Friday, October 8, 2021

Past is Prologue: Bears Ears Monument Reappears

~~ Biden's Expansion of Utah Monuments

The Antiquities Act gives presidents too much power, ignoring the many stakeholders whose needs should be considered. . .

San Juan Record Bears Ears Coverage

Oct. 13, 2021

~~ Help us Challenge Abuse of the Antiquities Act 

By Benjamin Burr
I don't think anyone was surprised by today's announcement. Many of us have been preparing for this in the meantime behind the scenes. We knew this step of the fight would need to happen once it became clear that Utah's federal delegation - with unprecedented congressional seniority during the Trump Administration - refused to fight for a permanent Antiquities Act exemption for Utah like Alaska and Wyoming have (Mike Lee did fight for the exemption, but the others did not). While the Senate is generally a sclerotic, do-nothing institution, during the Trump Administration the Senate was busy confirming an insane amount of judges, and the balance of power on the Supreme Court shifted. For those who haven't been paying attention, Chief Justice Roberts has signaled that there are concerns with abuse of the Antiquities Act, but the Court has chosen to wait for the right case.
The next phase of the fight over the Antiquities Act and controversial monument designations can and should take place in the courts. There are three entities that have the standing necessary to wage this legal fight: the State of Utah, SITLA, and any private in-holders within the monument. The State of Utah's standing is the strongest, so it is crucial that effort is focused on ensuring that Governor Cox and Attorney General Reyes pursue this fight. They need to hear encouragement from Utahns who are frustrated by the monument expansions. We've created a tool that makes it easy for you to start by sending a letter to the Governor (like 2 minutes of your time and a few clicks). Or you can reach out on your own. I think a simple message of encouragement will go a long way.

Help us spread the word about this! And Sign the Petition!!

~~~The Biden Administration used the Antiquities Act to restore the original boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah. This undoes what the Trump Administration had previously done in shrinking these monuments. This is a blatant attack on Utah and its public lands and will result in restrictive access and management policies. Governor Spencer Cox has previously stated his frustration with the Biden Administration's unwillingness to work with lawmakers regarding this issue. Show Governor Cox that he has our support to challenge this designation with a lawsuit from the State of Utah. 


Biden's Bears Ears Expansion/ Belies Real Plans for Protection 

~~ CNN) President Joe Biden on Friday (Oct. 8) announced the expansion of three national monuments -- Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine -- in a move that restored protections that had been undone by then-President Donald Trump. "This may be the easiest thing I've ever done as president, so far," Biden said ahead of making the announcement. 

The White House previewed the move in a fact sheet released Thursday night. The Utah monuments, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, have been on Biden's agenda since his first day in office, when he ordered a review of their boundaries and conditions. Bear Ears National Monument will be restored to 1.36 million acres and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument will be restored to 1.87 million acres, according to the fact sheet. 

Additionally, protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts monument off the coast of New England, as established under then-President Barack Obama, will be restored. "I'm grateful to the tribal nation leaders, both those who are here with us today and those unable to join us. Today I'm proud to announce the protection and expansion of three of the most treasured national monuments, our most treasured, based on powers granted to the President on the Antiquities Act first used more than a century ago by Teddy Roosevelt," Biden said. "The truth is that National monuments and parks are part of the identity, our identity as a people," the President added. "They are more than natural wonders, they're the birthright we passed from generation to generation, a birthright of every American. Preserving them is the fulfillment of a promise to our children." 

Biden said his move to protect national monuments also ties to his administration's climate agenda. "We're not only saving birds and fish and the livelihoods of people who depend on them, we're also shoring up the natural defenses to absorb the fury of hurricanes and superstorms," Biden said. "Nearly one-in-three Americans live in a community that has been struck by weather disasters just in the last few months -- hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, heat waves -- both the Build Back Better plan and my bipartisan infrastructure bill make critical investments, significantly increasing the resilience of these devastating effects on the climate crisis." 

 The decision marks a reversal of Trump administration policy that shrank the Bears Ears monument, which Obama established, by 85%, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument, which then-President Bill Clinton designated, by roughly 45%. The two former Democratic presidents designated the Utah monuments for protection hoping to preserve their culture, history and natural beauty. 

While announcing his policy in 2017, Trump slammed what he called "federal overreach" and said past administrations thought "the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They are wrong." 

 Utah Republican Gov. Spencer Cox said Thursday in a critical statement that he had been informed of the decision to expand the monuments' size by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. "The President's decision to enlarge the monuments again is a tragic missed opportunity — it fails to provide certainty as well as the funding for law enforcement, research, and other protections which the monuments need and which only Congressional action can offer," Cox said. 

This map illustrates what Public Land Overload looks like!
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah also criticized the move, saying Thursday on Twitter that his state's national monuments are being used as a "political football." "The decision to re-expand the boundaries of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante is a devastating blow to our state, local, and tribal leaders and our delegation," Romney said. "The President squandered the opportunity to build consensus by working with stakeholders to find a permanent, legislative solution to resolve the longstanding dispute over the monuments' boundaries & management, which would've brought certainty to and benefited all stakeholders." 

CNN's Shawna Mizelle and Andy Rose contributed to this report.


Friday, June 18, 2021

SJC Great Republican Presidents Dinner Sat. June 26

Saturday, June 26th
at the Hideout in Monticello
648 South Hideout Way
5:30-9 p.m.
as keynote speaker


San Juan County Republicans have reorganized recently.
New SJC Chairwoman is Kim Henderson,  Marjorie Haun Storland-Vice Chair,  Vint DeGraw, Secretary, and Nicole Perkins-treasurer
All proceeds from donations go towards
*Community Engagement
*Educational Opportunities
*Service Projects
*Events/Voter Registration
*Expanding Our Republican Base
*Supporting Excellent Conservative Candidates

Silent Auction Items:

1) Bluff Ballads Song Book & CD: Donor Gayle Shumway; 

   Starting bid $25

 2&3) Two batches (1 doz each) White Chocolate Chip Raspberry Rolls
       Donor: Sherri Lewis Pugh:  Starting bid $20 per batch.   (Additional orders can be taken if you match the high bid.)  

4 & 5) Steel Patriotic decorations --Don't Tread on Me.  Donor, Scott Mitchell
     Two items: Smaller snake starting bid $50; Larger snake $65

            Retail value:  $90 and $120 

 6)  "Turning 20" quilt;  Starting bid  $50; Donor LaRue B. Kirkham

7 & 8) Sand Painting and Mezo America Calendar Art; 

Starting bid  $20 on each; Donor: Retta Hall


9) Heritage quilt: Hand quilted in beautiful detail:  Starting bid   $100

10-15) 9 lbs hamburger per batch/ range fed San Juan beef 

Starting bid per batch  $35-- 5 batches; Donor Lloyd Shumway (45 lbs. total)

16) 1 hour trail ride for 2 in the La Sal Mountains

Compliments of Mountain Joe's Trail Rides.        
(Value $150)  Call 435-669-6586 or email 
to set up a time and redeem your certificate.


17)  Heather's Handmade Creations: Gift basket

Gift bag includes the following:
Sample Soap Collection Starting Bid  $45
Lemon Pound Cake soap, no color
Unscented Milk and Coffee Scrub Soap
Unscented Coffee & Milk Loofah Soap
Dish Soap and Ramekin Dish
Patchouli, Cinnamon & Ylang Ylang Soap colored with Alkanet Root
Poplar Wood Soap Dish
Loofah Scrubber - an all natural & compostable sponge for body, dishes, home & more.
Raspberry Lip Balm
Mango Lip Balm

18)  Floral arrangement from the Flower Shop Blanding

   $45 Value:  Pick up voucher and
    order arrangement when needed

19) Games from San Juan Pharmacy   

Just in time for family reunions!    Jazzminton,  Glowbattle, and "the ultimate in competitive games":   SLAM BALL !!  

                                                       Valued at $80/ Beginning bid at $60

20) Red, White and Blue Conservative Reading Roundup  

      Collection of books supporting conservative values, philosophy, and historical efforts of former great Republican presidents.   Donor: Brian and Silvia Stubbs  Beginning Bid  $35

21) Patriotic Warmth -- Red Afghan 

Beginning Bid  $20  Donor: Janet Wilcox

22)  Early issues of Blue Mountain Shadows $15 per batch

#A  Posey, Ranchers, Outlaws
 #B  Uranium mining, B is for Blanding

 #C  Towns: Blanding, Monticello, Early One room Schools

                                                          #D Early San Juan, Folklore, Rainbow Bridge


23)  Lemon Bread: two loaves  Donor: Jackie Tate Jeppson

      Beginning bid  $10 each loaf  


24)  Grab a bag/ or two-- from Enchanted Treasures. 

Black & Red bag.  Starting bid $30
25)  Blue & White bag Starting bid $30


Building San Juan County
26)  3 yards of concrete,$500 starting bid

27)  1 load of Road Base.  Starting bid  $350


28) Double sided patriotic afghan   Donor: Plummer family
       Starting bid:  $15


29)  4th of July Skivvies!  Hot pants/Hot pads 

 Starting bid $10

Saturday, December 26, 2020

December 2020, Wrap up and Reminders

   Due to an ongoing family crisis, today's blog post will be basically links to help you stay  informed.  May the new year bring all of you new hope, love, and health.  JW



Post from Representative Phil Lyman Dec. 22, 2020

~~  Today is an important day for my family and me, and for rural Utah. To say the last 5 years were difficult would be an understatement. My family has been my salvation in the darkest moments. My wife, Jody, is my partner and friend. I am blessed, and grateful beyond words for her support and for her resolve to always, always, always do the right thing regardless of the consequences. My adult kids are people of capacity who live by their convictions as well.

The false narratives of the media have been so damaging, not only to me but to the truth. Our protest here in San Juan County was not about a road or about ATV rights. We protested a federal agency that wrongly and maliciously raided our community. Had the administration, at the time, done what they should have in 2009, it would have prevented a massive waste of taxpayer dollars and the devastation of the lives of the honest people who were targeted by dishonest people.
I am deeply grateful to President Donald Trump. Today he righted a wrong. People should not fear prosecution when they have done nothing illegal and I hope that my experience brings attention to the persistent federal attacks on rural Utah by the Bureau of Land Management, the US Attorneys, activist federal judges, and career politicians who choose to sit quietly when the moment calls for them to stand.
My friend Monte Wells was with me on the day of the protest, along with 700 of our closest friends. Monte was falsely charged and convicted in a kangaroo court but had the integrity to forego asking for a pardon when no offense had occurred. He has my utmost respect and deserves more than a pardon; he deserves respect from every person who understands what it means to stand up for truth.
My most sincere thanks goes also to Senator Mike Lee , former Congressman Jason Chaffetz, State Senator Dan McCay, former State Representative Mike Noel, my friend and advocate Jerold Perkins, and to Commissioners Darin Bushman, Leland Pollack, Mark Whitney, and the rest of The Posse, and to so many others for always being on my side.
I will say more soon, but for now, I am truly grateful.
Thank you, President Trump, for reminding us what it means to lead.
Phil Lyman

~~The Monolith Hypocrisy and Legal Exemption by Monte Wells

Copies of 3 issues of Blue Mt. Shadows related to the uranium industry in San Juan County are still available in print.  

 These and other older issues are available at Gone Thriftin  (Blanding 708 S. Main) or The San Juan Record (Monticello.) Newer issues sold at Clarks Market, San Juan Pharmacy, --or contact.  Blue Mountain Shadows

~~  Energy Fuels Plans to Process Monazite Sands by David Boyle

~~ Creation of new national uranium reserve could mean jobs in Utah, but is the environmental cost too high? by Zac Podmore


    "Given what I'd call "Leave No Trace" rules that mandate reclamation during and after construction and drilling, there’s no reason to believe the project will have much of a long-term impact on “opportunities for solitude primitive and unconfined recreation,” wildlife habitat, scenic views or really anything else. However, as the EA points out, the so-called improved county access roads will be better able to handle big-rig traffic required for drilling operations, while allowing easier access to relatively popular back-country trails by visitors driving run-of-the-mill passenger vehicles. "

~~ SJ County NewsThat Clicked in 2020 : San Juan Record

~~ The Plot to Steal America

~~ Bluff seeks to protect geoglyph near west-side gravel site

~~ New BLM Field Manager in Monticello

~~Local Residents (Pete Sands) Recognized by Time Magazine 2020

~~ For History Buffs:  A Trip Back in Time to Kayenta by Harvey Leake   The Canyon Zephyr


Friday, July 17, 2020

The monumental mistake of banishing America’s less-than-perfect history

Monumental Mistake  by Boyd Matheson

Much has been made of late regarding monuments and statues. The fight is framed as one addressing heritage, history and fatally flawed leaders, along with heroines and heroes defined by human frailties and moral mistakes. It seems as though some are bent on banishing the lessons of history into oblivion by tearing down statues, while others are attacking monuments in order to undermine America’s founding, founders and foundational documents. It is all a monumental mistake.

That which we ignore or forget our children will not know, and what our children do not know our grandchildren will not possess. This is true of the principles of freedom and the attributes that constitute human greatness. Conversely, forgetting horrific moments of weakness, cowardice or prejudice likewise doom future generations to repeat painful patterns and embrace evil attitudes.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote in The Wall Street Journal, “Defacing, tearing down and hiding statues and portraits is today’s version of Puritan book-burning. Our children need to know their country’s past, its normative figures and their virtues and vices. That’s how we learn and pass on our story.”

Human beings are incredibly complex. Understanding even those personally closest to us is difficult at best. Truly and accurately understanding figures from another time and place is nearly impossible. All people consist of a cosmic mixture of human and divine. Pure motives to do good and purely political motives for personal power have combined to drive many extraordinary leaders throughout history. Saints and sinners are often found within a single soul.

Understanding history, historic figures and ourselves requires a deeper dive into the complexity of people, how transformation occurs over time and a great deal of patience in order to comprehend the nature of nuance. Every piece selected for this week’s newsletter will help you learn something new from the past while creating a space to build a better future.

Remember: See something that inspires. Say something that uplifts. Do something that makes a difference.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Hopefully, COVID-19 Hasn't Spawned Non Involvement and Laissez Faire

News in the West

~~ Jim Stiles: Reflections in Canyon Zephyr on the New Reality:  You may also agree with Jim Stiles' opening paragraph: "After 2 1/2 months of this, I’d almost rather eat Brussel Sprouts than write about COVID-19. Like many of you, I am conflicted and tired and frustrated and scared and angry. Sometimes I even think that God is just playing a joke on us, testing our collective sense of humor. Nothing I write below, other than the hard historical facts, are opinions or convictions I hold unequivocally. And that’s been the problem for all of us."

   There are lots of good articles in the newest edition, and in past ones.  Take time to read while Covidlessing. 

~~ Energy Fuels Prepares to Extract Rare Earth Minerals   

               (partial article from San Juan Record) 

~~SLTribune article: Importing Materials from Estonia to White Mesa Mill by Zac Podmore

~~ Navajo Utah Water Rights Settlement Act passed the U.S. Senate on June 4 by Kate Groetzinger

~~ President Trump Enacts Executive Order Forming Task Force to Investigate Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women

~~ Navajo Strong Site Includes Positive Efforts to Aid the Navajo Reservation

~~  Follow Senator Mike Lee's Work in Congress

~~ Rebuttal from Phil Lyman

~~Grand Canyon Trust Protests Estonian Recycled Fuels

~~ Google Interfered with Last Election:   Democratic investigator testifies at Judiciary Subcommittee

~~ China Gobbles up Agricultural Lands in the West

~~ Colorado Environmentalists Try to Stop Historic Cattle Drive; Judge Rules in Favor of Ranchers


Recent Message Received from a Friend.  I'm afraid there is a lot of truth in the description. 

"It’s all starting to add up....talking of getting rid of the police? Smells like New World Order is in the works.

Here's the TRUTH of what's happening in the world!!!! Create a VIRUS to scare people. Place them in quarantine. Count the number of dead every second of every day in every news headline. Close all businesses. 40,000,000 out of jobs. Peak unemployment. Remove entertainment: parks, gyms, bars, restaurants, sports. No dating. No touching. Mask people. Dehumanize them. Close synagogues, temples and churches. Create a vacuum. Let depression and anxiety and desperation set in.
THEN... ignite hatred and civil war. Civil unrest. Empty the prisons because of the virus and fill the streets with criminals. Send in Antifa to vandalize property as if they are freedom fighters. Undermine the law. Loot. Attack law enforcement, but tell government to order a stand-down. We are all being baited by adversarial governments who want to destroy America - China, Iran, Russia. And, in an election year, have Democrats blame all of it on the President.
Can’t take America in a war, destroy it from within.
We are being conditioned, manipulated, and programmed by multiple agendas as never before.....time to DO OUR OWN RESEARCH and MAKE UP OUR OWN MINDS rather than eating everything being spoon-fed to us! SOCIAL MEDIA is going to kill us!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Isolation Travels To San Juan, 3-27-2020

Spring in San Juan:  Sun, Snow, Rain, Wind, and Tourists!

News Affecting the West

~~ Broken Arm Slows Down Newsletter.
        On Feb. 18, while moving boxes, I missed the bottom step and fell, breaking my right arm, upper humerus.  A week ago I finally healed enough that I could use my keyboard again, but I'm not back to normal. Hence the lack of a Bear Essentials newsletter for over a month.  We are also in the process of selling our home, and moving to a smaller property, so things have been very hectic.  There are things still happening in the county.  Hope you are subscribing to the San Juan Record and staying informed.  Other state and national news outlets may not have the "full" story.  

~~ San Juan Record

~~Culture Displacement and Appropriation Impacts Bluff

~~ Catch up on the Canyon Zephyr 

-- Mellor Willie Co-founder of 7 Gen Leaders Political Pac

~~ Catch up on Bill Keshlear's MONUMENTAL DIVIDE

~~ Blanding Continues to Pull Together in Crisis

      Despite what outside sources may promote in the media, Blanding has for several years encouraged a cooperative approach to solving problems thanks to social media.  For example, a few weeks ago, our visiting son and family, lost a little lamb.  A Navajo worker on his way home happened to notice it, and seeing it had a collar, picked up the friendly little critter, and when he got home called the police.  
     About that same time our family noticed that Jacob was missing, and everyone joined in a search party to find the little lost lamb.  I posted the info on several Facebook sites, and within minutes a neighbor let us know that the police had it.  In less than an hour, the friendly wandering lamb was back home.  That's how networking happens in Blanding.  People keep track of their neighbors, and help out and even when you don't know them, you do the right thing.  That's what this young man did. 

Here is a list of local Facebook Groups which also help our community to function and help to unite all cultures, races, ages. Monticello has similar social media groups as well.  Many are open to the general public, others require a request to join. 

1.  Both Blanding Calendar  and Blanding Bulletin are set up to help notify citizens of events happening in the community.  

2.  Probably Blanding's 24/7 Yard Sale has united more people than any other site.   You'll find yourself buying and selling to folks you never knew before and new connections and friendships are initiated.  Just today (3/27/2020) this site sent out a notice that " Sara Lee and Packard Wholesale have donated about 700 loaves of bread, bagels and buns"  They were gone in 2 it pays to pay attention.  

3. Good News Blanding has over 1000 members and is designed to promote those things of good report.  There's too much negativity in the world and in some people brains, so the site is designed to combat that.  Guidelines state: This Group is for sharing Good News happening in and around Blanding or accomplishments far and near of those with Blanding ties.

Post should be items that are timeless. Please DO NOT post items that should go on a calendar/ tryouts/ auditions/ADS, etc. It is not about memes, political views, or advertising, or debate and complaints.

This site is about being cheerleaders for good in the world and recognizing those events, people, and successes as we celebrate together.

4. One of the newest groups to emerge because of the Contra Virus impact, is Blanding Stone Soup.  Just started a few weeks ago, there are already over 400 people committed to helping their neighbors.  Started by a savvy social worker.  The premise of the group is this: 

"Stone soup is one of my favorite children's fables

It's about a village that was in the middle of a horrible famine. Everyone was hoarding and hiding the food that they had but it wasn't enough and they were all starving.

One day a man got a big pot and put it on a fire in the town square. He filled it with water and placed a stone from the river in it.

When he was asked what he was making he said stone soup and invited people to have some when it was ready.

One by one the villagers donated something they had hidden away that may make the soup even better. One had an onion, one a carrot, one a cabbage, one a piece of roast.... till the pot was completely full. They learned that by sharing what they had, they all had more and no one was hungry.

My sister had this great idea that got me thinking, none of us have everything but we all have something. Maybe you can babysit for someone who has to work, maybe you can pick up someone's groceries so an at risk person doesn't have to go in pubic or maybe you have extra goods that you aren't going to use or some knowledge that could help someone. This is the place to give as well as ask for help. This is a place for friends and neighbors to check in.

There are a few rules though:

No asking for money allowed. (as in "please pay my rent". Also this is not a selling group. You Can offer to pay for something that you are looking for and Trades are encouraged.)

No politics
No fighting
No judging
No spreading panic
No exceptions!

Jokes, songs, uplifting quotes or memes and all kinds of support and compassion are welcome and encouraged.
Please invite your local friends who should be here and who have the same spirit of community and pulling together.

5.  There are also lots of specialty groups and clubs in Blanding like the Blanding Book Group (which is self quarantined until further notice...however, a few have posted reviews of books on site. I'll focus on more of those next time.  
Both the Edge of the Cedars Museum, and the Wilcox family at 300 W. 100 S. have Free libraries where you can pick up books to read.  (There are also lots of books on our corner and other things that people have discarded, which are free for the taking. )

~~ Leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Encourages all to Fast this Sunday With Offerings to Bless Others Worldwide. 

~~ First Case of Covid- 19 in San Juan County confirmed 3/27/2020

~~ Corona Virus Cases on the Navajo Reservation

~~ Now is Not a Good Time For Tourists to Visit Bears Ears  

Ironic that Josh Ewing is the source of this article. 

~~Rural Areas Targets of Social distancing.  High Country News

~~Podmore has hard time finding balance and objectivity in covering news: 

~~ Dangers of Self Isolating on Public Lands