As the details emerge of the new Monument, it is clear that scheming special interest groups have been crafting the details of this Monument for years. These special interest groups, who derided the County Commissioners over their concerns about such basic things as roads, hunting, and wood gathering, are now feverishly filing law suits and gathering petitions to coerce the BLM into closing roads, limiting access, and keeping people away from this area.

Open letter by Phil Lyman

Phil Lyman
Commission Chairman
San Juan County, Utah

Secretary Ryan Zinke
U.S. Department of the Interior
Washington D.C.

Dear Secretary Zinke,

The Nation continues to watch as President Trump fills key positions in his new Administration. For us in San Juan County, Utah, this last election was a choice between a centralized government dominated by the politics of special interest groups versus the hope for a return to a Nation ruled by Law, where the rights of the one are not subject to the petitions and demands of the many. Never has the contrast between two Presidential candidates been so stark or the outcome so consequential.

As past-President Obama proclaimed the Bears Ears National Monument in the final hours of his presidency, those of us who live next to this massive new Monument felt betrayed by an administration more concerned about the politics of power than the process of our Representative form of government. After years of honest and earnest discussions on the part of San Juan County with our local citizens – conservationists and Native Americans fully included – and at the invitation of our Elected Congressmen and Senators, with the State Legislature, the Governor’s office, and with MOUs between the County, the Navajo Nation, and the local Native American group Utah Dine’ Bikeyah, our local efforts were disregarded, first at the congressional level and then in full by the president himself.

As the details emerge of the new Monument, it is clear that scheming special interest groups have been crafting the details of this Monument for years. These special interest groups, who derided the County Commissioners over their concerns about such basic things as roads, hunting, and wood gathering, are now feverishly filing law suits and gathering petitions to coerce the BLM into closing roads, limiting access, and keeping people away from this area.

I have learned since becoming an elected County Commissioner that schemers are always ten steps ahead of people of good will. Those of us who love this place enough to sacrifice for it, to care for it, to call it home; those for whom this land is not a playground but our very soul, we are troubled by decisions made in Washington D.C. without the benefit of knowledge but rather the misinformation of maligning, accusing, agenda-driven organizations who have found a welcome mat at the White House for the past twenty-eight years. Buying influence and, with mob rule, circumventing the representative form of government that is the foundation of this Republic, these groups have bullied their way into becoming a quasi-administration.

The media have been complicit, or bought off, in this grand scheme. When President Trump refers to “the swamp,” surely these are the swamp monsters that he has in mind. This Monument declaration was not at all surprising to those of us who have come to know the antics of these groups. After all, Blanding was the center of the 2009 raids carried out by BLM Law Enforcement Officer Dan Love. The citizens of our town have been pleading for redress for nearly a decade, yet the only thing we have received from the BLM is more targeting and more abuse from their gestapo-styled law enforcement gunslingers. I, and another local citizen, personally went to jail for a trespass that never occurred, because of false charges brought by disingenuous U.S. Attorneys and judges who are in cahoots with attorneys from the Wilderness Society and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Others have been falsely accused, charged, and prosecuted for no reason other than speaking in favor of local voices. If you want to locate the stench coming from the “swamp” you need look no further than these unholy alliances.

Locals recognize the great blessing it is to have large areas in San Juan County that are publicly accessible. Our county has always placed a premium on stewardship – thus the pristine condition of the lands in our County. We are not simply the best stewards of this land, we are the rightful stewards, and when I say “we” I mean the people who live here, Navajo, Caucasian, Hispanic, Ute, Black, male, female, rich, poor, and every citizen in between. The geographic border that defines San Juan County or the border that defines Utah is not there to simply define federal territories. Those borders mean something. They are political subdivisions, wherein broad and indefinite powers necessary to intelligently manage the pooled resources of our communities and counties was retained. These are not Federal administrative units. The powers assumed by Washington were not delegated to federal agencies, and certainly were not relegated to a counterfeit and sinister groups of self-appointed masters like those at the Wilderness advocacy clubs.

This is an excerpt from the latest newsletter from the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance”

“as the local conservation group that has worked on Utah wilderness for more than 30 years, and knows these lands inside out, Rep. Zinke needs to meet with our staff in Moab. Our folks in Moab are closer to parts of the monument than any town in San Juan County. We’ll gladly accommodate his schedule so we can show off what our nearly 13,000 members know to be true: that these public lands are among the nation’s most wild, most fragile and most precious, and that his job is one that will require true vision.”

 

This is false! The entire Monument – all two-thousand plus square miles – is in San Juan County. Moab is in a neighboring county which sits north of any part of the monument. The San Juan County towns of Mexican Hat, Bluff, White Mesa, Blanding, and Monticello sit next to this leviathan. Moab is packed with tourist shops and tourists. The locals who have called themselves locals of Moab for the past generation are being pushed aside by the recreation industry claiming conservation as their objective while selling the landscape to the highest paying visitor. They threaten and intimidate citizens and federal agencies alike. They author letters then have them signed by so-called “grass-roots” San Juan County people. They have staff attorneys and a host of other attorneys who, apparently motivated by some form of guilt for having made more money than they feel was honest, work for free from their offices in Washington D.C. or New York, or Los Angeles, or Salt Lake. Whatever the motivation, it is not proper, and their primary skills are stratagem and deceit.

They have perfected the art of misrepresentation, (as you and President Trump have witnessed). Anyone who believes them – seriously believes them – must have their own judgement called into question. Please do not entertain these fawning fakes with their bogus beneficence. To do so would be seen as validation of their manipulation, lies and slander.

Please come to San Juan County; meet with the County Commissioners; meet with the citizens. Let us take you to some of the places in this area now claimed by these groups as the new Bears Ears Monument. These places are important to us. They are part of our history. They are loved and protected far beyond any protection that can be accomplished by the stroke of a pen. If anything, this declaration threatens these special places that have, at once, become less special and more marketable by the outdoor industry retailers and special interest groups that have spoiled Moab.

We trust that if you come to San Juan County you will call upon the County Commissioners. Whether you are swayed by the calumny of the special interest groups or not, one thing remains certain – the authority to make local decision was placed, by the people, in the hands of elected representatives acting within the confines of their respective office. That is America, and respecting the Republic and its elected representatives is what will make America Great Again.

We look forward to your visit to San Juan County, one of the most naturally beautiful and naturally Free places remaining these United States of America.

Very sincerely,
Phil Lyman
Chairman, San Juan County Board of Commissioners
02/04/2017

Free Range Report

 

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