I read the article about the Sierra Club representative calling for a monument designation for a substantial portion of Utah. As one who grew up in Moab and loved the great outdoor life that that provided, I have to say that I am saddened by this suggestion. I have watched as Moab has changed from a small, relatively remote, farming /mining/ government-driven economy/ environment to a suburb of Eco-Planet Cali. Personally, in my opinion as a native of Utah and Moab for a substantial portion of my life, this suggestion creating an uncompromising lockup of all natural resources by the dictate of outside individuals and local transplants who by demographics alone politically control Grand County and the City of Moab, is truly a tragedy. I’m sure that the Sierra Club representative sincerely feels that he knows what’s best for the earth, of which southeastern Utah is a part. I don’t doubt that his sentiment is represented by a substantial portion of the population of Moab. But, just because in a pure democracy the majority can choose to implement forms of government that can create a form of soft (or hard) tyranny, doesn’t mean that it is really the best or ethical for the minority who may disagree. I don’t see the wholesale takeover and sequester of land in the name of protecting the environment as a good thing. I believe that resources can and should be developed in a way that benefits both sides of this issue.
Rather than taking an Earth First, religo-fanatical, eco-terrorist, fight-to-the-death stance with no compromise, there needs to be rational, ethical, practical and sensible solutions to these problems within the realm of reality. If the Sierra Club cannot acknowledge that there can be practical and rational compromise and cooperation with the fossil fuel industry, the ATV/ Jeep people, and the uranium industry, then I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
I love Moab. I love the whole area. Some of my best, most cherished memories are hiking and camping in the Moab backcountry. I believe that “protection” of the environment can be compatible with development. I have solar panels and a wind generator on my house. I know what it takes to generate power and I know that there is no quick-fix solution to provide absolutely “clean” energy with no “carbon footprint.” I am all for practical research and developing the alternate technologies to where they can be practical and work without massive government subsidies, artificial markets or premium payment on clean energy rates. But these issues will not be solved by legislation, lawsuits or “monument designations;” they will be solved by hard, practical science and the free market without socialistic mechanisms and governmental dictatorial interference.
If you don’t like fossil fuels or have ethical problems with using them, then you can simply and individually go off-grid. Stop paying Rocky Mountain Power. Turn off your power. Ride a bike. Walk. And I commend you for your enthusiasm and commitment. With your good example you can convince us and show that it truly is a better, practical way to live now in the present and we will come to you for advice and instruction. But don’t force others by lawsuits, legislation or governmental dictates to live the same way.