The Western wilds are supposedly being set aside to preserve the plants, animals and forests for future generations. It has been stated that these Western wilds belong to all Americans, not just Utahns. The wilderness designation limits access to these wilds to a small portion of Americans, the backpackers and hikers. A national park is by far a better designation. It allows development that provides access for all Americans, not just a few. The animals have adapted very well to visitors in our national parks.
Most Americans do not get a chance to observe these animals outside of the national parks. There are many acres in our national parks outside the access roads where the animals, plants and forests exist in their natural habitat and where backpackers can hike to their heart's content. The entry fees to the national parks could pay for most, if not all, of the management, development and upkeep of the national parks. The backpackers enter a wilderness at many locations scot-free, pollute and litter to their heart's desire. This has been apparent in the Uinta Mountain Wilderness.In Logan Canyon, there is an area called Tony Grove. Some years ago, there was limited access to this area over seven miles of a one-lane road. Only vehicles with a high road clearance could access this beautiful area. Today there is access for everyone over a two-lane, black-topped road into this federally developed and managed area.
Without access to these beautiful wilds, a majority of our population would not experience the grandeur of the Western wilds. Future generations will not have any better access to these beautiful wilds than we will have if they are designated as wilderness. We need more parks, not wilderness.
David O. Jones