Jay Meehan: Haul-roping the West
March 31, 2015
"Mine eyes have seen the glory "
~ Senator Orrin Hatch
With what hopefully will be the final draft of the Master Plan for "One Uinta," the most recent northern Utah interconnect proposal, now scheduled to go before all relevant Congressional committees, Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management hierarchies, state, county, and city legislative bodies, not to mention backroom-quorums of obscure watering-hole habitués along the periphery of the Range-in-question (where most all the sheep grazing impacts will be considered), maybe we can finally get started moving some dirt!
Having finalized gondola and funicular routes from trailhead-to-trailhead and their impact upon already-granted oil and gas drilling leases surrounding the "Wilderness Area" boundaries, developers can now only sit and wait for the next "alarmist" fusillade from the "left," including the environmental and backcountry lobbies, which, in the end, proved, at most, to be little more than speed bumps in the way of progress during the recent "One Wasatch" campaign.
What is it these gorp-eatin’ tree-huggin’ Luddites don’t understand about economic growth and progress in general? As followers of the misinformed and aberrant gospels of Bernard DeVoto, Wallace Stegner, Edward Abbey, Wendell Berry, and a host of other nefarious meddlers, they somehow fathom themselves as occupying the moral high ground whenever a job-producing proposal sees the light of air.
They say they want cars off the road, well, once again, that’s what gondolas and assorted interactive surface-transportation accomplishes. They say they want CO2 in the atmosphere reduced from the current 400 parts-per-million down to 350 ppm if we wish to maintain a planetary environment similar to the one upon which civilization developed. What gibberish! Paleoclimate evidence, indeed!
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What they need to do with all this spare time they seem to have on their hands is to pay a little more attention to the gospels emanating from Utah’s Senior Senator Orrin Hatch and a little less to those from spokesmen of the dissident left!
Here’s a few examples of what right-thinking folks can relate to: Limit National Monuments to 50,000 acres. Vote NO on protecting ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems. Vote YES to prohibit the involuntary acquisition of farmland and grazing land by government for parks, open space, or similar purposes. Voted YES on more funding for forest roads and fish habitat. Voted NO on reducing funds for road-building in National Forests.
Hatch also co-sponsored the bill (and notion) that congress should decide land use, not the Department of the Interior. Then there’s his state’s rights stand on Utah’s reacquiring Federal lands and his longtime support of the recently vetoed Keystone pipeline. No hippy, he! Now, is St. Orrin our kind of guy or what?
But, enough of that! Let’s get to the more delicious aspects of the "One Uinta" plan itself. Just close your eyes and imagine zipping from trailhead-to-trailhead around the High Uintas Wilderness Area via luxuriously appointed, high-speed, detachable grip, Gondola Scenicruisers.
And, did I mention the optional detours one could take by merely re-directing said cabin through the quite simple re-programming of "the drive" with conveniently located ergonomic remote-control devices attached to armrests, cocktail blenders, and telescopic devices in each car.
That’s right, with only a few clicks of the "Gizmo," your party of high-mountain adventurers could find themselves re-directed, through specifically-placed "angle stations" to the sumptuous, not to mention decadent (wink), spas located at the Grandview "break-over" into Grandaddy Basin or atop Kings Peak, at 13,528′ above sea level, the highest point in Utah.
You wanna talk "Life Elevated," just wait ’till you’re getting rubbed the right way with an above-the-timberline massage prior to slipping into a hot tub with a pre-embargo Cuban and a single-malt of your choice. From up there, you might even be able to see a batch of DoDos locking themselves to Cat D11 Dozers in order to stop what they see as further desecration of sacred lands. Actually, that type of activity will probably remain just out of sight (not to mention out of mind!)
For further information on how you can help "One Uinta" move forward, go to http://www.happyaprilfoolsday.com.
Jay Meehan is a culture junkie and has been an observer, participant, and chronicler of the Park City and Wasatch County social scenes for more than 40 years.