
The area surrounding Canyonlands is a unique and special place, otherwise who would care.

The proposal is to protect Greater Canyonlands and its charm from those who threaten it most, extractive/energy companies, and land vandals (OHVs). I think most fair-minded people would agree that the extractive/energy industry digging and scraping away more of these lands would be bad... no hiking trails, no OHV trails, no access. This is probably the most important reason for protection. But, the damage caused by OHVs isn't much better. These land vandals are doing a great deal of damage already and without limiting their access, more is sure to come. The back-up evidence for this is as numerous and plentiful as discarded beer cans during the Jeep Jamboree weekend. And I understand why. When my bros and I go into the back country here in the Wasatch powder, we're always looking for new fresh lines. As climbers we do the same thing at the crag or driving near some vertical looking rock. Land vandals do this same thing but their impact is infinitely more damaging. Along with the initial tracks and obnoxious noise pollution their scars speed up the degradation of vegetation and soil erosion. Some may argue that OHV users "stay on trail." Not all are rampant vandals, but many are. I've witnessed many OHVs going off trail more times than I care to remember, and that falsehood is further flattened here:

In a survey conducted by Utah State University, owners of ORVs reported that they prefer to ride off trail and in fact, do ride off trail. Specifically, 49% of the ATV rider and 38% of the motorcycle rider report that they prefer to ride off-trial, and 39% of the ATV rider sand 50% of the motorcycle rider responded that they did, in fact, ride off-trial on their last trip.

In time, I believe these actions will be looked upon in a similar light as the marksmen some 170 years ago sitting in trains crossing the plains plunking off bison for no other reason than the fleeting thrill. Instead of killing wild and majestic beasts in nature with one single shot, land vandals slowly and systematically kill a naturally majestic and wild country.

SUWA and the supporters of SUWA are not trying to take this land away from anyone, quite the opposite actually, the intent to protect the land for everyone. The notion that this is a ruse for hikers to banish everyone but themselves is a desperate and limp argument without any merit whatsoever. I challenge anyone to point out literature or statements that claim this as an end goal. It just so happens that there are open-minded, generous, and thoughtful people who are passionate about protecting wild and special places. As a matter of fact, many of the contributors to SUWA come from people living in the Midwest and on the east coast. Some may never step one foot on Greater Canyonlands National Monument, ever. For them, and me, this is about protection from those that will do this land harm. The land should and will always be accessible to anyone who cares to visit, in a respectable and non-vandalizing way.

Sure, there are always going to be hyper-sensitive land vandals ready to spew their tactless retorts, victimization, and diatribe, but what other options do they have? Their hobby is vandalizing our lands. Sadly, a great number of these land vandals are too callous and arrogant to genuinely consider their position and impact.

Anyways, what's important to me, and hopefully us, is protecting this wild and special place.

suwa.org/issues/greatercanyonl...

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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Mar 9, 2012
You stay away from mah pig!
This is relevant to this discussion. Idiots.

le.utah.gov/~2012/bills/hbilli...

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