Well Written Response to Negative Editorial

KTM_rad

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Read the letter below, a response from an individual to an editorial in a Moab Newspaper..........

This weeks local newspaper has a disturbing guest editorial that I think you
all should read.
http://www.angelfire.com/ut/moab/t-i_editorial.html

Fred
http://www.arrowheadmotorsports.com
http://www.angelfire.com/ut/moab/cmc.html


I would like to respond to the May 8 2003 Guest Editorial "It Does Not Have to Be This Way" by Dan Kent.

I have traveled extensively throughout the West. I have been concerned about the statements made by environmental groups that the West was being overrun & destroyed by motorized users. At the time I lived in Connecticut & could not tell if the claims were true or not. Three years ago my wife & I sold our house & we have been traveling around the West ever since. The purposes of this trip were to see the amazing sights & parks in the West . To rock climb, mountain bike, hike, kayak, windsurf & dirt bike ride in as many places as possible before they are closed down to public use. Unfortunately in just three short years many of the places that we have enjoyed are no longer open to camping, others are not open to motorized use, others are closed to mountain biking, others are closed to horse back riding. Two years ago in Sedona Arizona they closed all the campsites down on public land. The people who have recently built multi million dollar homes next to the public land no longer have to be bothered with campers in their view. The locals & public have been shut out of their own land to benefit these few wealthy newcomers.

What I have seen is millions of acres & hundreds of miles of trails that have allowed motorized use in the past being closed down. This causes a greater impact on the remaining areas by crowding the increasing number of motorized users into a smaller & smaller area. The Ten Mile wash that Mr. Kent mentions is a very good example of this type of overcrowding. As he says local residents did not notice any motorized use twenty five years ago. That is because this is now one of the few areas open to motorized use.

Last year I hiked in the Tuolumne Meadows of California to do some back country rock climbing & camping. My hiking partners were complaining about how the horses chewed up the trail & made it dusty as well as leaving horse poop. I did not mind because we must all share our public land. The horse people have just as much right to be there as the rest of us.

I have ridden my dirt bike on the Cannel Meadows trail near Kernville CA. I met a hiker with a camera. I called out, What A Beautiful Day. He scowled at me & would not respond even after I also said, Have A Great Day. During the rest of my ride I met many other groups of hikers. All responded cheerfully to my hail. They all smiled & were enjoying the day. They knew that I had just as much right to be there as they did. It did not spoil their day as it did the first hiker or my hiker friends did about the horses.

On some rides on my dirt bike I will see one person or group of people that are very unhappy to see me, but I will also see far more people that are happy to see me. This makes me think that Mr. Kent's viewpoint belongs to the vocal minority. On most of my rides I meet no one.

Mr. Kent is completely mistaken is his supposition that Motorized User Groups are "Probably urging members to defy restrictions". On the contrary Blue Ribbon Coalition has created the Tread Lightly Program & Leave No Trace, to encourage all users to leave our public lands in better shape than they found them. Every motorized group that I have encountered supports this program.

Mr. Kent would like people to treat public land as they do city parks. He feels that the laws & fines that people are subject to in city parks would keep public lands in better shape. Most city parks I have been in are covered in graffiti & have broken down equipment & garbage. We do not need more laws or fines. We need to educate people on how to respect property & each other & the environment. Whether it is a city park, trail, tree or plant. Mr. Kent is probably right that "it takes guts to walk on the dunes on a busy weekend" because of all the motorized users there. It also takes guts to walk across a football playing field while a game is in progress. I don't think he would even consider doing that in city park. Why does he insist on taking a hike in a motorized use area. Easily 95% of all public land, & probably more, is totally closed to all motorized use. These are the areas that he should be visiting if he does not want to see or hear motorized users on public land. There are plenty of them in the Grand County area.

My wife & I have visited Moab twice for more than six weeks each time. I have ridden my dirt bike & mountain bike & hiked extensively in Moab & the San Rafeal Swell & Ten Mile Wash. These are incredibly beautiful places with a long history of motorized use. In the motorized use areas I could easily see someone of Mr. Kent's viewpoint focusing on the tracks made by vehicles. The other answer to this congestion would be to open up more of the areas that used to be open to motorized use & thereby reduce the impact.

Two years ago I was sitting on top of a butte in the San Rafeal Swell looking down at the wash that I had just ridden through with six other friends. I could not see any of our tracks from up on the butte. I am sure someone who is against motorized use could & would cry out that the land is being destroyed. Certainly after the next rain any tracks would be completely erased.

Motorized users build & maintain the trails that are used by hikers as well other users. Motorized users probably do more trail work on public lands & clean up than any other group. There are a few bad motorized users & Mr. Kent points out how they leave trash & damage the local flora & fauna. This is the exception not the rule.

He is right there is always room for improvement. This true of all users. I have seen camping areas that have been trashed by non motorized users as well as motorized users. Closing areas is not the answer. We must all be tolerant of each others preferred use of public land, whether motorized use, mountain bike, horse riding, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, fishing, camping or any other use. We must all treat our lands with more respect & leave them better than we found them. We must all work together to maintain trails, clean up areas & educate users. I have been doing this for years with a smile on my face. I applaud Mr. Kent's suggestions on individuals, user groups & businesses getting together & educating visitors on land use ethics. From his comments I do not think he has contacted any of the motorized groups himself. I wonder if Mr. Kent is one of those few people that I passed who would only scowl when I called out to him, What A Great Day. I hope Mr. Kent will take this opportunity to contact the local user groups & work with them to maintain trails & educate users. We can use all the help we can get & the next time he sees a motorized user on the trail I hope he will return their hail & Have A Great Day.

Please contact Blue Ribbon Coalition to find out how you can help to Preserve Our Public Lands For the Public Instead of From the Public.
http://www.sharetrails.org/
BlueRibbon Coalition
 

V8Ranger

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I don't quite understand the whole enviromental philosophy, perhaps because they are so incredibly biased. They want land to remain untouched so many generations can admire its beauty yet they allow foot traffic which tramples plants and wildlife while scaring the land. Could they be allowing this since it is convenient for them? Also, how could they live in an area where they get from A to B utilizing paved roads while they drive vehicles that in some way or another harm the environment? It seems to me that if they were a true envoromentalist they'd live in an homish community and walk everywhere (although they couldn't use horses since that would be inhumane). I wonder if Dan Kent took the time to realize that his editorial is responsible for killing trees. That doesn't sound very enviromental to me. I'm not trying to stereotype them, as I and many others on this board love to experience nature, but when I try to understand their viewpoint I see them as being an extremely biased group that is willing to conserve nature as long as it isn't too much of an inconvenience for them. That's just my $.02. I hope I didn't offend anyone.
 

martininsocal

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You are getting warmer. There are actually some environmentalists who want to preserve the environment to the point of keeping man totally out. This battle is current going on up in the Headwaters forest(the one the state paid hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre for). Some environmentalists want the area totally closed to man, no access. They are afraid even they will love it to death. Even footprints are evil! This area was purchased with State Park and Rec funds. The ultimate goal is urban centers surrounded by wilderness...
 

V8Ranger

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Yeah, you have to love their rational way of thinking. Who did the hundreds of thousands of dollars go to? That is completely ridiculous.
 

JrSyko

Jerry Maguire
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While I will be the first to admit they are raging hypocrites, all they want to do is keep nature perserved for future generations and I don't think that you can fault them for that (I'm sorry Martin, but I just don't buy into the theory that they are trying to control the way we live). Its just like how you all want to keep the desert open for future generations. All it boils down to is conflicting interests and until both sides work together, you will continue to have this cyclical battle.
 

Kritter

Krittro Campbell
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In a 400 level econ resources seminar my Nader loving professor always said...“We did not inherit the land from our ancestors. We are borrowing it from our grandchildren.” which I believe is an old Indian saying that eco whacks like to go back to for their resoniong of preserving everything.
 

martininsocal

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Jr- there is absolutely nothing wrong with preserving something for future generations, but how do you justify preserving it from them? We are not talking about limited use, we are now talking about NO use, not even footsteps. We have been around long enough and have gathered enough information, data, etc...to determine what true management should be.
The real probem in land use is this, right now, there is no middle ground. No one represents what you or I would think of as reasonable and responsible use. The only folks fanatical enough to give big PAC money and run around and scream are either the extreme environmental left or the extreme capitalistic right. The voices heard are "Lock it up and keep everyone out" or " make all the money we can and bail before we have to restore it"... anyone who represents something other than that doesn't have enough political clout to make a dent.
There is a move right now to try and establish multi-use as a real alternative to wilderness through what would be the Back Country initiative. While the initiative still has some problems to be addressed, it has been and is continuing to be attacked by the mineral extraction industry because of some simple words. Manage an area to retain the basic environemtal state it is in. This wording basically would not allow strip mining, so they are against it. There are huge arguments from either side trying to decide whether strip mining is something we should allow in the future on our public lands. I personally don't see a need to strip mine and feel there are other alternatives to extraction from underground, but that drives up costs and reduces profits. So they are against any form of legislation that protects the environment, and the mining industry pays out big political dollars.
I could go on and on with things like ANWR, Headwaters, etc... but the issue remains a battle of extremes right now because that is where the players get their money from.
 
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