Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sundance? Meanwhile In Utah...

This says a lot about America and, I suppose human beings in general: The Sundance Film Festival gets more attention each year than any other "news story" in Utah, probably ALL OTHER news stories in Utah COMBINED.

Meanwhile, the wild red rock and "slick rock" lands of Utah are some of the most amazing lands on Earth. And they look so weird and austere and even foreboding that you might think they were safe from plunder. But no, not as long as there are valuable minerals in them there rocks -- and underground. And so the plunder tends to go on with some vocal local outcries but very little said beyond the state itself. No Utah land story has even come close to the Yucca Mountain stage of infamy.

The national parks are fairly well protected, but the shady Bureau of Land Management seems to operate as the go-between in Purgatory. The BLM is often a lot like the Army Corps of Engineers with fewer bulldozers and ballistics techs (the modern swords in this battle), but the BLM has the almight Pen, and as we know, the Pen can be mightier than the sword, supposedly. Well, the BLM often signs away protections with the stroke of a pen, paving the way, as it were, to plunder. Bring in the dozers and dynamite!

Right now, the BLM is once again set to sell out our public lands for company-friendly song and dance. The Wilderness Society is asking that we stand for protection, not plunder, of Utah's priceless and gorgeous public lands. The Society sent out a blah-blah "I'm worried/I'm concerned" letter to send in, but I scrapped that and, one stroke more broad and blunt, got right to the point.

Here is what I wrote to BLM Director Jim Caswell:

Director Caswell, please show President Bush and his administration that there is a great deal of public support for protecting our public lands -- and only industry interests in plundering OUR land. Yes, the BLM land, too, just like the national parks, BELONGS to the American people, and yet we, the public, are often marginalized in the process of what happens to our land, even things which are harmful and permanent -- maybe especially when it comes to things which are harmful and permanent. So PLEASE do what you can to make us PROUD of the wisdom and protections the BLM is providing for US.

Thank YOU!


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