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This outdoors lover says “NO Bears Ears Monument”


August 30, 2016

Don’t ruin ‘pristine nature’ with a national monument

My husband and I recently went on a ride to Comb Wash in San Juan County and decided to take the old highway to the west. We’re happy it’s still passable in the Jeep.

I was saddened by all the conflict. I love a good fight, but I am frustrated that I feel like the letters I write and the complaining I do just might not help. We came upon a road that is not used too often. Knowing it will be one of the roads closed soon, we took it.

I am an avid hiker, backpacker, Jeeper, ATVer, and camper. I love the outdoors. I love the solitude of heading to Cedar Mesa. We saw three cars all day.

I avoid areas where there is already overcrowding. The trails into the canyons of Grand Gulch and Bullet Canyon are wore down so deep that soon you will not be able to see out of them.

At the end of the road, we sat alongside of Arch Canyon, which is a beautiful, deep, red rock wonderland. Looking at the road in the bottom of the canyon made me feel good knowing that everyone, whether handicapped or less enabled, can enjoy this canyon.

This freedom will end soon if Bears Ears becomes a national monument. How sad you have to fit into a mold to enjoy this beauty. We sat in silence looking across the canyon at the ruins, knowing they will be loved to unrecognizable death by people trying to access them.

On down the road, I saw a coyote run from us. We saw tracks of a cougar. On the mountain, we saw deer, elk, squirrels, rabbits and an enormous puff ball. I’m going to eat it.

This is all going to change. The animals WILL be affected! More tails of lizards will be pulled off by children visiting the monument. The cougar will be “put down” for attacking someone when in reality we are in its territory. The animals will be run over, poached or fed candy bars and plastic bottles from unaware travelers.

The tourists’ camping spots already have bottles, cans, wrappers and “buried” waste left behind. We, as locals, clean them up.

I absolutely oppose a monument. The government has already done harm by advertising our area. We love it and we want to share it. We have never turned anyone down from seeing it and enjoying it. It belongs to everyone. The pristine nature of it that everyone loves now will be gone if this land is taken and made into monument.

It will be controlled by people who do not live here and have not experienced it. The government representatives that have come to seek local support or nonsupport need to be fair. Go on a ride with me in my Jeep. See what I see. Hear my stories. Feel my love.

I’ll show you that “sacred” is more than a word on a piece of paper. It’s deeper and more spiritual than you could ever imagine and it is felt by all of US.

Wendy Black, an Anglo lover of outdoors and solitude, is a resident of San Juan County. She also really likes lizards with attached tails.

Reposted by Reagangirl.com  8/30/16


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