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Letter: If we lose monuments, there will be no going back

Published July 17, 2017 5:00 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

From a purely scientific standpoint, the best argument for leaving Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument alone was made by Jayne Belnap. Ms. Belnap is a biologist and member of the National Biological Survey, part of a group responsible for determining the boundaries of GSENM. The monument is not just a big blob on the map that was determined willy-nilly. Instead, much thought between archaeologists, paleontologists, anthropologists, biologists and, yes, politicians went into forming a monument for the ages.

Now it appears the consensus by the Department of the Interior and members of the Utah delegation would be to create zones of use. Mining here, grazing there, off-road vehicles everywhere and, oh yes, hiking, camping over by that nice little arch. Pave old wagon trails to promote access everywhere. Perhaps we could set aside a small area to study those old dinosaurs as long it isn't in the way of mining all that coal we need to supply the "fake" demand that, according to our Department of Energy wizard, exists worldwide.

Once this administration wreaks havoc on our national monuments, there will be no treasure for the coming generations, just a misspent opportunity to preserve something meaningful and important.

Michael A. Holland

St. George




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