National Parks: America’s overcrowded ‘bumper-to-bumper stress test’

Posted by in Environment, Tourism

August 28, 2016

Attendance quotas? Our national parks, and the mile-long line to see them

as published by Chicago Tribune


Tourists pose for a selfie along the south rim at Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz., in August 2015. The throngs of tourists have been showing up in big numbers at other national parks, including Yellowstone in Wyoming, Yosemite in California and Zion in Utah, driven by good weather and cheap gas. (Emery Cowan / AP)

Something’s wrong with our National Parks system when lines to get to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim look like lines to get “Hamilton” tickets. America’s annual pilgrimage to our national parks has become a shoulder-to-shoulder, bumper-to-bumper stress test.

Tourists crowd into Yellowstone National Park

Tourists crowd into Yellowstone National Park

Last year a record 307 million people flocked to America’s federal parks, a 5 percent jump from the previous year. This year, as the National Park Service marks its centennial — President Woodrow Wilson signed the system into law on Aug. 25, 1916 — attendance is expected to reach 315 million people — just shy of the nation’s estimated population of 324 million.

The Park Service’s most popular destinations are all having record attendance. The Grand Canyon: 5.5 million in 2015, a 16 percent jump from 2014. Yosemite: 4.1 million, 6.8 percent jump. Yellowstone: 4 million, 16 percent jump. The result? Two-hour waits just to get up to a park’s entrance. Overspilling trash cans. Jam-packed parking lots. Interminably long lines at bathrooms and shuttle tops.

Image result for crowds at zion national park

But it’s not just the waiting that’s so vexing. A walk through a columbine-dotted mountain glade at Rocky Mountain National Park isn’t the same when throngs of other park-goers on the same path make it seem like an O’Hare concourse. The quietude of the national park experience is diminished when the experience starts to feel and sound like everyday urban bustle. And then there are the tales of Tourists Behaving Badly. Remember the Canadian tourist at Yellowstone who stuck a bison calf in his SUV because he thought it was cold? The animal had to be euthanized after it could not be reunited with its herd. And the bane of all national parks: tourists in cars who jam up traffic so they can get a snapshot of an elk or mule deer.


Yosemite National Park

Debate has begun at some parks about capping the number of visitors. We think the debate should stop — set the caps already! We make reservations at our favorite restaurants — why should the concept of making a reservation at Yellowstone or Yosemite be any different? Quota systems that keep parks from being overrun and overtaxed have a history of succeeding. At Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota, a quota system has been in place for years, preserving the area’s natural beauty and the tranquil experience visitors seek.

Along with controlling the numbers of visitors, there’s something every vacationer can do to help cull the crowds at overcrowded parks — self-culling. Americans need to realize that the nation’s natural beauty isn’t just embodied in the National Park Service’s titanic draws: Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, about an eight-hour drive from Chicago, astounds with its sandstone sea caves. The spires and buttes of South Dakota’s Badlands National Park look otherworldly. And if you really want to get away from it all, pick up a backpack and get on the ferry to Isle Royale in Michigan, where the only way to get around is on foot.

Quotas will go a long way toward keeping our national parks from withering from the weight of the masses. But Americans also need to remember that national parks aren’t just backdrops for Facebook selfies — they’re a national treasure that deserves reverence, awe … and breathing room.

Image result for crowds at zion national park

Reposted by  8/28/16

Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity hypocritically attack domestic energy, ignore pollution from wildfires

Posted by in Extremist Green Groups, Pollution, Wildfires

August 27, 2016

The Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity are two green groups running off the rails of science and into the strange weeds of dismantling Western Civilization.

The Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity are two green groups running off the rails of science and into the strange weeds of dismantling Western Civilization. These globalist-funded, mini-Marxist radicals use hysterical narratives and disassociatve reporting to garner donations from the suckers who send them money to ‘save the planet.’ It’s not hard to find evidence that their  narratives are unscientific, but the bald-faced hypocrisy of pretending destructive wildfires in the West have no impact on ‘climate change’ while attacking domestic energy production for CO2 emissions and ‘haze,’ exposes their do-gooder constituents as being utterly daft.

Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity both advocate phasing out domestic energy production; fracking, mineral and fossil fuels extraction, coal and gas-fired power plants, etc., on the basis that they threaten the planet by polluting the atmosphere with haze and greenhouse gases. But in fact, wildfires, usually on federally-controlled public lands, create levels of smoke, soot, ash, haze, CO2, and carcinogenic pollution, far greater than domestic energy extraction or production.

In July the Sierra Club sent a mailer to members asking them to send this to the president, in an appeal to ‘protect’ the wilderness but shutting down logging and domestic energy production.

The Center for Biological Diversity, headed up by the vile Kieran Suckling, recently made this pitch to the Secretary of the Interior, Bureau Land Management (headed by former Harry Reid boy Friday, Neil Kornze), calling for an end to coal extraction on BLM-managed lands, again, in order to mitigate the effects of ‘climate change,’ (without calling for equal diligence in ending wildfires on federally-controlled lands).

The EPA ‘Haze rule’ effects parks, monuments, wilderness, wetlands and conservation areas under the umbrella of the National Parks service. Sierra Club is advancing the lie that ‘power plants’ cause haze in national parks, to pressure EPA to shut down power plants throughout the West.

The Sierra Club is holding seminars across the nation to teach their supporters to learn how to use various hysteria-driven narratives to lobby the EPA, state and local leaders, and members of Congress, to  end domestic energy production and extraction in the United States.


Extreme greens, such as Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club, espouse an agenda that, if implemented, would minimize economic expansion, decrease human population growth, and centralize control of energy and related economic activities, in a global government, all the while stuffing their pockets with cash through green-energy crony schemes (think Solyndra). This is bolstered by the fact that they refuse to acknowledge or offer solutions to increasingly large and dangerous wildfires in federally controlled forests, range lands, and national parks and monuments. It’s apparent to everyone with neural activity that these extremist greens are not about saving the planet from ‘climate change’ or protecting the environment. They’re about debasing Western Civilization by relegating the energy sources that makes civilization possible to the past.

Below are photographs from wildfires in national parks and national forests from 2016. More constant and up to date information on wildfires can be found HERE.

Cibola National Grasslands, New Mexico, August 2016

Example of fire creeping and smoldering on the North Fire

Maple Fire, Yellowstone National Park, August 2016

smoke plume of Maple Fire

Tule Fire, Sequoia National Forest, August 23, 2016

Fire spreads downhill through grass

Cedar Fire, Clearwater National Forest, Idaho  July 2016

Fuller fire with smoke and haze in Grand Canyon National Park, July 2016

Cox Fire, Olympic National Park, July 2016

Fire near Crater Lake, Crater Lake National Park, July 2016

Prescribed Burn, Sequoia National Park, July 2016

Fresno Fire, Big Bend National Park, July 2016

Satellite view of Sand Fire along coast of Central California

Satellite view of Soberanes Fire, Northern California, July 2016

Pioneer Fire, Boise National Forest, Idaho, August 2016 (63,000 acres)

Hotpot Fire, Nevada, Bureau of Land Management lands, July-August 2016 (123,000 acres)

Smoke column rises near the town of Midas


Posted by  8/27/16

National Parks employee openly tells Utah locals “your food and heat do not matter”

Posted by in Federal Abuse, Land Grabs, National Parks

August 25, 2016,

“Again, your food and heat do not matter more than our children’s views. Flat out.”

jmchilds2Jeremy Matthew Childs works for the National Parks Service, the federal agency currently in the middle of a human rights struggle over who controls the lands and resources of the ‘Bears Ears’ region in southeastern Utah.

As outdoor gear corporations, and environmentalist groups join forces with President Obama and his Interior Secretary Sally Jewell against the interests of Natives and locals who live in the actual Bears Ears region–1.9 million acres in San Juan County–the curtains are being pulled back to reveal the ugly agendas behind a potential new national monument. Jeremy Matthew Childs is the poster child for that ugly agenda, which is, in a nutshell; “The less people the better, even if it means you go without.”

Kara Laws, a resident of San Juan County, had the following Facebook conversation with Jeremy Matthew Childs. The Department of Interior, and its chief, Sally Jewell, control the numerous national parks and monuments in Utah, which in recent years have become the source of painful conflict and economic devastation.

In the following conversation about trails which were apparently blocked by one of the numerous federal land management agencies in San Juan County, Childs seems to take a position that domesticated dogs and their human owners are bad for nature.

With astounding arrogance he infers that locals have no place on the lands upon which they live and depend. In his replay to Kara he says: “I am also guessing they deal with the locals who are acting as if the land is their own personal playground and riding their ATVs and horses wherever they please…”

Childs’ continues, revealing what appears to be an ugly, anti human-use agenda, “The people on the land will come second, as it should be. People come and go, the land is forever.”

Kara Laws goes on to explain to the federal employee that many people in San Juan County–which is Utah’s most economically distressed county–especially those belonging to local Native tribes, must have access to areas that are, or will be closed off, to gather the resources upon which they depend for their subsistence lifestyles.

His reply is chilling, “Again, your food and heat do not matter more than our children’s views. Flat out.”

Shockingly, and tragically, his attitude is not unique among federal employees working for land management agencies who view locals; those who depend upon the resources which just happen to exist in a unique location with a pretty ‘view,’ as a nuisance to be driven off whatever region is coveted by corporatists, environmentalist special interests, and bureaucrats.

In what Jeremy Matthew Childs probably regards as a ‘moral’ answer to the needs of locals, he essentially tells Kara that they must leave because the land is ‘habitable’–ignoring the fact that local tribal chapters have ancestors who have lived on and ‘managed’ the land for centuries–but it is ‘visitable.’ Then Childs insists that he is an ‘ally’ to Kara and other locals whose livelihoods and cultures are threatened by bureaucratic overreach and land grabs.

Childs, unfortunately, is a symptom of a widespread, institutionalized anti-human philosophy in federal land management agencies.

by  8/25/16

How a touristcentric economy wrecked this Utah town

Posted by in Economy, Environmental Impact, Federal Land Grabs

August 26, 2016

Why Little Western Towns Don’t Want to Become ‘Another Moab’

Despite its tourist boom, the town that mining, parks, and mountain biking built is straining to get by.

Conservationists in Moab, Utah, have been heartened by the strong statewide and national support for the proposed Bears Ears National Monument. Yet I was struck by how many people also say that they do not want to become another Moab. This is a fairly common fear in the West. Depending on your location, substitute the idea of becoming yet another Aspen or Park City.

In a way, it’s ironic. For years, Moab’s greens have touted the tourism economy as the alternative to all that nasty drilling and mining. Tourism, they say, avoids the worst of the boom-and-bust cycles characterized by pollution-spewing extractive industries. But everyone has learned that tourism also brings sprawling growth, crappy jobs, ever-higher rents and home prices, and an increasingly unmanageable crush of visitors and traffic.

In Moab, tourism has transformed the area at least as dramatically as any drilling tower or potash pit. We deride the “drill-baby-drillers” for thinking that our natural resources are unlimited, yet we never hear anyone suggest a cap on visitors, even as our national parks become ever more crowded, smashing attendance records year after year.

There is substantial evidence that tourism and lackluster stewardship have not benefitted most locals. Just in the last year, according to the Community Action Partnership of Utah, Grand County’s poverty rate jumped up to 16.3 percent, with Moab’s children hit hardest: 18 percent live in poverty households, shooting up to 49.6 percent for those children under 5 who live with a single mom. Half of Moab’s food stamp households include children.

The average Moab renter gets a wage of $9.74 an hour, yet it takes $14.56 an hour to get into a two-bedroom apartment. Close to a third of Moab residents have no health insurance, compared to 12.5 percent for Utah as a whole. Moab’s average household income is $52,800, versus $69,686 for Utah. One-fourth of residential housing is occupied by tourists, leaving a serious housing shortfall for local workers. Two recent findings agree that the poor get hit hardest by tourism: Moab’s cost of living, housing costs, sales tax, and income tax are all higher than the national average, and Utah’s job growth in recent years has mostly benefitted middle- and upper-income households.

Those who advocate for a Bears Ears National Monument like to remind everyone that our nation’s federal land is owned by the whole country, not just the local yokels. Yet Moab, to the disappointment of many longtime visitors, acts as though it believes that surrounding federal lands can be used to extract money from an infinite number of tourists, and to support an ever-expanding party and “adventure” town.

Image result for crowded traffic moab city market

Think how you would feel if someone proposed a 10,000-person “village” at Springdale, near Zion, or consider the horrifying actual plans for a gondola and restaurant at the Little Colorado confluence, at the eastern edge of the Grand Canyon. Do we commend their civic boosterism? No! We condemn mega-developments because Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon belong to all of us.

Should President Obama create a Bears Ears monument, I hope Moab and the vacation marketers can restrain themselves from trying to cash in: No tourism boosters giving pep talks in Bluff, no flyboys pressing for scenic flights, no death-seeking extreme sportsters descending on Comb Ridge, no gluten-free bistros in Blanding, and no mass hordes of random tourons emanating out of Las Vegas, looking for that quick, bloodless Disney experience.

Along with the Navajos and Utes in the remote villages of Aneth, Montezuma Creek, White Mesa, and Bluff, a surprising number of Anglos in the sleepy Mormon towns of Blanding and Monticello say they are also spooked by the prospect of industrial tourism. What will help is that the small towns within the Bears Ears area are separated by vast amounts of not much at all. Remote doesn’t begin to describe this land of sculpted red rock.

Recent history also gives us reason for hope, even if Bears Ears becomes a national monument. In 1996, President Bill Clinton went to the Grand Canyon to announce his highly controversial creation of the Grand Staircase Escalante Monument. You might think that tourism would boom the nearby towns of Escalante, Torrey, and Boulder. But no, they remain pretty much what they’ve always been in the face of increased but hardly Moab-level visitation. It may be too much to hope, but unlike Vietnam, in the Utah wilds it might be possible to save the villages without destroying them.

Reposted by  8/26/16

Enviros, corporations, out-of-state tribal leaders conspire to rob Bears Ears from locals

Posted by in Conspiracies, Environmental extremism, Native Americans

August 25, 2016

Not only have locals been left out of conversations between the federal government and monument supporters, but efforts have been made to drown out local voices during the limited opportunities that residents had to give input.


The proposed Bears Ears national monument: A story of big money, out-of-state tribal leaders and environmental group collusion

as published by the Sutherland Institute

Last week investigative journalism conducted by the Deseret News confirmed reports of behind-the-scene, coordinated efforts between environmental groups, out-of-state tribal leaders, and big money from California to bring about a 1.9-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument. While this is big news for many across the country, it comes as no surprise to the people of San Juan County.

Time and again locals have expressed their opinion that the push for a monument seemed rotten from the start – it was not something they initiated. Why would San Juan County residents, who have successfully taken care of the land for centuries, suddenly decide that they can no longer protect the area? These people know how to live in harmony with the land – respecting archaeological sites, conserving wildlife, and preserving the grandeur of the landscape. They understand that a monument designation would diminish their stewardship over the area, turning it over to bureaucrats and special interests headquartered thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C.


Advocates also claim that locals seek a designation because of the economic prosperity it would bring. San Juan County residents know better. Major parts of one national park, three national monuments, and a national recreation area already exist in San Juan County. But even with these “protected” lands, the county has the lowest income per person and lowest median family income in the state. It also ranks among the most economically depressed in the entire country. Locals have seen firsthand that locking up multiple-use lands has prevented prosperity, and they expect to suffer even more under the burden of yet another national monument. They understand that a strong economy is a diverse one – relying on a host of activities to drive it – and that a national monument like the Bears Ears will reduce their economic diversity and deepen their financial woes by forcing them to be more dependent on tourism.

Another misconception is the assertion that San Juan County residents have been an integral part of the process. Monument advocates have used tens of millions of dollars and a coordinated media campaign to paint a picture of local involvement. Reality stands in stark contrast to this. Not only have locals been left out of conversations between the federal government and monument supporters, but efforts have been made to drown out local voices during the limited opportunities that residents had to give input.

Outside influence and deception have come to define the campaign to designate the Bears Ears region as a national monument. Special interests have co-opted the process to use federal power as a means of securing their agenda, despite local opposition. Please stand with the residents of San Juan County and share this post. Call your Congressmen and demand that they use all means within their power to stop this and other destructive federal land grabs.

Reposted by  8/25/16

Big money and myths behind Bears Ears land grab push

Posted by in Federal Land Grabs, Native Americans, Radical Environmentalism

August 23, 2016

6 Myths about the proposed Bears Ears National Monument

As published by Save Bears Ears


Truth or Consequences?

Myth #1:

The proposed national monument would protect the Bears Ears.

False! National Monuments and National Parks report increased vandalism and looting.

The Real Truth:

  • 25 cases in San Juan County or Bears Ears in 5 years (2011-2016) vs.
  • 1400 cases last YEAR (2015)  in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
  • “BetweeHouse on Fire Ruins | Bears Ears Vandalism - bears ears national monument #NOmonumentn October 2011 and April 2016, the BLM’s field office in Monticello said it investigated 25 cases of looting, vandalism and disturbance of human remains in San Juan County.” (The Cortez Journal.)
  • In 2015, ” rangers found, cleaned up and investigated 1,400 cases of vandalism” in the Grand Staircase Escalante Monument.( Grand Staircase shares a border with Bears Ears proposed monument.

Click here to see a video about the ‘vandalism’ in the Bears Ears


Myth #2

Tourism will be good for the local economy around Bears Ears.

False! The designation of 1.9 million acres of forest lands to a National Monument will severely change the economic outlook for San Juan County Residents.

The Real Truth: donate-now

  • Seasonal Tourism–This means that real income would only be coming in to the county for half of the year if we are lucky. This area has severe winters that would preclude tourists from visiting during the winter months. The “Bears Ears” is  inaccessible for all of those winter months. Grand Staircase Escalante had to declare an economic emergency last year (2015).  They refer to the winter months as the “starving” months”.  This article from the UNEP (United Nation Environment Programne) has some great additional info on this.
  • Water Resources–This is a small community of people. They have admittedly carved out a place for themselves to live. Because of that, they have carefully planned for the collecting of water to sustain themselves, their farms, and their animals. This water is collected and stored from the mountains that are being fought over. There really is not enough water to support an influx of tourists that would come to visit the “Bears Ears National Monument”.  Are you aware that it is estimated that each person uses 80 – 100 gallons of water per day?
  • Economic Dependence on tourism–A healthy economy is a diverse economy. Tourism being the only economy that the residents depend on creates a week economy. Creating an environment where tourism is the main economic driving force gives the local community too few options. “Diversification in an economy is a sign of health, however if a country or region becomes dependent for its economic survival upon one industry, it can put major stress upon this industry as well as the people involved to perform well.”  UNEP (United Nation Environment Programne)
  • Devastating Effects–Ranchers, Farmers, Miners, Teachers, Business Owners, and Hunting Guides will all feel the devastating affects of a national monument designation. I am sure that the rancher who has spent his entire professional life on the proposed monument taking care of the land will love to find a job selling t-shirts 6 months of the year.

Click here to meet the families of Bears Ears that will be deeply affected by this.

Here is another article that explains “Why little western towns do not want to become another Moab.”


Myth #3:

All promises made in the Bears Ears Monument Proposal will be kept.

False!  The phrasing “…consistent with the purposes of the monument, to the maximum extent permitted by law” allows for unfettered alterations to current promises made to tribes and locals.

The Real Truth:

myths, bears ears myths
All promises made in the designation of a National Monument are only true so long as they do not ever interfere with the purpose the National Parks Service: “…to promote and regulate the use of the… national parks…which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” National Park Service Organic Act, 16 U.S.C.1. (

Some of those promises include:Bears ears myths

  • Wood Gathering–Check out how this promise was kept in the Grand Staircase-Escalante.
  • Pine Nut Gathering
  • Goji Berry Gathering
  • Herb Gathering
  • Holding Traditional Ceremonies
  • More money to ‘protect’ the land. –Find out how this is working in National Monuments and Parks across the U.S.

Pages 26, 27, & 29 of the proposal talk about how the decisions will be made if the federal government does not agree,

“by definition, the Federal agency will have approved these decisions. But, if the collaborators cannot agree, the dispute will go to mediation. If all that fails, then the Secretary of Interior or Agriculture makes the final decision.”

Myth #4:

A National Monument would keep the Bears Ears from being developed!

Misleading and False!! The Manti-LaSal Mountain range (otherwise known as the Bears Ears), because of its designation as a national forest is already under federal government protection.

truth or consequencesThe Real Truth:

No one is developing this mountain range. Although, there have been various rumors concerning development from the opposition, there are no plans nor will there ever be plans to build condos on this mountain range. (It is already protected!)   This land cannot be sold to the highest bidder.

 Myth #5:

There is broad state and local support for a monument.

FALSE! Read the Navajo county commissioner Rebecca Benally’s words on this. Meet the community of Native Americans and locals who oppose a national monument designation for Bears Ears.rebecca

The Retrue or falseal Truth:

Yes, blind surveys indicate that the majority of people in Utah support a monument designation. These people often don’t know much about the real possible consequences of the area becoming a monument. The pro-monument movement has spent a great deal of money on a campaign to convince the masses to support a monument, with very little truth or no truth behind the push.
You know those 600 registered voters (which is just .02% of Utah’s population) that Pew Charitable Trusts polled to show 55% of Utahns support the monument? This map shows where they were all from. The counties in blue were not, I repeat NOT, surveyed. (Hint: San Juan County is in the lower right hand corner.) There were also ZERO Native Americans in Utah were polled. Ouch!
Bears Ears Myths

Myth #6:

Those who oppose the monument are funded by Corporate America and Big Oil.

FALSE! FALSE! FLeonardo-DiCaprioALSE! Take a look at the amount of donations the organizations pushing for a monument designation have received!


The proponents of a monument designation are a grassroots movement trying to save the land from being exploited. Many community members were aware that our area was being considered for a monument designation, but we knew the public lands were already well managed. We didn’t believe there was truly any rationale for supporting a monument. In many ways, we have preferred to keep the spotlight off our area, hoping this would keep it protected.

The difference in funding is staggering  $20,000,000.00 (radicalized environmentalists)  vs $1,870.00 (grassroots movement).


San Juan County, Bears Ears Myths

So, I ask you what you think of the Bears Ears National Monument now? Were you lied to by special interests groups just like we were?

Reposted by  8/23/16

This Navajo couple says “No Bears Ears Monument”

Posted by in Antiquities Act, Federal Abuse, Native Americans

August 22, 2016

Begaye Family | A Monument Does Not Protect

by Kara Laws

as published by Save Bears Ears

“A monument is not going to protect this land from looters and vandals – it will invite them!”

Joseph and Stephanie Begaye
We both grew up in San Juan County (Joseph was born here!) and absolutely love this area that we will always call home. It deeply saddens us to know that the land we grew up on, the land we appreciate and the land that we love, is being threatened by this proposed monument.

does not protect, no monument #bearsears, San Juan County, No monument

It is heartbreaking to think of what the land will come to if this monument takes place, the access and the resources that will be stripped from those who love the land most.

The thought of being “limited” to which areas you can roam and visit, areas you can collect firewood to heat your home, areas that Joseph and his brothers hunt on to sustain our families – there is just so much at stake, much more than any non-local can imagine!

does not protect, no monument #bearsears, San Juan County, No monument

Yes, this land provides us locals with the vital resources we need, but it’s also much more than that.

It is sacred.

It is home.

It is pure wilderness where one can escape the stresses of everyday life to gain a sense of peace and be one with nature.

The thought of that land being restricted to all, and the wear and tear it will face due to the increased volume of people who will visit, is frustrating. A monument is not going to protect this land from looters and vandals – it will invite them! We want to be able to enjoy this land for many more generations to come and this monument will not allow that. Doodah monument!!

does not protect, no monument #bearsears, San Juan County, No monument

Federal control does not protect, no monument

#BearsEars  #NoMonument #DoodahMonument

Click here to help protect this land.

Reposted by  8/22/16

Bears Ears: Progressive Pew push poll vs reality of Utah Natives

Posted by in Federal Land Grabs, Government Run Amok, Native Americans

August 21, 2016

By Devin Bayles Hancock

as published by Salt Lake Tribune

Devin Bayles Hancock is a Native and devoted advocate of San Juan County who opposes the Bears Ears National Monument.


Unpaid Poll: What is your main ethnic or racial heritage? 7.6 percent (87 people) Native American; 86.3 percent (984 people) Caucasian or white. Of the 87 Native Americans, only one supported the monument.

A new poll shows that the majority of Utahns oppose the president naming Bears Ears region as a new national monument. Coincidence that this statement rings opposite as the statement published in the Salt Lake Tribune on August 11?

The new survey was performed by me, a concerned native of San Juan County, who has no funds to hire a professional survey company, such as the Benenson Strategy Group (BSG). I ran my own survey to grasp what polls really entailed.

The two surveys were managed by me, with 1,140 responses, and by the funded Pew Charitable Trusts, finalized by BSG with 600 registered voters.

Unpaid poll: Explain your relationship to the 1.9 Million Acres of land becoming Bears Ears National Monument: 47.4 percent currently reside in San Juan County; 58.8 percent grew up in San Juan County; 38.7 percent frequently visit San Juan County; 40.3 percent hunt in 1.9 million acre proposed boundary; 37 percent gather firewood in 1.9 million acre proposed boundary; 14.3 percent gather herbs, berries, and medicinal items there; 61.1 percent recreate there and 3.9 percent graze cattle there.

Unpaid Poll: Do you support or oppose the 1.9 million acres of land becoming a monument? 96.3 percent oppose; 2.3 percent support.

Pew Poll: “As a national monument, the land remains open for grazing, rights of way, hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities, but new development, mining and oil and gas drilling is prohibited. Do you support or oppose the idea to make Bears Ears area in Utah a protected national monument?” Strongly support 27 percent; somewhat support 26 percent; somewhat oppose 13 percent; strongly oppose 27 percent.

Unpaid Poll: What is your main ethnic or racial heritage? 7.6 percent (87 people) Native American; 86.3 percent (984 people) Caucasian or white. Of the 87 Native Americans, only one supported the monument.

Mark Twain quoted, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” I’d like to argue, and possibly discredit and explain how the Pew poll could be stacked, baited and misinterpreted with questions like, “As a national monument, the land remains open for grazing, rights of way, hunting, fishing, and other recreational activities, but new development, mining and oil and gas drilling is prohibited. Do you support or oppose the idea to make Bears Ears area in Utah a protected national monument?”

Or “some priorities that some people have for these national public lands. Please tell me how important each one is to you personally?: Protecting and conserving the land for future generations; Ensuring access for recreational activities such as hiking, biking, hunting and fishing; Making the land available for livestock grazing; Making sure resources such as oil and gas, minerals or timber are available for development, mining and logging.”

It is assumed that the population agrees that these topics are very important. However, where the Pew survey tilts towards one answer to protect lands, the unpaid survey asks, “Do you support or oppose the Public Lands Initiative (PLI)?”; 43.9 percent undecided; 31.3 percent oppose; 21 percent support; 3.8 percent other.

The company hired to conclude the Pew survey has a testimonial directly on its website that states, “BSG is a strategic research consultancy that marries language expertise with innovative research to frame choices so that your brand is the only answer.”

In other words, this company can and will say anything to present the question that favors whatever outcome you desire.

Also interesting, the Bears Ears actual area sits in roughly two square miles. That’s about .0006 percent of the proposed monument. How the designation of calling it Bears Ears National Monument came to be is incomprehensible.

Maybe BSG can create a poll asking if the name “Bears Ears, Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, Knees, and Toes, National Monument” should be considered.

Devin Bayles Hancock is a native and devoted advocate of San Juan County who opposes the Bears Ears National Monument.

Reposted by  8/21/16

Photographs below of San Juan County Natives who OPPOSE Bears Ears Monument added by


Dysfunctional Forest Service prompts Oregon lawmakers to action

Posted by in Extremist Green Groups, Federal Control, Forestry

August 21, 2016

Burned: Lawmakers call for change within U.S. Forest Service

As published byThe Oregonian/OregonLive

“The longer we wait, the danger just grows.”

A bipartisan group of local, state and federal lawmakers in Oregon is renewing calls for a basic overhaul of the U.S. Forest Service.

Their comments came this week in the wake of an investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive that revealed how years of failed Forest Service policy and flawed budgets helped fuel the catastrophic Canyon Creek fire in August 2015.

Sen. Ron Wyden, along with U.S. Reps. Greg Walden, Peter DeFazio and Kurt Schrader all expressed deep frustration with an ongoing congressional stalemate and an overly cautious agency that increasingly diverts money from land management programs to fight wildfires. The practice delays restoration work that makes forests more resistant to devastating fire, placing large swaths of Oregon’s federal timberland and nearby communities at risk.

“Again and again, the three of us have pointed out the cost to the rural West and to America for this broken, dysfunctional mess of a budget, which is how we fight fire in America today,” Wyden said this week at a press conference with two Republican senators from Idaho.

Holding a copy of The Oregonian/OregonLive’s investigation “Burned,” Wyden stood inside the same building in Boise where he and the other lawmakers made the same pitch last year. Since that meeting, the Canyon Creek wildfire burned through more than 110,000 acres – parts of which had been slated in 2006 for thinning, logging and controlled burns aimed at helping to prevent such a catastrophic fire.

Read the Burned series.

Read the Burned series.

The Canyon Creek fire was mismanaged despite the Forest Service being on red alert.

The Oregonian/OregonLive spent a year deconstructing Oregon’s most devastating wildfire in the last 80 years. Reporters found the Forest Service has fallen behind in its work to maintain and restore ecological balance to the nation’s forests in recent years, leaving timberland across the West primed to burn. The project also examined missteps made by Malheur National Forest fire managers leading up to the blaze.

Timber harvests and restoration work on the Malheur national forest have increased in recent years due to state and federal funding of collaborative groups designed to build consensus around such projects. But the work still falls well short of what the Forest Service says it needs to complete to return the Malheur to ecological health.

“We have to stop the erosion of these budgets to fight fire,” Wyden told The Oregonian/OregonLive. “We can’t just throw more money at this year after year.”

The federal lawmakers’ views were echoed by a handful of state legislators from east of the Cascades, where Oregon’s forests are particularly dry and at risk for wildfire. They urged Gov. Kate Brown to make the issue a priority and carry on her predecessor John Kitzhaber’s work to accelerate the pace and scale of the agency’s forest management.

Brown issued a statement Thursday saying, “My goal is to leverage federal, state, and local resources to efficiently fight wildfires, and continue to work with federal partners to be more proactive in improving forest health and protecting Oregon communities.”

Specifically, Brown passed Kitzhaber’s recommendation to double the budget of Oregon’s Federal Forest Health Program that aims to accelerate restoration work, said Bryan Hockaday, a spokesman for the governor’s office. He said Brown also supports the Federal Forest Working Group that tackles issues related to controlled burns, which experts say is necessary to reduce fire danger.

Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, said the governor has more resources than the part-time Legislature and that she must take the lead on the issue.

“Every summer, I hold my breath over whether we’re going to lose an Oakridge, a Sisters or a John Day,” Buehler said. “There’s nothing of greater urgency than dealing with this problem.

“The longer we wait, the danger just grows.”

Budget problems

For the Forest Service, the problem is twofold: Fire spending is consuming an ever-increasing percentage of a relatively flat budget, eating away at money for programs aimed at reducing fire risks.

Second, the agency regularly exhausts its firefighting budget before the end of the fire season and raids other programs to cover the shortfall, a practice known as “fire borrowing.”

Wyden and Republican Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho are pushing a funding fix that would stop the gradual erosion of the agency’s budget to fight fires. It would also allow the agency to tap natural disaster money to pay for the largest wildfires, ending fire borrowing.

“We need to recognize this 1 percent of the fires that cause 30 percent of the cost are catastrophic fires,” said Crapo on Monday. “They are disasters just as much as a hurricane, a flood or a tidal wave or the like and we should deal with them through the budgeting that Congress already is engaged in providing for dealing with natural disasters.”

Though lawmakers have debated such fixes for years, Wyden said he believes there’s more bipartisan support behind the legislation this year.

“After years of bitter fighting, there just may be a sweet spot this fall to get this fix,” he said, adding that a conference on the Energy Bill is being discussed for September that will be attended by key lawmakers from both the House and Senate.

Fix more than “borrowing”

While lawmakers agreed the budget issue must be addressed, several said they also believe that the Forest Service needs to be held more accountable for completing needed restoration work.

DeFazio, who served as the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee until last year, said the Forest Service has failed to take advantage of past legislation that allows them to more swiftly bring federal timberlands back into ecological balance.

“The U.S. Forest Service hasn’t used it as aggressively as they should,” DeFazio told The Oregonian/OregonLive this week. “The agency is risk averse to litigation and is moving much too cautiously.”

Again and again, the three of us have pointed out the cost to the rural West and to America for this broken, dysfunctional mess of a budget, which is how we fight fire in America today.” Sen. Ron Wyden

DeFazio said Wyden and others on the Natural Resources Committee must put a brighter spotlight on the Forest Service and hold it accountable for reaching restoration goals.

Republican Walden told The Oregonian/OregonLive recently that if Congress is able to pass legislation only on the “fire borrowing” issue, “we have totally missed the point.”

“We’re still left with the fires,” he said. “We’re still left with the forests that are choked with overgrowth. This all wrong. It doesn’t have to be this way.”

Walden says it’s time for Congress to eliminate rules that prohibit cutting trees greater than 21 inches in diameter, known as the “Eastside screens.” Walden contends the restrictions have no scientific basis and undercut the economics of timber harvests and restoration projects. He also says the agency needs to promote larger and sustained harvests.

“This is about getting the work done in an environmentally sensitive way, which can be done,” he said. “We need the jobs. The material needs to come out. We do it at the state level, the county level, but you come to the federal level, and it doesn’t happen.”

Oregon Sen. Ted Ferrioli, whose district includes the John Day area, said he’s attended annual gatherings in the past when the state’s congressional leaders tour Eastern Oregon and promise fixes for the Forest Service failures.

“But at end of the day, Congress doesn’t act and the Forest Service doesn’t respond to the local community’s needs,” the Republican leader said.

Ferrioli said the agency is essentially a firefighting business these days, and its forest management work comes to a halt during busy fire seasons.

“The execution of forest management high-centers, and folks return after a disastrous fire season to work and they’re two to three months behind,” said Ferrioli, adding that conversation threads get lost, people are transferred and plans get reworked.

“If your wildlife biologists, your archaeologists and your systems analysts for logging and planners are all essentially put on temporary duty assignment for fire — and that happens more than one time back to back across a couple of summers — years are added to a planning process.”

Work needed at the state level

Ferrioli said he hasn’t found much help in Salem. He said state lawmakers representing more urban areas don’t understand how the Forest Service’s “mismanagement” leads to huge losses of valuable natural resources and ultimately results in more environmental harm through thick summer wildfire smoke.

“I can’t get them to take this seriously,” Ferrioli said, “because it’s not happening in their yard.”

Ron Lundbom, mayor of John Day, said he and others in the community around last year’s devastating Canyon Creek fire are frustrated by lawsuits by environmental groups in the past that had limited logging.

He said he’s heard arguments about how forests are harmed when loggers go in using bulldozers or other heavy machinery. But a wildfire like last year’s “nukes the ground so that nothing grows here for 10 years.”

“They have pushed us not to log or clean our forests up as we have in the past,” Lundbom said. “I can’t believe they’re not up in arms over last year’s fire.”

No lawsuits have been filed over planned restoration projects in the Malheur for many years. That run is largely credited to work by “collaborative groups” – made up of community members, loggers, Forest Service officials and conservationists – that review projects, tour the targeted areas and ultimately, create trust among the participants.

Still, there is persistent opposition to many of the specific measures proposed to speed up environmental reviews, limit litigation, and expedite the treatments in forests. Some groups worry restoration work is a Trojan horse for much larger harvests of larger trees, and that the work compacts forest soils, destroys watersheds and threatens fish and wildlife.

If the Forest Service significantly increases the pace and scale of those projects, legal appeals and objections could increase again.

Schrader, a Democratic congressman who supports Wyden’s budget plan, said such litigation has made the agency “afraid of its own shadow.”

“A lot of folks in our urban environments, in all due respect, are living back in the 1970s and 1980s in terms of timber policy,” Schrader said. “We’re bankrupting rural Oregon. These communities are not coming back from the recession and won’t until we allow thoughtful forest management and let them earn a living out there in the woods and protect our most valued natural resources.”

Reposted by  8/20/16

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