Utah National Monuments, good & bad

ImNotDedYet

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According to this: https://suwa.org/issues/arrwa/ the good news you've listed is a plan that has been introduced in the House every year since 1989. So it's re-introduction of something that won't pass, doesn't inspire confidence - particularly with the current administration and numbers in the Senate, that are not environment-friendly and very pro resource extraction.
 

Pianomover

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The good


The bad

There seems to be little value opening these areas to development. From The Washington Post

“ But an economic analysis by the U.S. government estimates coal production could lead to $208 million in annual revenues and $16.6 million in royalties on lands cut from Grand Staircase. Oil and gas wells in that area could produce $4.1 million in annual revenues, the analysis says.”
 

gnwatts

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According to this: https://suwa.org/issues/arrwa/ the good news you've listed is a plan that has been introduced in the House every year since 1989. So it's re-introduction of something that won't pass, doesn't inspire confidence - particularly with the current administration and numbers in the Senate, that are not environment-friendly and very pro resource extraction.

Valid, if some what obvious point. BTW I have read the literature from SUWA, and am well aware of the history of the bill, and it's chances in the current Congress.
At least SUWA is taking action.
What are your ideas on how to save these lands?
 

scoags

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i hate to be that guy, but the only thing to do probably is vote for people in federal office who are against mineral extraction on federal lands in general. i wont name which party is generally for and which generally against, but i think we can all figure that out.

to be fair, some local people want this stuff to happen for their economies. their voices count too; the question is how to balance it.
 

ImNotDedYet

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Valid, if some what obvious point. BTW I have read the literature from SUWA, and am well aware of the history of the bill, and it's chances in the current Congress.
At least SUWA is taking action.
What are your ideas on how to save these lands?

My primary photography project of the last two years has been photographing areas that are no longer included in Bears Ears National Monument. (it's what brought me to this forum and you fine folks - researching the area) I've had some a show in a gallery here in Denver where I spoke with a number of people about what was going on. I post many of the images I've taken and updates on the latest happenings on either my personal or business social media accounts. I donate profits from any print sales of the images from Bears Ears to the Bears Ears Coalition.

I suggest not only that people vote, but people be informed voters. Politicians on both sides will tell you what they think you want to hear at election time, but oftentimes they'll do something different for the other times. But the biggest thing we all can do, and something I make a conscious effort to do: is vote with my wallet. And that includes trying to use as little of the natural resources that prompt corporations to want to tear up these areas. Marketing 101 - bring the demand down, and the prices go down. Bring the prices down and the profits go down. As profits go down, money for lobbying and the desire to expand drilling areas goes down.

Are these enough? Likely not. But I can't control anyone but myself, and at least I'm making a concerted effort - as are you and many on this site.

As @scoags mentions, some locals want this for their economy. I'd argue many of those people want it because they're misinformed. They believe what they're being told - that resource extraction is the best thing for their economy. I would argue that in the long run, the economic benefits of keeping extractions out of these areas (or making the monuments the same as the original designation again) and promoting tourism would be a much more viable long-term economic boost. Unfortunately, I don't think you can have it both ways because extractions scar and ruin the tourism possibilities. Imagine Valley of the Gods full of oil and gas wells or a uranium mine, and count the cars driving through there.
 

Janice

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My primary photography project of the last two years has been photographing areas that are no longer included in Bears Ears National Monument. (it's what brought me to this forum and you fine folks - researching the area) I've had some a show in a gallery here in Denver where I spoke with a number of people about what was going on. I post many of the images I've taken and updates on the latest happenings on either my personal or business social media accounts. I donate profits from any print sales of the images from Bears Ears to the Bears Ears Coalition.

I suggest not only that people vote, but people be informed voters. Politicians on both sides will tell you what they think you want to hear at election time, but oftentimes they'll do something different for the other times. But the biggest thing we all can do, and something I make a conscious effort to do: is vote with my wallet. And that includes trying to use as little of the natural resources that prompt corporations to want to tear up these areas. Marketing 101 - bring the demand down, and the prices go down. Bring the prices down and the profits go down. As profits go down, money for lobbying and the desire to expand drilling areas goes down.

Are these enough? Likely not. But I can't control anyone but myself, and at least I'm making a concerted effort - as are you and many on this site.

As @scoags mentions, some locals want this for their economy. I'd argue many of those people want it because they're misinformed. They believe what they're being told - that resource extraction is the best thing for their economy. I would argue that in the long run, the economic benefits of keeping extractions out of these areas (or making the monuments the same as the original designation again) and promoting tourism would be a much more viable long-term economic boost. Unfortunately, I don't think you can have it both ways because extractions scar and ruin the tourism possibilities. Imagine Valley of the Gods full of oil and gas wells or a uranium mine, and count the cars driving through there.
Thank you for your comments and your photography in support of Bears Ears. Are you willing to provide a link so we can see your pictures?
 

gnwatts

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scoags

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My primary photography project of the last two years has been photographing areas that are no longer included in Bears Ears National Monument. (it's what brought me to this forum and you fine folks - researching the area) I've had some a show in a gallery here in Denver where I spoke with a number of people about what was going on. I post many of the images I've taken and updates on the latest happenings on either my personal or business social media accounts. I donate profits from any print sales of the images from Bears Ears to the Bears Ears Coalition.

I suggest not only that people vote, but people be informed voters. Politicians on both sides will tell you what they think you want to hear at election time, but oftentimes they'll do something different for the other times. But the biggest thing we all can do, and something I make a conscious effort to do: is vote with my wallet. And that includes trying to use as little of the natural resources that prompt corporations to want to tear up these areas. Marketing 101 - bring the demand down, and the prices go down. Bring the prices down and the profits go down. As profits go down, money for lobbying and the desire to expand drilling areas goes down.

Are these enough? Likely not. But I can't control anyone but myself, and at least I'm making a concerted effort - as are you and many on this site.

As @scoags mentions, some locals want this for their economy. I'd argue many of those people want it because they're misinformed. They believe what they're being told - that resource extraction is the best thing for their economy. I would argue that in the long run, the economic benefits of keeping extractions out of these areas (or making the monuments the same as the original designation again) and promoting tourism would be a much more viable long-term economic boost. Unfortunately, I don't think you can have it both ways because extractions scar and ruin the tourism possibilities. Imagine Valley of the Gods full of oil and gas wells or a uranium mine, and count the cars driving through there.

Thanks for your photography work. And your comments.

I tend to agree with you about misinformation on this front. Typically there are actually relatively few jobs generated by these sites; beyond wages the real money tends not to stay local. Consider the proposed mine in the Boundary Waters: I think the company is South American (don't recall which country), and the CEO or president took a long stay at a rather famous Post Office-turned-hotel in DC with someone's famous name currently on it. The Iron Range in northern MN turned away from mining years ago, and towns like Ely are thriving on basically only tourism and outfitting.

I also have a lot of respect for the people that choose to lead lives in these rural places, and I'm sure the difficulties they encounter are very real. It's probably difficult to scoff at any number of jobs or boost to a local economy if there is the possibility for that sort of growth, however small. As always the most interesting questions are the ones that are toughest to solve.
 

ImNotDedYet

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Thank you for your comments and your photography in support of Bears Ears. Are you willing to provide a link so we can see your pictures?

Thank you for your kind words. You may wish to take them back after you see my work. ;)

The initial project was called Opportunity Cost. (that links to my page containing the prints offered as well as a book - for those who prefer old school style: https://www.liftedspiritphotos.com/bears-ears-national-monument-prints is the link) My original intent was large landscape images where I could photoshop in oil and gas rigs to show the potential loss of the landscapes. In the end, the rigs didn't provide the visual impact I was hoping for, so I just kept the "clean" landscapes. As such, much of it is Valley of the Gods. I've since concentrated more on the ruins, rock art and more intimate portions of the landscape, but haven't added those images to the site yet.

Thanks for your photography work. And your comments.

I tend to agree with you about misinformation on this front. Typically there are actually relatively few jobs generated by these sites; beyond wages the real money tends not to stay local. Consider the proposed mine in the Boundary Waters: I think the company is South American (don't recall which country), and the CEO or president took a long stay at a rather famous Post Office-turned-hotel in DC with someone's famous name currently on it. The Iron Range in northern MN turned away from mining years ago, and towns like Ely are thriving on basically only tourism and outfitting.

I also have a lot of respect for the people that choose to lead lives in these rural places, and I'm sure the difficulties they encounter are very real. It's probably difficult to scoff at any number of jobs or boost to a local economy if there is the possibility for that sort of growth, however small. As always the most interesting questions are the ones that are toughest to solve.

Thank you for the respectful discussion. :)

Bears Ears sits on a lot of Uranium and there's a company that lobbied hard to open it up as they have 300 claims in the areas no longer protected by Monument status. That company is a subsidiary of a Canadian company. These sales and leases don't matter to the politicians who owns them - they just want to sway the locals to get some public support for sweeping the legs out from under them as the politicians get more rich.

BTW, there are also attempts to open up some land to begin fracking just East of Bluff from what I've heard.

There's no doubt it's a sticky situation. I grew up in a tiny town in northern Wisconsin where people work jobs that no one knows actually exist. History is littered with stories of people leaving an area because it couldn't sustain them - look at the history of those who created the ruins and rock art in the area as an example. It's a harsh location to do much with, but it's steeped in history and beauty. That is, IMO the only long-term economic hope for the area while energy extraction is a short-term shot in the arm. But given our current energy loving patterns, it's only a matter of time until we _have to_ drill there.
 

Carcass

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Aug 8, 2018
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244
I just don't see any development for coal mining in GS. There is no infrastructure at all. No nearby rail lines(nearest ones are along I-40 and I-70 around Green River). Trucking it just isn't economically feasible and there is still plenty of coal in Wyoming and elsewhere. Add in environmental studies and the fact the the administration will change in 2020 or 2024 means that if they invest a couple billion, it could be taken away very quickly and they will lose money.

It is too much risk. I'm sure claims will be made, but development, not so much. But you have to make your voice heard, so go do it.

And this is a Utah issue.
 
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