Wow! I have been monitoring the progress of locally relevant legislation in the 2021 Utah State Legislature session. It has been discouraging and eye-opening. It has become clearer and clearer that there is a battle between the businesses and the residents in this town.

House Bill 247 has passed out of committee: This bill would enable our county to spend more money from the Transient Room Tax on economic diversification. However, now the real fight begins. Businesses here have been willing to collect the tax because they have been guaranteed free advertising for years and they will continue to be guaranteed advertising to the tune of the amount spent in 2019 (the most money spent to date, as I understand it) before there will be any changes to where the money goes under the bill.

However, instead of “allowing” our county to have more money to mitigate the effects of tourism and spending their own money on advertising, some businesses (do I need to name names?) are going to spend their money lobbying legislators to oppose the bill.

What selfish insanity.

Secondly, regarding SB 168, a bill that would potentially establish a noise curfew on UTVs. I certainly appreciate the fact that Sen. Jacob Anderegg was so disturbed by the UTV noise the last time he was in Moab that now he will vote for a noise curfew (albeit from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. rather than 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.).

However, why is it that the myriad of people from here that spoke out are discounted? Why is it that the constant letters to the editor regarding this issue aren’t considered significant? It’s as though if you live here you can’t be trusted because you have a personal vendetta against UTVs. Nope. Didn’t care about them one way or the other until they invaded our space in town and out on the trails.

I just would like the noise pollution and the blatant destruction of our beautiful landscape to be curtailed. I went out to the Blue Hills area yesterday: egads!! The amount of new and totally unnecessary roads was disheartening. I figure I have another week to go to some of these areas in relative peace. Then I’ll have to wait again until next winter—if we are still allowed some kind of quieter shoulder season.


Judy Powers