|Paper||Canyon Country Zephyr|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||Tonya Auden Stiles, Moab, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Canyon Country Zephyr|
wiped out, rivers diverted, and streams destroyed. Our public lands have been so overgrazed that rains have washed away the soil over huge areas, and the wind has blown a lot of it away, . such that it is permanently ruined. Holland lives so far in the past that he fails to grasp the simple notion that it might be worthwhile to preserve some land in a relatively pristine state before it is all developed or destroyed. Overall, Holland’s romantic notion of the wild west is a myth—a self-perpetuating code—that is akin to believing in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. On another front, Holland wants you to think that wilderness advocates are selfish but that is absolute poppycock. Consider that all of the BLM land proposed for wilderness in the new Utah Wilderness Coalition’s (UWC) inventory totals just under 50% of the BLM land in the state. If the UWC were to get all of the wilderness in its inventory, more than half of the BLM land would still remain open for business as usual. Is this selfish? By recognizing that off-road vehicle users comprise only 13% of the total users of our public lands, it becomes clear who is really being selfish. Holland infers that SUWA closed Salt Wash to jeep travel, but this is incorrect. Although SUWA did sue the Park Service, a Federal judge ordered the National Park Service to close it because, after a careful review of the scientific data and anecdotal information, he felt that 4 wheel drive vehicles had seriously degraded the was and that the Park Service was in violation of its own Organic Act. The data the judge evaluated was collected by scientists in the Federal employ, or under contract to the government, and had nothing whatsoever to do with SUWA or the Sierra Club. Despite Holland’s claim to the contrary, Salt Creek was being damaged by vehicle use. Let’s look at the issue in a little more detail for it is particularly instructive as to how subtle ecodamage can be. Salt Creek road runs through some of the richest riparian areas of Canyonlands National Park. Aside from the Green and Colorado Rivers, Salt Creek is the only year-round flowing stream in the park and therefore contains flora and fauna not common elsewhere. According to a 1993 scientific study entitled "Man’s effect on aquatic and riparian organisms in the canyons of Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and Natural Bridges National Monument" by Mitchell and Woodward, vehicle travel in the canyon adversely affected the aquatic plants, aquatic insects, water turbidity, sediment loading, habitat for small mammals and soil compaction. It has led to increased runoff and greater flood severity. Several small mammals, such as harvest mice and Mexican woodrats, are up to three times as common in that part of Salt Creek where there is no road compared to areas where there is a road. Furthermore, floral studies demonstrate that the effect of vehicle use degrades the existing common desert species common in the Canyonlands area invade the canyon and take over the ecosystem from less common, likely more specialized, species. As one might predict, every year there were several instances of vehicles losing transmission, engine or crankcase fluids in the waters of Salt Creek. This pollutes the water and kills wildlife. According to the Park Service, camping too close to the creek, preventing wildlife from reaching water and increasing fecal coliform in the water. If he were half the guide he claimed to be, Holland would know that it is often hard for the untrained person to properly evaluate a damaged ecosystem, but it is harder still if they are driving along in a jeep. Perhaps if he were to take a peaceful and quiet walk along the wash, he would recognize, as Mitchell and Woodward did in their quantitative study, that there are more trees and greater total plant coverage in the area above the road, whereas there is more grass in the canyon where there is a road. It is particularly ironic that Holland claims to be "an educator about the desert" because it is obvious that, while pretending that he is educated by throwing around quotes from Karl Marx and Confucius, he knows very little about desert environments and how science might be used to better eeneeerorenict them. Furthermore, his rn to live in the past rather wan look forward ts about well- and hi g further weaken his arguments. r= 5S Ken & Jane Sleight's PACK CREEK RANCH A Country Inn & Guest Ranch Member of the La Sal Mountain Lodging Association d raving, Visit our web site: >firstname.lastname@example.org R. or call for a brochure at 435.259-5505 Robert S. Hildebrand Moab, Utah PACK CREEK RANCH PO Box 1270 Moab, UT 84532 LETTERS TO FEEDBACK are printed at the whim of the publisher. When there isa Letter of the Month, the writer receives a complimentary one year subscription. Try to be literate. WE ARE NO LONGER SERVING DINNER. BUT WE ARE HOSTING WEDDINGS, WORKSHOPS & CONFERENCES WITH FULL FOOD SERVICE AVAILABLE. fabrics,etc. We do custom EMBROIDERY for people of this planet as well as for - living entities from other solar systems - within this galaxy. and remember! all you interstellar time travelers: WE HAVE ACTION FABRICS! [ 369 S. Main (next to City Market) 259-6672] Top-to-Toe Wi yrWT Ad yy Wi Misi Footwear to Headwear: just 1 1,000 miles away in downtown Bunbury, Western Australia S77 WHAT DOES TED QUICK SAY ABOUT 'TOP-TO-TOE'? ‘TU say this. I'll say any damn fool yank that would travel 11,000 bloody miles to buy a bloody pair of shoes ought to have his bloody head examined. 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