Southern Utah County Council Panders to Radical Environmental Interests

March 1, 2015

The following is a letter from a Moab, Utah conservative to elected officials regarding the takeover of the Grand County, Utah Council by radical environmentalist interests.

by Brian Ballard

To Whom It May Concern,

The Grand County Council is not representing the needs of Grand County citizens. Instead, they are listening only to the views of national non-profits like Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the Sierra Club and Grand Canyon Trust.

Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz have personally invited each of these environmental groups, and others, to share their views with them as they develop the public lands initiative. The county’s role is to seek the input of Grand County’s citizens, NOT national non-profits.

The newly elected county council has chosen to hear from The Nature Conservancy, Public Land Solutions, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Grand Canyon Trust Utah, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association – all national entities. Most of the presenters are paid representatives of these environmental organizations. The newly elected county council does not want to listen to its citizens that are dependent upon public lands for their livelihood and recreation.

Many of our citizens are unaware that the county council is choosing to lock-up land that is now designated as multi-use. These people work hard each day to support their families, and have little time to write letters and attend workshops or public meetings.

These citizens live here and enjoy the outdoors. They hunt, hike, gather firewood, and 4-wheel to places their families have visited for generations. Many are dependent upon public lands to support their families, either through natural resource extraction or recreation.

Their voices are not being heard on this issue. Our current county council is not representing their interests.

Our county council should be seeking input from miners, oil field workers, ranchers, recreation business owners and more who are directly dependent upon public lands that are now designated for multiple use. The choice to lock-up additional lands then affects our local economy and those who are working to support these families – farmers, builders, teachers, hospital workers and service workers.

Tourism brought in $7.5 billion during 2013, with the majority of that – $6.4 billion – coming from people who live outside of Utah, according to a report recently released by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Instead of locking up the land, we should be creating more access to increase tourism revenue.

Our mining and oil industry should not be blocked from responsible resource extraction that provides well-paying, year-round jobs that will support families.

Oil, gas and mineral extraction also contributes millions of dollars to county government through mineral lease funds and bonuses that offset property taxes. These monies allowed us to build the extended care center, senior center and recreation center; maintain roads and provide recreational programs within the county; and pay for the continued operation of the extended care center.


Brian Ballard

Reposted with the permission of the author by  3/1/15

  1. doesn't matter

    If we listened to oil execs. there wouldn’t be any land to recreate as they would tap it all leaving nothing to view or recreate. I realize the letter says “responsible” however when have the oil and natural gas companies ever been responsible? I really don’t like seeing the drill rigs on the way to dead horse and while I’m biking Gemini and Mag 7. I’m not a hippie or a tree hugger but I do enjoy pristine views and not having to dodge big trucks coming to and from oil rigs. I truly believe that once you start listening to and allowing heartless oil and gas companies into your back yard they will become like a fungus and you blink and before you know it they have taken over the beauty of your land and then your tourism income goes to Fruita or some other nearby town. And when the area dries up of the fossil fuels the drilling companies leave you like a one night stand where you didn’t use protection and you never even got the name of the sperm donor who you brought to your place and he took off after you feel asleep. You let these companies into your home for a good time and they leave you with a mess. I hope you enjoy the temporary jobs and revenues from the temporary tax income from these companies who are about to leave you with a fatherless child (dried up lands) to raise or in the case of lands, become destroyed, ugly and useless.

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