Letters to the Editor, July 13-15, 2016
July 29, 2016
P-L-I, the acronym for Rob Bishop's "Public Lands Initiative" translates roughly to "Prolific Leasing Initiative" if it goes through. It is a Trojan Horse bearing "gifts" like rolling back protections where they currently exist: Red Rock Wilderness Act—eviscerated; roadlessness in Wilderness Study Areas—a mere memory; grazing is mandated even where there's nothing for a cow to eat—Fish, Owl & Arch Canyons. Wait! There's more! Could they count it as a win for the State without trampled vegetation, pervasive cow-pies & dirt roads criss-crossing the Bears Ears plateau? And what's a victory dance without a colossal barbecue fueled by clear-cut pinyon-junipers? Why settle for a selfie in Canyonlands next to an oil derrick when you can float the Green to the tar sands operation in the Book Cliffs? Fort McMurray, even before the fire, was so photogenic & what a tourist draw!
P-L-I promises all this for the low, low price of our uninterrupted vistas, ancestral troves, fresh air, clean water—our shared inheritance; a true, living gift. Our national "trust fund" gets looted & ransacked by our own homegrown oil-lobby lackeys in the name of State's Rights. The authors of this bill have intoned some environmental catchphrases over this spooky cauldron of twisted words, weird ambition & dubious patronage, hoping to counteract the Presidential magic of the Bears Ears National Monument. But we can make out the hollowness & desperation of their incantations, unless they get drowned out by the persistent whine of OHV's, D9's & throbbing oil rigs.
P-L-I is snake oil—a poisonous potion, a toxic substitute for truth & wilderness. Thanks, but no thanks. I prefer my Public Lands natural & raw. Bears Ears wants for nothing but a Presidential seal. Let's be monumental, Utah.
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How to lose your head without knowing it
Here I am riding my motorbike down Sackett Drive in Jeremy Ranch and, as usual, looking forward, upward, in the mirrors and all around, being alert to all around me. That’s how you keep your head, right?
I am looking forward and I see something suspicious, not right, on top of a regular commercial vehicle. It ended up being the arm of a backhoe on the truck, at the time the arm/bucket was on the far side of me but swinging out of control. The driver, busy, in a hurry to get to the next job, not paying attention, is driving up the hill. He forgot to to tie it down.
My head and these ugly tungsten teeth on the bucket are in a collision course or at least very near. To my fright and hence the reason for this letter most of all is: a young guy I estimate to be 15 or so is also standing on the rebound of the bucket, on the side of the road, and has his head down looking at his phone and totally unaware, as the driver is,
of this unfolding catastrophe.
I start to fling one arm, all you can do on a motorbike swing out of the way, yelling inside my helmet. Somehow the driver, after doing some 40 yards around the curve, became aware and pulled over. Nothing happened, but it need be treated as if something did.
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Veteran appreciates gesture by Deer Valley
Last Saturday five of us met up at Silver Lake in Deer Valley to mountain bike the amazing Tidal Wave flow trail. When at the lift ticket office, the friendly DV employee behind the counter told me my day mountain bike lift ticket price was half off. Really, why? Because she astutely saw on my Utah driver’s license that I am a Veteran.
Well, wasn’t that a nice gesture? I knew nothing to that effect. Good for their generosity. BTW; I asked PCMR ticket office if they had a similar offer, but no. Vail Corp. strikes again.Thanks, Deer Valley!
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