Friday, September 17, 2004

A Celebratory Note

I know, twice in one day may seem a little much, but I had to post this. One of the things I do is help out the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance by writing letters and making my voice heard to help out with legislation and other activities meant to protect the amazing beauty of Southern Utah. Recently, the Price BLM office released their draft Resource Management Plan for the Price region and, as part of the plan, they addressed motorized vehicle use in the area. Their preferred plan was to simply designate anything that could be misconstrued as a "road" as open to motorized vehicles. The map they included to illustrate this proposal looked like a massive web of trails running everywhere over the region. To make matters worse, there had been some indication from Sally Wisely, state head of the BLM, that she supported this plan. Now, Ms. Wisely recently made remarks to the effect that the BLM was going to look at all the trails in the state and decided which ones would be designated for motorized use and which to make off-limits. Her seeming endorsement of the Price plan completely contradicted her stated intentions in favor of a "let them have everything" policy. Once I heard of this, I wrote a letter to Ms. Wisely expressing my amazement that she would be willing to let this happen. Now, I have used ATVs and dirt bikes and had a lot of fun on them, but I still do not think they should be given free reign on our public lands. All one has to do is drive from Salt Lake to Moab to see what irresposible use of these vehicles can do to the land. Anyway, I emailed a copy of my letter to Margi Hoffman at SUWA and she suggested I send an abridged and revised version of it to the Salt Lake Tribune as a letter to the editor. I was more than happy to and my letter was actually printed in Tuesday's paper. The editor even expressed his thankfulness that I had written the letter when he called to get approval to print it. Having it printed was quite a thrill for me (my first words in print...very exciting), but the real thrill came this morning. I received an e-mail from Margi Hoffman stating that my letter to the editor had caused quite a stir in the Price and state BLM offices and they are now focusing on a comprehensive travel plan. I was amazed to find this out. I have written letters and done these things because I have felt a moral obligation to have my voice heard. I have long thought that one voice has little effect, but I was still obligated to speak out because my convictions mean nothing if I do not act on them. To my amazement, I have now seen that one voice can make a difference and I am very glad that I chose to speak up. Nothing may ultimately come of this, but at least they are aware that some people out here want our land protected. If this is singing my own praises, then I hope you will forgive me for doing so. I just had to share this little victory.


kumquat said...

go scott :)

Geo said...

My, oh, my, great news! I'm bustin' my buttons with pride! Good show, Scott. See? Your voice does have power. You just have to find the right people to listen.

Scott said...

Thanks so much for the comments and for helping me celebrate this little triumph.