Friday, May 25, 2018

~~BEAR ESSENTIALS: May 25, 2018~~

v Primary Ballots will be mailed out the first part of June.  VOTE

The presence of one of the largest coal reserves on Earth was precisely the reason President Clinton created Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. A plan to reopen a once productive uranium mine was precisely the reason President Obama created Bears’ Ears National Monument.”
n  Mens Journal Visits all 50 States; Their Utah Choice: “The Most Disputed Monument” Bears Ears
Bears Ears National Monument, which the Trump administration is in the process of downsizing, has long been at the center of the fight for public lands. It also happens to be one of the best places in the Southwest to explore. For starters, you can hike to the ruins known as House on Fire, Pueblo granaries at the base of a rock feature with swirling marks resembling flames. Then there are the North and South Six Shooters, twin sandstone towers that sit nearly 6,000 feet atop talus cones and are famous among rock climbers. What’s more, the upper section of the San Juan River, from the put-in at the Sand Island Recreation Area to the take-out at Mexican Hat, makes for a mellow paddle through scenic canyon country, with thousands of petroglyphs etched into the red cliffs. —Jayme Moye”
n  Good or Bad?  Black Diamond Company Plans to Expand in Utah – Irony at its best


n  SUWA’s Scott Groene: Public Lands Don’t Belong to Locals
San Rafael Swell bill: "It protects less land as wilderness than is already protected for those values. It makes off-road vehicle problems worse with an unprecedented legislative scheme. It undoes a protected area for coal mining. It allows Utah politicians to sue the United States to put off-road vehicles through areas designated wilderness. And, as icing on the cake, it furthers the state of Utah’s grab at our public lands by handing management of federal lands over to local control, which will likely result in an ORV playground around Temple Mountain and more crowding around Goblin Valley."
(Written 4 years ago in the Canyon Zephyr.  If you’ve never read this article, tackle it now, including the comments at the end, and then consider San Juan’s future.) It was, after all, the Grand Canyon Trust’s Bill Hedden who once proclaimed, “Industrial-strength recreation holds more potential to disrupt natural processes on a broad scale than just about anything else.”  Twenty years later, Hedden and the Trust and other “green” groups seldom talk about the recreation menace.  Now, turning wilderness into a cash cow is a favored strategy, not a shameless exploitation.”   Jim Stiles

             Other Articles/ Events of Local Interest             
Winston Hurst has written several articles about Cummings’ explorations in San Juan County.  One is in Issue #13 of Blue Mt. Shadows (1994)

Over the years, as far back as 1991, this publication has expressed its growing alarm over a monolithic Industrial Tourism economy. Consequently, we have understandably lost most of our former Moab advertisers. We are now almost completely supported by small contributions from our readers.
Sad to say, almost everything we predicted 25 years ago is happening--Moab has become a poster child for what NOT to become as a tourist town. To the south in San Juan County, the corporate outdoor industry is licking its chops as it moves forward to make that region "the next Moab."
One year membership: $100
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You can use your credit card through PayPal at our web site:

Or mail checks:
PO Box 271
Monticello, UT 84535
                     Documenting Bears Ears “No Monument” efforts since July 2016                                                                    

Monday, May 14, 2018

Understanding the Economic Dilemma of Rural Utah

Charts and graphics showing the burden that Public Lands Bring to Rural Utah and other States

1) Employment in Utah 2007-2016

2) Median Family Income in Utah 2015

This site gives an updated overview of economic factors: 

3) Public land/ (millions of acres controlled by Fed. Gov.) in Western States

This map above illustrates the prevailing concerns of many in the west: Because of the excessive amount of public lands vs. private land, western states are treated more like territories, with little regard for their life style, values, and politics. The great divide is more about the inability to utilize private land because of federal policies created by public land managers.   

How Much Land Does the Federal Gov. Own in the West And Why

Lack of Private Land in San Juan County (only 8%) coupled with Federal Control of Public Lands stifles economic development in rural Utah. San Juan ranks 29th out of 29 Utah counties with a per-capita, annual income of approximately $23,244.  Approximately 29% of San Juan County residents reportedly fall below the Federal poverty line.

Disparity between East States and Western States Sovereignty

4) Existing National Parks, National Monuments and State parks in Utah

 The State of Utah covers 52,696,960 acres. Of that land mass, 35,033,603 acres have been designated into 13 different national parks/monuments.  The federal government inefficiently owns/ runs/ manages 66% of our state!

 For the past two years, National Parks and Monuments were under a two-year deferred maintenance totaling nearly $11.5 Billion. Utah alone was behind $278,094,606 in park maintenance.   Parks/Monuments in Utah are inadequately maintained by the Federal Government.  Chart shows the financial burden ("deferred maintenance") currently felt by the State of Utah: 

(Keep in mind that the Federal Government currently is over 21 TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT and it's rising daily.)  National Debt Clock

5) Agencies and Legislation Affecting States with public lands: 

San Juan County is already home to six federal designations/destinations:  Natural Bridges, Hovenweep, Canyonlands, Dark Canyon and Grand Gulch Wilderness areas, and Glen Canyon Recreation Area.   
Listed are layers of protection already in place: 
Layers of land protection affecting the West:
1.     1906 Antiquities act,
2.     1935 Historic Sites Preservation Act,
3.     1960/1974 Reservoir Act,
4.     1964 Wilderness Act
5.     1966 National History Preservation Act
6.     1968 Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
7.     1969 National Environmental Protection Act
8.     1974 Archeological & Historic Preservation Act,
9.     1976 Federal Lands Policy and Management Act,
10. 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act,
11. 1979 Archeological Resources Protection Act,
12. 1980 Amendment NHBA - Exec. Order Protection & Enhancement of Cultural Environment,
13. 1990 Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act,
14. 1996 Indian Sacred Site Protection Act,
15. 2000 Consultation & Coordination with Indian Tribal Government Act
2003 Preserve America Act 

6) Bears Ears/ Public Lands Protections/ Mineral Restrictions

7) The Environmental Money Trail in the US Should Be Investigated

Gutsy journalists need to investigate the $ flow of Sue and Settle litigation over the past 20 years instigated by the Wealthy Green Lobby and its impact on Western States and their economy:   EPA director to End Sue and Settle Pattern
“Scott Pruitt recently issued a directive to end a 20-year string of “sue and settle” cases that have funneled untold millions of tax dollars to environmental organizations. . . About 20 years ago, government agencies stopped collecting data on these settlements, so they could no longer report to Congress on the amount of money involved, or the groups to whom it was being paid. Long-time observers know it amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars, and the recipients are mostly large environmental organizations.”

8)  What San Juan County Does Not Want to Be:  Another Moab

-- Jim Stiles Explains Impacts of Industrialized Tourism -- Canyon Zephyr
--Canyon Zephyr Expose' on Money Trail--Implicates Environmental Powers

Friday, May 11, 2018

~~BEAR ESSENTIALS: May 11, 2018~~

v Dr. Mike Kennedy, candidate for Utah senator will be in Monticello May 22,
   7 PM at the Hideout.  Get your questions ready.

v SL Tribune’s Take on Willie Greyeye’s Utah Residency

          Open house May 15 at Monticello Discovery Center 7 PM
“Approximately one-third of the acres removed from Bears Ears are wilderness or wilderness study areas and remain off-limits to claims. Finding a parcel that was previously part of Bears Ears, did not have an active claim and was not otherwise restricted to mining proved to be a bit of a challenge.” . . . In 2017, an estimated $75.2 billion worth of minerals were produced in the U.S. — up 6 percent from the previous year. And the Trump administration has prioritized boosting domestic production of minerals it has identified as “critical” to the economic and national security. A draft list of 35 minerals includes both uranium and vanadium, a malleable metal also found in the White Canyon area of southeastern Utah.”
“Despite the vital importance of minerals, the previous Administration took dozens of anti-mining actions which, if left in place, will stifle job creation, decimate local economies and disrupt public education funding streams. This overreach locked up millions of acres of Federal lands under false pretenses and harmed our nation’s domestic mineral supply…”

n  The Hammond Plot Thickens: Was Uranium on Malheur land the real reason for prosecution of ranchers?
Peter Thiel—the founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, is also an investor in carbon neutral nuclear production and the future of mining uranium. His new startup company is called Helion Energy.
“Through the years, Wenrich searched for uranium deposits in northern Arizona, which, says the U.S. Geological Survey, has “the highest uranium potential in the country.” After spending $100,000, she staked 71 mining claims with joint interest in another 94 claims. In fact, she had a $200,000 agreement to sell 61 of the claims. Yet, in 2012, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar closed more than a million acres of federal lands from mining, blocking her from selling the 61 claims, developing her other claims, or exploring for more uranium resources.”
n  The Coup d’état Over Idaho Land -- Goal: Identifying species and habitat for corridors which can be used to place large tracts of land into conservation for connectivity to other protected areas, convincing private land owners to place their land into conservation easements, buying land through NGOs and the federal government, erasing jurisdictional boundaries between counties, states, and countries, and creating a regional environmental governance.  This CSP graphic gives a visual picture of just a few groups who are involved in controlling public land use. 

              (San Juan County is also impacted by many of these:)

             Other Articles/ Events of Local Interest             
            Documenting Bears Ears “No Monument” efforts since July 2016