I love Utah. Especially southern Utah. The hiking around Escalante is other-worldly beautiful. In Coyote Gulch, there are places you can wander down the stream barefoot. There are natural arches, wildflowers in the spring, Native American ruins, cottonwoods turning yellow in the fall. It is a paradise.
But I don’t live there. I live in California – for a lot of reasons. Today, I got an email from the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (AUWA) promoting the Red Rock Wilderness Act. While looking at the map of proposed wilderness lands,
I was shocked at how much area the new Wilderness Act will put aside. I am sure it is all ravishing country – at least every place on the map, marked for wilderness, that I have been to is ravishing – and that is part of Utah’s problem. Everyplace in southern Utah – east of, say, Beaver – is stop the car knockout. Really, everyplace. Even places that are no place.
In looking to insure my Congress persons had co-signed the bill – Eshoo did, Boxer did, Fienstien did not – I noticed that not one Utah Congress person had. I didn’t expect Orin Hatch or Bob Bennett to have signed, but not one Utah representative has signed. Not the Demo from downtown Salt, Lake City, not one. It got me thinking; Just how much National open space do we jam down a states throat.
I love this area. I love hiking in it. I love camping in it. Just not enought to live there. And that is the rub.