Dear Editor:

I have been a resident of Moab for almost 50 years. I was here for the end of the uranium boom, the bust and now for the tourist explosion. Being a permanent resident, I know that during the last 10 years or so, my quality of life in Moab has been declining.

Main Street is an overcrowded disaster. Food shopping has to be planned around tourist hours. It can take 20 to 30 minutes to get into town coming from the north. Speed limits in town have been lowered instead of requiring noisy ATVs to have mufflers if they are going to travel in urban areas. Our neighborhoods are losing their family-oriented identity with second homes, rentals and bed and breakfasts taking over. Eating out requires a wait of at least 45 minutes. We aren’t supposed to use our garbage disposals so as not to overload an already overloaded sewer system. Our water bills have gone up, supposedly to replace old pipes, but all I’ve seen are new pipes going into new construction; and the list goes on.

What is the cause of all these problems? In my opinion, it is uncontrolled and excessive tourist growth which has far outpaced the ability of our infrastructure to keep up, and yet we continue to advertise, “Come to Moab!”

I realize that we are dependent on the tourist industry in Moab. What I feel we need is a more balanced approach in government — a balance between protecting the quality of living for our permanent residents and controlled growth for the tourist industry.

I think it’s a shame that when an entity like the National Park Service wants to protect a resource we get a public outcry, “It’s going to hurt the tourist industry!”

If we’re not careful, we are going to destroy the very thing people come here for. How about working on a common-sense solution rather than polarizing our community with all of this ridiculous infighting?

Ron Olsen