Dear Editor:

To all those who care about this community.

I am not against the tourist industry in Moab. After all, it is most peoples bread and butter.  However, a lot of corporations are coming in, making a lot of money and paying very low wages. Does that help our community as a whole?

The more people that come in, the more adverse effects on our environment. I hope we are not destroying the very thing we are “selling.” Today I saw another first. For those who may not know, over the years Moab and Grand County have gradually been preventing vehicles from driving up Mill Creek to the waterfall, driving across wherever they wanted to, etc. Now, not only are more ATVs going more places, they are driving their ATVs not just through Mill Creek, but their ATVs were in the pools next to them. 

I understand the travel council is doing their best to educate the people who are coming to visit our area. It is up to all of us, especially those who rent out vehicles, to make it clear that they need to stay on the roads. I understand we can’t control what everyone does, but I think we’re back to the situation of years ago where people believe they can go anywhere. Jeepers have really worked on this over the years and I have seen a huge difference. As far as I can tell, most Jeeps do not go off-road anymore and are fairly respectful.

The travel council really is just doing their job. And until we can make changes at the state level, their hands are a bit tied. I think we are directing our energies toward the wrong people. Right now, the state controls the ATV issue, the overnight rental issue and how the travel council’s money gets spent. And now they’re trying to control what kind of government we want in our county. 

I really hope we can keep the acrimony and meanness out of these conversations. Ultimately, except for the corporate people who don’t live here, I believe most of us want the same things.  

I really did intend for this next letter to be short, so simply put, we need to decide as a community if we want to be a community with a tourist industry or simply a money-making machine. 

My preference would be to keep this a livable place.

P.S. I had trouble with a dog going AWOL today and two fabulous people helped me find her. Ed Scuzzo was out walking his pug and took responsibility for this dog who was wandering around. Ironically, the other one was Andrew Mirrington, the publisher of the Moab Sun News. They made a serious effort to locate us. So, good things are still happening in this community.

Judy Powers