I know that's an eye-grabbing and potentially shocking post title. But it's true. There are many, many people out there who rape the land we live on. Dictionary.com lists one meaning of the word as "4. an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: the rape of the countryside." That about sums it up. Thankfully, there are also many, many people out there who are working to save the land we call home (i.e., our entire planet, folks).
My beloved red rock country has been undergoing violations for years. I've witnessed much of it over the time I've called it home. Two recent developments (not so recent, actually) are, firstly, the Utah resource management plans (RMPs) being sussed out by the BLM. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) has great articles and actions you can take to get informed and help. They've also teamed up with one of my favorite artists, Greg Brown, to provide a limited edition CD you can get for a $50 donation to SUWA. Pretty cool.
At any rate, seems our current D.C. administration is rushing to get certain things thrown back to earlier, less-informed eras--such as overturning Clinton's 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. See this link for a cool timeline chart too, in pdf. The BLM (Bureau of Livestock & Mining, as it's very sarcastically yet quite accurately been called) likes to muck things up, as any good government agency does, to confuse us all on the matters at hand. Here's a not-so-funny quote that just sums everything up:
What Is a BLM Roadless Area in Utah?
Let’s start with this: The term “BLM roadless area” is a SUWA creation. The agency, opting for confusion over clarity, uses its own unwieldy construction:“non-Wilderness Study Area lands with wilderness character.”
The second piece of news of note: Another coal-fired power plant, proposed in Sigurd, Utah, which is near Wayne County, home of the gorgeous photo on this site. There are hearings on it happening this coming week, and concerned citizens will be commenting. You can see more about this here, and here (this one has the original documents about it from 2004, in pdf format), and here.
Sometimes it's just depressing. But that's part of why I write about this land, and will be writing more and more over the years. It takes writers/agitators like Ed Abbey, and individual citizens who care, and public awareness, and a feeling of community and connection with everything and everyone in order to create positive change and to truly recognize what we all are doing. I mean, if we don't give a damn, who will? Our mutant little descendants, crawling around in the rubble we've left of this planet, cursing us with their every gasping breath in the foul air?
Let's not let it get to that, eh? I know there are doubters and naysayers (the eyes-shut-tight crew, as I think of them) who complacently believe everything will go on as it always has. I disagree. Love this place? Then do something about it, even if it's a little tiny thing like writing a blog that not many people read! What do you think?