Escalante Canyons National Park

swmalone

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Moderator note: this was split from the Bears Ears National Monument thread.

So now Chris Stewart is proposing a National Park in Grand Staircase. His main argument that being National Park status with it's supported infrastructure of roads, toilets, etc and the term Park instead of Monument will bring more tourist. He says it is a win/win because you get tourism and you can extract coal. I usually enjoy reading KSL news comments just so I can laugh at what some of the people in this state think, but with the articles around the monuments I have had to avoid them because I just get pissed off about the ignorance of most of the people commenting. I saw it mentioned above that a good number of people all of the sudden think Utah will be able to do whatever they want with the land.

Oh and also another topic that came up in Chris Stewart's interview was his genius way of funding the National Park Service with a "backpack" tax.

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=46211347&n...es-national-park-in-grand-staircase-escalante

Edit - Sorry if my comment is a bit heated. I try my best to mostly ignore the political stuff, especially when commenting here but this has been getting me worked up. My wife is threatening to have the doctor put me on the high blood pressure meds if I can't figure out a way to calm down and drop it naturally.
 

Nick

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I'll get on board with this if they permanently lower Lake Powell so that the entire length of the Escalante River flows freely again. Seems totally reasonable that all of the Escalante Canyons should be preserved, protected and restored if it's going to be a National Park, right!? (Yes, I know this will never happen)
 

Rockskipper

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Edit - Sorry if my comment is a bit heated. I try my best to mostly ignore the political stuff, especially when commenting here but this has been getting me worked up. My wife is threatening to have the doctor put me on the high blood pressure meds if I can't figure out a way to calm down and drop it naturally.
Hey, best blood pressure meds I know of is to go out in some redneck's back yard (figuratively) and shoot up some 1# propane canisters. :)

Or maybe that should be some politician's back yard...

Problem is, they may want to join you.
 

Rockskipper

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PS As for keeping all this land open for mining (primarily coal), someone should tell these guys that the coal power plants are shutting down. Black Mesa is scheduled to be closed in the next two years. As a photography buff, I'm jumping for joy that the pollution over the canyon country will start to decrease, as this was one of the main culprits.
 
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ramblinman

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Aug 26, 2014
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He proposes turning this land into a National Park, and in the same breath fantasizes about an open pit mine in the area?

Seriously, his solution to increasing visitorship is to 1) drastically reduce the size of protected areas, and 2) build an open pit mine. But at least he solved that pesky problem of the name, "monument" sure is a mouthful.

Mind blown indeed.
 

Jackson

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Maybe I sound like a curmudgeon, but the idea of an Escalante Canyons National Park hurts my head. It's so (relatively) quiet and peaceful down there. I would hate to see it eventually become like Arches or the main canyon in Zion. There's not much else I can say, other than that would be a very sad day for me. There's just no perfect solution here now. I mostly wish we could restore the status quo as of a year ago and keep all this from happening in the first place.
 

swmalone

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He proposes turning this land into a National Park, and in the same breath fantasizes about an open pit mine in the area?

Seriously, his solution to increasing visitorship is to 1) drastically reduce the size of protected areas, and 2) build an open pit mine. But at least he solved that pesky problem of the name, "monument" sure is a mouthful.

Mind blown indeed.

I was telling me wife about it and she had somewhat the same remarks. Something along of the lines of who will want to visit with a giant pit mine in the background. I have to admit I have been negligent in visiting GSENM. I have wanted to visit since moving to Utah but for some reason just haven't made it down there. I think that is the priority this coming spring/summer before it ends up getting paved or mined. I will also honestly say the first time I had ever heard of Bears Ear was on this site when I was lurking around. I really didn't pay any attention to it until all of the talk of making it a monument. I have this weird sense of guilt because I enjoy having solitude when I go outdoors but then I become one of the tourists only arriving after it becomes a monument. The unfortunate thing along with the increased visitorship is just how many people lack an understanding and respect for the area. I mentioned in my Thanksgiving in Moab post about hiking to False Kiva and running into a couple from Australia that were trying to find it based on GPS coordinates. They were walking through the cryptobiotic soil because the GPS signal was bouncing off the canyon walls. I eventually yelled to them and told them to just follow us. I have seen similar things in other parks that we have visited recently. I read interviews with people in San Juan county that think taking away monument status will magically make the tourists stop arriving, but the word is out. I don't know the best way to prevent destruction by tourist but it seems that a lack of any kind of management at all isn't the way. I would hate to see paved roads and flush toilets but a free for all seems like a bad idea as well.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Sep 23, 2016
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Now a Backpacker's Tax? Getting tired of all of these politicians who just want a tax and another tax. How many people have to pinch every penny. Then how many places also want to charge people a fee just to camp somewhere at night. Money - money - money. The politicians with the rich corporate elites might have how much money .... but most people struggle on a day to day basis with everything in our society skyrocketing in price.

Like my father said ... all of these politicians whatever party are just crooks in my opinion. The Indigenous People who lived without money had it right in my opinion! As a Sioux Medicine Person, 'Lame Deer' called money and had it soooo right ... Money - Green Frog Skins.

Wishing Everyone the Best!
 

Reef&Ruins

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I'll get on board with this if they permanently lower Lake Powell so that the entire length of the Escalante River flows freely again. Seems totally reasonable that all of the Escalante Canyons should be preserved, protected and restored if it's going to be a National Park, right!? (Yes, I know this will never happen)

And add back in the stuff along HITR road that was taken out plus the Circle Cliffs area next to CARE and I am getting partially interested in the NP idea. Oh, and let's add to that the wiping out the backlog in maintenance and keeping fees reasonable as well. It is Christmas so I should be able to wish for all this and world peace too.
 

Dave

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The Escalante Canyons NP would not be any larger than the reduced size monument bearing the same name.

This bill is a bait-and-switch. It’s stated purpose is the creation of a park, but it’s real aim is the transfer of Hole in the Rock Road to state ownership.
 

slc_dan

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Jun 7, 2012
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The Escalante Canyons NP would not be any larger than the reduced size monument bearing the same name.

This bill is a bait-and-switch. It’s stated purpose is the creation of a park, but it’s real aim is the transfer of Hole in the Rock Road to state ownership.

How he writes about it is a clear illustration of it as such. I agree, backpacker tax? It's inflammatory, trying to show the outdoor industry he doesn't give af.

Dudes want us to compromise. I'm all for compromising things that haven't been decided yet. 21 year old national monument has been decided, it's not longer a compromise.
 

Dave

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@Dave, have they released details on the bill or did you get that info elsewhere?

The bit about HitR transfer is right in his press release: https://stewart.house.gov/media-cen...p-stewart-announces-new-national-park-in-utah

Here's the bill: https://stewart.house.gov/sites/stewart.house.gov/files/Grand Staircase Escalante Enhancement Act.pdf

Note also that the text of the bill says one of the purposes of the national park is to enhance grazing. I'm not sure many Americans would agree that's the appropriate mission of the National Park Service.
 

Dave

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The bit about HitR transfer is right in his press release: https://stewart.house.gov/media-cen...p-stewart-announces-new-national-park-in-utah

Here's the bill: https://stewart.house.gov/sites/stewart.house.gov/files/Grand Staircase Escalante Enhancement Act.pdf

Note also that the text of the bill says one of the purposes of the national park is to enhance grazing. I'm not sure many Americans would agree that's the appropriate mission of the National Park Service.

Also, instead of a park superintended, the park is to be managed by the Garfield and Kane County commissioners and a member of the state legislature (currently that would be Rep. Mike Noel).
 
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