The use of UTVs in Moab and Grand County is a legitimate topic for discussion. A letter to the editor last week regarding the subject, “UTV Noise is Unacceptable,” presents an example of how not to engage in this debate, and how to frighten your fellow citizens.

“No possible compromise exists”, “they cannot be forgiven”, “you are worse than cocaine and meth dealers”, “two generations of Moab politicians were cowards”, “loving Moab like Putin loves Ukraine”, “every cornered animal will defend its nest and young”, “you have options to solve this peacefully”, and finally, “If you want to see an entire town of families snap, keep on driving them to their breaking point”.

One is certainly entitled to their opinion on the subject, and I stand firmly with protecting their First Amendment rights to speak up. But when you make these kinds of statements, with insults and veiled threats of violence, you don’t get to be in that debate and should be investigated by law enforcement and mental health experts. We’ve seen across the county what happens when someone “snaps.”

Many people are actively engaged in resolving the noise issue, and I have seen a noticeable change in noise and use behavior by this user group over the last couple of years. Outreach and education have clearly had some significant level of success. Speed limits on UTVs on streets have also been quite successful. The Grand County Commission and the Grand County Attorney trying to pass laws that discriminate against this user group and the businesses that support these groups have not been successful, and rightfully so. 

We’ve made great progress in dealing with this. What we don’t need are people who insult us and tell us compromise is unacceptable and elected leaders that purposefully discriminate against this particular user group. We also do not need a county attorney who shares such hateful and threatening letters on their Facebook page from a resident who appears to be on the edge. 

We live in a tourist destination resort of our own creation. We live in a narrow valley, lined by echoing sandstone cliffs on either side, with a major highway running through the middle of it. It is not a quiet place, never has been. We have purposefully gone out of our way in this county to shut down all other forms of economic use on our surrounding public lands, and to put all our eggs in one tourism basket, despite the warnings of many people not to take this single function route. Now we have people who have moved here recently and decided they don’t like this anymore and our tourism industry needs to be curtailed. 

Many of us have been here long enough to see what the results of a single industry shutting down bring to the residents. Economic devastation. So engage in this issue if you will, but enough of the outrageous insults and comparisons and threats. 

Lynn Jackson