It never ceases to amaze me that there are supposedly intelligent individuals in Congress who are willing to repeat verbatim extreme, minority, closurist spiels! Case in point: the ever-endless Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance "garbage in-garbage out."
Reps. Miller of California and Hinchey of New York state that passage of the San Rafael NCA bill (now attached to the Interior Appropriations bill) will allow off-road vehicles to run rampant in roadless wild areas. Total garbage!
I have been a frequent visitor to San Rafael Swell in recent years and have met numerous recreationists using 4-wheel drive vehicles, ATVs, trail motorcycles and an occasional mountain biker. All were respecting the area and sticking to existing roads and historically utilized routes.
I have never observed anyone running rampant across the countryside. Guaranteed that if such behavior had been observed, a severe tongue lashing would doubtless ensue from any of these responsible recreationists that I have met in the Swell.
Many of these folks are Emery County area residents and wholeheartedly support the creation of the NRA, even recognizing that possible compromises may permanently close off historical access.
The bill's proposed four-year planning process may be just what is needed to release the region from excessive influence due to lawsuits and politics.
Most certainly, the subsequent implementation of a balanced management scheme for the San Rafael Swell is the ultimate goal. And such a management scheme will ultimately lead to wilderness designations in appropriate areas yet continued historical motorized and mechanized access in others.
Perhaps such a planning process might even find that a handful of recently closed routes, such as to historical mine sites, ought to be indeed reopened to public access.
Edgewood, N.M .