Keep it civil...
Nov 29, 2012 | 2158 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) recently added their voice to the growing chorus asking President Obama to designate the Greater Canyonlands National Monument to protect this region from industrial and vehicular degradation and development. Some signing companies have since come under a seemingly organized online attack of harassment, misinformation and bullying.  Instead of constructive conversation, I read Area BFE threatening to boycott other local businesses for a desire to protect the goose that lays the golden egg that keeps us all in Moab. As I added my voice of support to the local companies that signed on, I and my guiding business have become a target.  

I want to set the record straight and shine a little light on the tactics some would take in their efforts to stifle differing points of view:

According to some of the more polite posts I’ve gotten online, I am “anti-4X4”, despite owning a lifted desert-cruising vehicle and a dirt bike, which I enjoy operating on the thousands of miles of legitimate, legal, planned roads and trails that are open to all. I also apparently want to “lock up” the land and “lock out” the people because I support keeping some of our diminishing wild lands wild. They tell me they need to “take back” the land because I want to “block access”. 

My reply to these “ideas”: you can’t “take back” something that was never yours – the only ones that might actually be able to “take back” some of the land are our neighbors on reservations that house the indigenous people who were removed from their ancestral homes. As far as access, not only would many hundreds of miles of legitimate roads, routes, and trails remain open, but the only public land that I know of that is truly “locked up” with “blocked access” is available for viewing right here in Moab on Sand Flats Road: the State-owned Lion’s Back area that is posted “No Trespassing” and has a locked gate.

The people who oppose a Monument designation cry about “closed roads”– as if any and all unplanned user-created routes should be considered “roads” and be left as is – I bet these folks would expect that if I built a yurt or other structure on these same public lands that it would immediately, and rightly, be removed.

I even saw posts online where some threatened to “cancel reservations” at businesses that were already closed for the season!

If you don’t agree with people’s desire to see these threatened lands protected, that’s your right; but please base your opinions and desires on facts and present them in a civilized, honest manor. 

Keep it wild.

Mike Coronella

– Moab

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