In last week’s letters to the editor section of the Sun News, I again read comments urging the approval of a Bears Ears National Monument in San Juan County (“Don’t leave Bears Ears to developers’ whims,” “Return Bears Ears to Native Americans,” April 28 – May 4, 2016 Moab Sun News).
This kind of thinking by a few vocal and extreme outsiders who do not live there is annoying and just plain wrong, as it does not affect them directly.
The economic loss to residents will hurt the local economy and end up displacing many. It will force them to leave and seek employment elsewhere because they would be unable to provide for their families.
It was even suggested in another letter to the editor that those of white Eurocentric culture should somehow start to repay an unpayable debt by giving it back to the natives to atone for Anglo misconduct. Do we pack up and leave for Europe and give it all back? That would be interesting.
Since the comments last week were truly ridiculous, I would like to add my own solution to make things right and bring balance to the discussion. I am of mixed genetic heritage, which also includes Ute ancestry. I figure that makes me exempt from any responsibility [for what] my Anglo ancestors may or may not have done. As a show of good faith however, that they are truly serious about land transfer and fairness, I would like Steve Russell and others of his “ilk,” to deed over any land they have here in Moab to me and mine.
Moab in the Ute language means “mosquito” (Moap). My people came to this valley long ago to hunt, fish, gather food, swat insects and make war with those they thought were their enemy.
When it does not affect you directly, it is easy to give up or transfer land. It is time to put up or shut up! Well … I am waiting.