Letters to the Editor, March 23-25, 2016
Wilderness advocate follows in dad’s footsteps
I am writing in response to Congressmen Rob Bishop’s proposed Public Lands Initiative. No doubt legislators are under pressure to ease the way for economic opportunity in Utah. But this is nothing new. Our human impulse to use the land for financial gain has always been there and always will. That is why enforceable land protections are imperative. It takes men and women with foresight, commitment and courage to stand for something greater than short term interest.
My grandfather was Howard Zahniser, the principal architect of The Wilderness Act of 1964. This was a danger he recognized. The idea for a congressional Wilderness Act reportedly came from an effort led by him and other conservationists in the 1950s to prevent the Echo Park Dam from being built on the Green River. It was a local issue that made him "realize that in the absence of a unified, national framework for protecting the wildest places, he and others like him might need to fight such battles endlessly." He was weary of "a wilderness preservation program made up of a sequence of overlapping emergencies, threats and defense campaigns."
The PLI is framed as wilderness legislation, but under close scrutiny it is an anti-wilderness bill, opening wide the doors to fossil fuel development. It has been framed as a "grand bargain" but agreements forged through the three-year long PLI process do not appear in the final bill and promises to be inclusive and listen to all stakeholders have fallen short. Passage of the PLI could set a dangerous precedent. A shift to state control of land-use in wilderness designated areas would mean the erosion of the Wilderness Act and a return to ongoing land grab threats across the country the very thing the conservationists hoped to circumvent.
The PLI as written undermines my grandfather’s legacy — a life’s work devoted to defining wilderness, articulating it as a human need, and safeguarding it for future generations.
"A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." Wilderness Act, 1964
"I believe that at least in the present phase of our civilization we have a profound, a fundamental need for areas of wilderness – a need that is not only recreational and spiritual but also educational and scientific, and withal essential to a true understanding of ourselves, our culture, our own natures, and our place in all nature." – Howard Zahniser, The Need for Wilderness Areas
I pray that today’s leaders will see the value in being students of history. Knowledge may deepen our respect for the congressmen, conservationists and citizens that came before us, and help us recognize the wisdom behind their collective stand to initiate one of the most important laws in our land.
* * *
Attacks in Europe caused by illegal immigration
Now that Boston, Paris and Brussels, etc, etc., have been attacked, and innocent citizens murdered in cold blood by ISIS radicals — plus we have many cases of brutal rape and theft by illegals here as well — it is time to put a stop to all immigration into the USA.
All criminal invaders (i.e. illegal immigrants) must be found and deported! They have already broken our laws by just coming here illegally to begin with. And some of them commit additional crimes once here. Why shouldn’t they? We’ve already shown them that they won’t be prosecuted.
For those who say "We can’t just round them up and deport them," I say "Yes, we can!" And in fact, if we don’t, things could get much worse.
The people we want immigrating are those good honest folks who have applied to come here legally and are patiently waiting their turn. The others we don’t need or want!
This is very serious. If we don’t start wising up and regulating uncontrolled immigration we stand to lose the America we have known and loved.
* * *
Senior citizens aren’t exempt from rules at resorts
I am a volunteer member of Ski Patrol at Park City. On Sunday about 11 AM I was manning the Slow Zone sign at the top of Home Run. Two senior-aged men came through the area at a very high rate of speed. The slope was filled with small children and their families. These men were technically good skiers but they had the arrogance to ignore the signs and were willing to put at risk the youngsters and parents who were enjoying the day.
Chasing the offenders down would have been careless of me so they got away without any warning or punishment. Teenagers and young adults are often criticized for being reckless but in my experience it is more often the older adults who somehow feel it is their privilege to ski fast in busy areas. If the men I have mentioned read this letter I would invite them respond as to why they think the slow zones do not apply to them.
J. Hamilton Easter, MD.
If elected, Trump’s politics would be disastrous
The GOP set out to make President Obama a "failed president." In spite of the GOP’s obstructionism Obama stabilized our economy having inherited a $1.4 trillion deficit, yet achieving a $1 trillion deficit reduction. The GOP covers this fact with deception and lies. Tax cuts for the rich damaging our economy continue being proposed. Trashing the Constitution by dreaming up new "rules" for nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year is the GOP’s latest trickery.
However, Republicans are now reaping what they’ve sowed: Enter Trump, a bigot, narcissist, pathological liar and buffoon. Trump’s bragging of his "strength and brains" is sickening and very Mussolini-like, while his favorite phrases "believe me," "honestly" are telling! Trump is NOT self-made, rather he inherited a fortune while sticking losses on his creditors via several bankruptcies.
After the recent attacks in Belgium, Trump still openly supports torture and bigotry towards Muslims, stupidly rendering us even less safe.
The world is terrified at prospects of Trump’s potential "leadership." It took years to dig out from near ruin, but Republicans will recklessly support Trump "if nominated." To them power "trumps" the best interests of our country and the world! God help us all!
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“Will we ever have the political temerity or community courage to finally say ‘enough is enough?’ Growth should be the defining issue of the next local election, not climate change or social injustice,” writes Matthew Lindon.