To all of you who have not experienced the magic and wonder of Southern Utah,
First: Stay home. We have too many people here already
Second: Take my word for it, this place needs protecting
Third: Speak up and Speak out
As many of my readers know, the wide open spaces just to my west are the places that feed my soul.
What many of you don’t know is that they are under attack and we, thanks to our new administration and especially Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, have hope for the first time in 4 years.
Grand Staircase Escalante (created by Clinton) and Bears Ears (Obama) are National Monuments that not only encompass some of the most stunning and fragile landscapes in the world, but they also contain a rich cultural and spiritual history that needs to be protected along with the spadefoot toads and the claret cup cactus.
These started out as NOT our lands to protect; these are native lands. Sacred Lands. Lands that have provided well-being on all levels to many Native American tribes for generations.
Now they are OUR responsibility because we fucked it up for them.
Thoughtless, heartless, money grubbers want to drill for oil and gas. They want to develop hotels and recreational byways. They want to create access for every kind of motorized vehicle ever built. They want to chip away at every inch of cryptobiotic soil that bravely holds it all together.
They want to risk the destruction of ancient archeaological sites that provide us the opportunity to look deep into the past.
There is no other place like this on the planet. Presidents Clinton and Obama knew this and did something about it. Our most recent administration tore it to bits.
Now we have Deb Haaland, badass, who is taking a look around. She is walking the lands. She is talking to the invested parties. She is listening to the voices of her ancestors. She is weighing out the value of these two monuments and the cost of relinquishing their safety and security.
Repairing what was undone in the last four years will ensure that these sacred lands are available for both traditional usage and the enjoyment of newcomers.
Allowing drilling and development and motorized recreation will ensure that the rich history, the culture, the beauty, the sacred significance, will blow away as sand particles in the wind.
Please, educate yourself. Speak up. You may not have personal experience with or investment in what exists within the boundaries of these two National Monuments, but it is important, imperative, that what is here remains here.
If we can all jump on board to worry about the Amazon rainforests, then we need to jump on board to save the deserts of our own nation. You don’t need to go there to understand the need for protection.
Do it for you. Do it for the planet. Do it for future generations.
Do it for my sanity.