Friday, November 23, 2007

Offroaders Beware!

I have shown in an earlier NoShootFoot blog entry that the Department of Interior (DOI) is effectively corrupt. Since the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) works under the DOI, no matter how dedicated our front line officials may be, we can't expect responsible administration. It is not a coincidence that the BLM has decided now to modify Resource Management Plans (land use plans) in Utah. Redrock Wilderness has reported that:

The BLM is releasing a flurry of new and draft plans... Though it has taken the agency years to put these plans together, the public will have a scant 90 days to comment on them. If you don't think you can review, absorb, and intelligently comment on 5000 pages of text and hundreds of maps and graphs in that length of time, be sure to let the BLM know and ask for more time.”

The public comment periods for these areas end on these dates:

Moab 11/30/07

Price 12/13/07

Vernal 01/03/08

Kanab 01/10/08

Richfield 01/??/08

Monticello 02/??/08

You can view the Utah BLM's resource management plans and schedules at:

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) website has more information about these plans and citizen's conservation alternatives at:

Please send your comments as soon as possible.

Of course, here's my call on the situation:

The lame duck Bush administration is desperate. Their approval ratings are near an all time low. There have even been calls for Bush and Cheney's impeachment. These guys could even end up in prison. Consequently, they are quite blatantly selling out to any group who will support them. This is a dangerous time. There are many corporations, industries, and unscrupulous people who just love to take advantage of a weakened administration.

In the case of public lands, the mining industry is groping for everything they can get. For example; mountain top removal coal mining (that is even more destructive than before) is going to be allowed in the Appalachian mountains. (It appears that the coal industry won't be satisfied until they have polluted every stream in the Appalachians.) Is that what we want here? Hell no! But they're trying. The mining corporations want unimpeded access to any place they feel like mining in. And they're more than willing to take advantage of offroaders – who arrogantly want to drive anywhere they damn well please.

Offroaders are being used. That's right, used. Do they really believe the Bush administration gives a damn about them? This opening of wilderness is for the mining corporations. Don't get me wrong. I realize that we need to mine. But to allow mining anywhere these corporations please is just foolish. Many of these mining corporations are foreign owned. We can't expect them to care about our local wilderness. In the end, even offroaders won't want to go to some of these places – because the beauty will be ruined.

We've been to public lands. We've seen that there are plenty of roads. We don't need more roads.

What we have here are people who selfishly want to turn our public lands and wilderness into shooting gallery amusement rides. This is not Disneyland! We need to show some respect. This is supposed to be a civilized society. Guys have learned that we don't go barging into the womens' restrooms, loudly proclaiming that this is a free country and we can go anywhere we want. Everyone and everything need at least some privacy.

Personally, I like riding a quad. They're fun. I may buy one someday – when I get too old and feeble to climb the hills on my own. I drive a four wheel drive truck. I spend a lot of time off pavement. Hey, I'm an offroader! All I'm saying is that we need to drive responsibly.

Let's not succumb to the lowest desires of a vocal minority of the population. There may seem like a lot of them, but to truly gage their importance, we need to consider future generations – who we owe the respect of leaving them something natural to enjoy.

Besides, I'm not saying you shouldn't be allowed onto public lands. I'm not saying you can't go there. I'm saying get off your lazy ass and walk sometimes. It's good for you. And it will be far less damaging to the land. Let's show some respect. Let's not allow ourselves to be used.

Please send your comments to the BLM now.

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