Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Southern Utah BLM Travel Planning and RMP Revision

Many of us take pride, as citizens of the United States, in having a political system that allows us to take an active role in politics. Most often this means going to your designated voting location and casting your vote for the person that you think will best represent you. There are numerous ways that you can take part in our political system from writing a blog to add to the bytes that have become cyber space, to calling your congress person, to growing your own tomatoes to throw at the next political target, Many of us just enjoy sitting on the back porch, drinking a Pepsi and talking bad about the way things are. 

In conversations that I have with folks we often get on the topic of public lands management. There are many challenges that face those who love taking the road less traveled that leads to our beautiful desert back country. Many of us feel like there is not much we can do against the growing number of those who have become misguided by the green-washing of special interest as a front for their own political gain. It is easy to sit around and talk bad about about the BLM or other land managers whose management policies grow ever restrictive due to the influence of well funded special interests. However when we have the opportunity to take part in the planning process for the management of our public lands we have to act.

Right now the Southern Utah BLM office is requesting public input (because they are required to) on their Travel Management Plan which covers much of Southern Utah. What this essentially gets boiled down to is, if its not on the map, then it doesn't exist. Many of us who are involved in the Gold Butte saga know well how this goes.

Please take the time to help preserve our trails and access to public lands. The time of taking for granted our access to public lands and trails is over. After the meeting stop on by and drink a Pepsi with me on the back porch and you can help me pick tomatoes.

Scheduled Meetings:

Monday, June 14, 2010
Dixie Center
1835 Convention Center Dr.
St. George, UT

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Mesquite Community and Senior Center
102 West Old Mill Road
Mesquite, NV

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
City of Hurricane Office
147 North 870 West
Hurricane, UT

Thursday, June 17, 2010
SLC Public Library, Conf. Room - Level 4
210 East 400 South
Salt Lake City, UT

For more information on the St. George BLM Travel Management Plan please visit the BLUERIBBON COALITION LANDUSE UPDATE:

I would also suggest subscribing to their Mailing List to keep up-to-date on access issues requiring action across the nation or in your area:

Blue Ribbon Coalition

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Misconception of Public Pressure

Remainder of the Forest  

By way of the crow it is roughly 4,274 miles from Art Coleman’s grave at Gold Butte Nevada to the Central Amazon Conservation Complex in Brazil. The physical geography of these two locations varies to the point of near absolute opposite. However despite these physical differences I believe that they do share some of the same land management challenges.

In an interesting book titled, “Break Through” the authors bring up an interesting point on conserving the Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil. The line of reasoning that they point out applies to Gold Butte and more specifically the recent trend in public lands management in the US overall.

But even if the government, the tribes, and the mangers of extractive reserves manage over the next several years to keep 40 percent of the forest that have been saved intact, what then?  The tighter Brazil’s protections on the first 40 percent of the forest are, the greater the pressure will be on the remainder of the forest.

The pressures of public use are increasing. This is not a bad thing! Greenies, Enviro’s, conservatives, liberals, whatever titles or names you want to throw around it doesn’t matter. People connecting with the land is the first step in building a generation that respects and understands the environments role in everyday life. The objective to which all ambitions should be focused is to create and environment for responsible use AND ALLOW IT TO TAKE PLACE. Relish in the fact that it does take place.

As we continue down the path of restricted access to public lands it is forcing more and more people to concentrate on smaller and smaller tracts of public lands. A path of common sense logic will lead you to the simple fact that more people concentrated in smaller areas will lead to degradation.

Limiting access, closing roads, and denying our public lands the proper management and stewardship that they require will only deepen the divide between common sense conservationists and radical environmentalists and the federal government. We need to ensure that the public lands that make up Gold Butte remain a place where responsible use, recreation and western cultural heritage exploration can take place.

Protection with access for our public lands.