Bold fight for control of rural West countryside

The Salt Lake Tribune has published an interesting story about public land disputes in Utah. Local authorities there are thumbing their noses at federal regulation of federal public land. The result of such localized insistance of authority is sadly predictable:

State Rep. Mike Noel, a Republican from the southern community of Kanab, said: It gets down to “sovereignty and autonomy. It’s Western independence. We own the water, we have the right to graze, the minerals are still available, and the roads belong to us. By dang, we are not going to give them up.”

It kind of makes me wonder whether these folk ever learned past the civil war.

Bold fight for control of rural West countryside
By Julie Cart
Los Angeles Times




  1. Monty Avatar

    Aldo Leopold wrote: “what good are 40 freedoms if you don’t have the land to be free in”. Public lands are the last best places where one can find a measure of physical freedom and space. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be 120 million more Americans. Along with these numbers will be more pavement, more traffic, more conflict, more crime and less space and freedom The urbanization or Chinaization of this country grinds on. It is a conflict between quantity verses quality or between ethics verses no ethics and it appears that Americanus Homo Consumptus will win.

  2. skyrim Avatar

    Excellent analysis Monty. I feel for future generations and am ashamed that my own generation contibuted in such a significant and negative way.

  3. Chris H. Avatar
    Chris H.

    Agreed. I stand with you folks. Individually we are as Sysyphus. Nonetheless, we still must try to revitalize as many as possible and we may yet get that stone to the top.

  4. Monty Avatar

    Agree with Chris H., there are millions of American’s who support organizations such as Nature Conservancy or individuals like Ted Turner who are attempting to save the “last great places”. However, we need a clearer conception of the truth. We need to be more creative rather than possessive in a world where power and honor and respect are given to wealth rather than wisdom. We need to listen to history. Jared Diamond’s woderful book “Collapse” is a historical account of how societies choose to fail or succeed and the problem is–as the Greek’s believed–that all civiliaztions go in circles repeating previous mistakes. Maybe we will be different.

  5. be Avatar

    Tocqueville notes of the independance of Americans and their affinity to local administration. Looks like a modern actualization of that.

    I think I’d like Dewey’s take more though 😉

    The public commons ought not be as vulnerable to localized administration as they are. Local communities have not demonstrated the dedication to sustainability our children’s lands deserve.

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Brian Ertz