Extractive industries want what they can take from the land in order to make money. The outdoor recreation industry loves the land because it also gives them an opportunity to make money. Jim Stiles has been pointing out the recreation industry’s schizophrenia in the Zephyr for years.
Last week’s T-I contained an excellent op-ed piece by Sarah Gilman, “Writers on the Range.” She raises tough and interesting questions to those who want to protect the land from resource development. Are you willing to give up your cars, your swamp coolers, your entire electric life to protect the land? Is it really OK to trash land that other people love so you can continue your consumptive lifestyle? State Route 128 was built pretty much by miners and ranchers. How about it Castle Valley folks – would you love Castle Valley as much if there was no road to get there?
You motor recreationists just need to be a little reasonable. There are thousands of miles of legitimate roads. You couldn’t drive them all in a lifetime. It is not necessary or appropriate to be able to drive everywhere, and you’ve all seen the damage from those who try. If you want a voice in the discussion you need to get active in policing your own, participate in improvement projects, respect reasonable restrictions and discover the simple and healthy joy of walking short distances without the continual drone of engines.
It’s too bad the land and its diminishing flora and fauna can’t speak for themselves. (Who cares what they think anyway?) If they could talk, I’ll bet they’d say, “Can we just have a little break, please? Can we just have some peace and quiet?”