Shortsighted decision-making...
Apr 17, 2014 | 546 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
My husband and I took a bus tour of parks of the southwestern United States in 2000. This was the first time we had ever seen Moab, Arches and Canyonlands. We fell in love with the spectacular outdoor scenery and were hooked. In 2001, we bought our first piece of land, planning to retire in Moab. In 2008, we bought our second piece and completed our dream home in Moab in 2012.

  It is with great concern that we have watched a juggernaut of oil and gas drilling overtake the area. We naively believed preservation of the land was the job of the Bureau of Land Management. We are hoping the Grand County Council will assume that role.

My home state is Ohio, where geologists have recently linked earthquakes deep under the Appalachians with hydraulic fracking. This led Ohio to issue strict new permit conditions on April 12, 2014. 

  I want Moab to be prosperous and have a bright future, but the protection of the irreplaceable environment must take priority. The damage to the land, water and scenery cannot be undone if sacrificed to shortsighted decision-making. And letting the BLM take the lead on this is strongly favoring resource extraction.

Setting up zones for resource extraction is synonymous with sacrificing thousands of acres of incredible beauty for short-term profit. It is unrealistic to think that a “zone” will exist in isolation. It is tantamount to peeing in one end of a pool and assuming it will not affect the entire pool.

Many years ago, DDT, a colorless, crystalline, tasteless and almost odorless organochloride known for its insecticidal properties was introduced as a harmless way to produce more appealing fruits and vegetables without insect damage. The long-term effects, which were not realized for 15 years, resulted in the near-extinction of the bald eagle because of the unforeseen effect DDT had on the shells of their eggs.

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?

And that is my point. We don’t know what unforeseen damage will result from gas, oil and potash extraction to an incredibly beautiful outdoor environment. And we might not know for years.

As the song says, I am OK with having spots on my apples, just leave me the birds and the bees.

—Lynda Smirz M.D.

King of Prussia, Penn.

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