Check it Out!
I thought that it was appropriate that the report from the Tevis group in
the last Ridecamp was so positive with respect to the impact of "getting
involved" in the government process. It offers us encouragement on the Grand
For your information, the Grand Staircase concept itself caused extreme
anger in the rural areas of Utah. The backlash from Clinton's announcement
cost our only democratic representative his job in the election that
followed. Now most of the rural county commissions and agricultural groups
are trying to limit the impact as much as possible and many of those people
are horse people too, although not endurance riders(still an almost unknow
sport in my area of eastern Utah). They are already well organized.
Rallying their support and that of the Riding Clubs and 4H Clubs in rural
areas would have a huge impact.
It is of concern to me to see that the impact letters are being sent to
Cedar City rather than to one of the counties really being impacted by the
Park. It is almost as if the BLM (which has a history of open warfare with
the ranchers of our area) has moved the decison-making location to one which
does not have much to lose by the decision. Cedar City is a very
enlightened and progressive community and it has some very involved
endurance riders. But it is growing at an enormous rate and many of the
people who are moving there do not understand the issues nor are they
particularly "rural" anymore. Public Hearings held in Emery County, Sevier
County, Grand County, or Wayne County would have an entirely different
outcome. Perhaps we should have the Southern Utah Endurance Riders find out
why the BLM office in Cedar City is being used and try and move it to one of
the interior counties. Gwen Farmer and her husband Steve raise endurance
horses and manage the Utah Summer Games Ride. They live in Cedar City and
would understand the importance of the issues. Perhaps they would undertake
that project--any other volunteers (I'm 200 miles from there)?
Also be aware that the head of the BLM until about a month ago was Pat Shea
a brillant Utahn who was just promoted upstairs into an even more powerful
position with the Interior Department. Pat ran for Governor a couple of
year's ago and was a very strong advocate for multiple use of federal lands.
He had a great position on wilderness which was well accepted by the rural
areas of the state (unfortunately, being a democrat in Utah makes getting
elected these days rather difficult so his ideas never got implemented).
Somewhere I have copies of his platform on multiple use and it might be a
good time to ask for his help.
Also our local BLM manager is a horse person and a member of my museum's
BOD. He has been very helpful in telling us how to best present our case
when we are addressing BLM issues at our various quarry sites. If you can
get them to "join" the cause, they are very valuable advocates. Since most
of the BLM people in my part of the state are serious horse people, I cannot
imagine that they would support the more limited alternatives. We just need
to get to them directly and find out the most powerful way to present our
case. Most times they can express their own opinions, either on or off the
record. I'll talk to those in my area (Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan).
How about the southwestern group?
Joane and the Herd
Check it Out!
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