Some new (rather belatedly passed on by me) news about Utah's wildlands: positive advances for the Washington County Growth and Conservation Act, referred to as the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 (no sense in making things short and easy to say, now is there? Be warned that this doc includes all sorts of tidbits about land management throughout the entire country. It weighs in at a meager 1,294 pages. Ahem.) Washington County is south of Wayne County and includes the utterly sublime Zion National Park. There's more here on Senator Bob Bennett's site. And here's a pdf document in a Q&A format about the bill, which provides more illumination about the thoughts behind it and how bills like this one can help protect land.
Washington County is also home to St. George, one of Utah's bigger cities. Visitors to Zion very often fly in to Las Vegas, drive to St. George and stock up on supplies, then take an easy jaunt over the Zion to ooh and aah. Zion has a very high visitation and name recognition, as opposed to a place like Capitol Reef, which is smaller and off the beaten path and not well-known. Does this make a difference in protection? Possibly. I don't have any stats on that theory, although of course now I'm going to look into it. But the generally accepted precepts of capitalism (pay attention to where the moolah is made) tell me, sure, yeah, totally possible. Interesting...
Here's a little update on Tim DeChristopher, the activist who threw a gorgeously Abbey-style monkeywrench into the land lease sale last month in SLC. Should the big enviros be doing more to support this guy? Would you? Good questions. As a knee-jerk reaction, I'd be inclined to support him. After all, he was trying to do the same thing I advocate: preserve our Utah wildlands. But does that mean I condone his actions, which are possibly punishable by law? How far do we go to make ourselves heard, to clearly state our opinions and passionate beliefs in this world that often seems dominated by the powerful, greedy, moneyed few?
How far would you go to save something you loved?
Shiver. This is the sort of question that makes me ponder my own boundaries. Really, how far am I willing to go to put my money where my mouth is?