It’s easy to play games with other people’s land: Black Diamond v. Rural Utah

This post is a response to an Op-Ed written by Peter Metcalf, CEO and Founder of Black Diamond, Inc., that was published in the Salt Lake Tribune on January 10, 2017 (and linked to below). Let me begin by saying… (1) I enjoy and love spending time on Utah’s public lands. (2) I don’t support a wholesale transfer of public land from the federal government to the state government. BUT… When it comes to analyzing the costs and benefits of designating national monuments and federal land preservation decisions, it is…

Pump the brakes in reaction to Bears Ears

The hot story this week is the presidential decree establishing the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. With a swipe of his pen, President Obama set aside over one million acres of Utah wilderness as land too sacred, too historical, too intergenerational and too pristine to be left in the control of anyone and anything short of the all-seeing and all-powerful federal government. Utah conservatives are up in arms. They say President Obama abused the Antiquities Act (he did). They say his timing in doing so as he leaves…

10 Reasons why Utah fights monuments

President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell are deliberating over whether to designate the Bears Ears National Monument. You can’t walk through a grocery store without seeing newspaper headlines shouting that Utah’s leaders vow to fight the monument. What is going on? This isn’t the first time the passionate politics of presidential monuments have come to the Beehive State, where our motto is “Industry.” In 1996 President Clinton designated the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in south-central Utah. This was the largest monument declaration in the history of the continental US,…

Environmental movement’s strong hold on Utah and the West: “It all ends now”

I’m sure many people don’t quite realize what this election has done to the environmental movement in Utah and throughout the United States. Prior to the election, the movement has had a free reign of terror and a choking strong holding on the western states as well as the rest of the United States. But on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, the bullies were stopped. Tuesday will go down in history as the day they were handed their hat and asked to leave the party. Their control and power ended with…

Latest Bears Ears poll transmits a false sense of security

By Matthew Anderson Last week, The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a new Pew Charitable Trusts poll shows a slight majority of Utahns supports President Barack Obama in unilaterally designating the Bears Ears region as a national monument. The wording of the poll, however, is questionable. Pew asked 600 registered Utah voters the following question: “There is currently a proposal being considered to designate other public land in Utah as a national monument. This land, south of Canyonlands National Park, is commonly referred to as the Bears Ears area. As…

Senator Dabakis silences hundreds of San Juan County citizens

Utah State Senator Jim Dabakis posted the following picture on his Facebook page on August 5, 2016. Dabakis states that US Senator Mike Lee conjured up this picture to scare his “MINIONS” in to demanding “NO MONUMENT”. Citizens of San Juan County who are being directly affected by the monument if designated began to reply to Dabakis post. As comments were posted opposing the National Monument or questioning Dabakis about the so-called “Lee” photo they were deleted and the person making the post was blocked from his page. For example…

The Outdoor Industry wants public lands managed the same way they manage press conferences

With great fanfare, the Outdoor Industry invited the public a few days ago to join them in a press conference where they would announce their support for President Obama to designate the Bears Ears National Monument. What started as an attempt to show “a unified voice in support of efforts to protect the long-neglected Bears Ears region” turned into a master class on how to not run a PR event in the age of the smart phone. Blinded by hubris, the Outdoor Industry and Dine Bikeyah seemed to think that…

Bears Ears National Monument proposal “Dirty Tricks” Exposed

The left-leaning, Boulder, Colorado-based Public News Service published a story on June 14 accusing those in opposition to the proposed Bears Ears National Monument of using false information, veiled threats, and intimidation to turn San Juan County, Utah residents against the proposal. The story begins: “Groups advocating national monument status for the Bears Ears region of Utah say opponents are using false information and veiled threats to intimidate local residents. Native American and conservation groups say a well-funded campaign in Southeastern Utah is posting forged federal documents on bulletin boards at stores,…

Putting the Bears Ears in harm’s way

By Matthew Anderson Supporters of the proposed Bears Ears National Monument paint a vivid picture of ATVs running over ancient pottery, tourists etching initials into petroglyphs, and archaeologists digging up Native American burial grounds. While there is no denying the sad reality of such activities in the past, San Juan County Navajos feel that public education campaigns and federal laws are now effective at protecting these invaluable cultural resources. What does concern them, however, is the likelihood that a national monument designation would bring flocks of tourists to the area,…