I love the red rock country of southern Utah as much as anyone. And a part of me is always very sad — and angry — to see the mess that private enterprise can make, and often leave behind, in beautiful wilderness areas.
However, I also believe that in a representative democracy, or a republic, all interested parties ought to have the right to air their views and interests and hammer out compromises in a public forum. For an administration (Democrat or Republican) to secretly designate a national monument or wilderness without the requisite public debate is not how we do things in America.
While I might not always agree with miners, drillers, ranchers or other parties against such designations, I will always defend their right to a seat at the table. For me, the argument is not just about the considerable merits of protecting pristine places. It's about first remaining true to principles of democracy.