Parks buffer

This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re "Proposal for Canyonlands monument draws fire" (Tribune, Nov. 14.):

As a National Park Service ranger at Canyonlands and Arches national parks, I had difficulty explaining the two parks' arbitrary boundaries, since much of the surrounding area is also world-class.

Canyonlands' boundaries bisect watersheds, viewsheds and natural geographic boundaries. It makes sense to protect the basins of the Colorado and Green rivers.

I now own a bookstore in Moab. For the past 11 years, my top-selling book has been Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire. No. 2? Charles Wells' Guide to Moab, UT: Backroads and 4-Wheel Drive Trails.

Moab caters to recreationists looking for solace, beauty and fun in all forms. As a small-business owner, I depend on all of them.

Recently, I stood at the Needles Overlook, viewing the entirety of Canyonlands and surroundings. Roads and accompanying responsible use are fine. What must be avoided are drill rigs and pipelines in Lockhart Basin or tar sands strip mines in the Orange Cliffs.

Is development happening now? No. But technologies and our need for carbon fuels are advancing. A well-managed monument allows for motor vehicles and provides a buffer to the parks.

We must protect our world-class views now and for future generations.

Andy Nettell