Or to put it more succinctly, it’s time for the rural west to go…The ‘Old West,’ and even the ‘Original West’ —the Native Americans that came first—in fact, anyone who clings to traditional lifestyles and customs and occupations–has no place, no future, in an amenities/recreation/tourism-driven New West economy. Resistance, they believe, is futile.

Jim Stiles

Canyon Country Zephyr (Originally published February, 2017)

THE UNSPOKEN BEARS EARS GOAL–CREATING AN URBANIZED NEW WEST (“BEHIND ENEMY LINES”)

As the Bears Ears debate heated up last summer, monument proponents revealed sentiments that went far beyond support for a presidential proclamation. Again and again, the argument included a near unanimous loathing for the Rural West, especially the many small Utah communities that were founded by Mormon settlers almost 150 years ago. The loathing went so deep as to suggest that most of these rural towns had no reason to exist–and that they should “disappear.”.

One Facebook commenter wrote:

Every small town in the United States has been in decline since 1991. Since towns like Esclente [sic] are extremely small and arguably should not have even existed in the first place, of course they are going to be the first to disappear. The national monument may have been the catalyst, but it cannot be entirely to blame. Yes it is sad to watch your town die, but there is a reason for its death. You are living in a place that is not sustainable and you want to keep it alive for selfish reasons. Sometimes people need to make difficult sacrifices in order to help the greater population. Even if you do have to pack up your family and move, at least no one is driving your family out into the desert to die like the last group of people who occupied the area.”

Another comment, posted by a Moabite deeply involved in the mountain biking/recreation industry had little sympathy for ‘Old Westerners…

“Certainly there are many socio -economic problems (in Moab) but many of them are self induced…Starting wages for a line cook in this town is fifteen a hour.. tips are a unrecordable income in Moab, waiters and waitress, guides all make a very good living here, and get to live the lifestyle they chose with big blocks of time off. There is however a part of our population that is unwilling to work at service jobs by there (sic) own choosing. Holding out for those high paying extraction jobs which come and go.”

Or to put it more succinctly, it’s time for the rural west to go…The ‘Old West,’ and even the ‘Original West’ —the Native Americans that came first—in fact, anyone who clings to traditional lifestyles and customs and occupations–has no place, no future, in an amenities/recreation/tourism-driven New West economy. Resistance, they believe, is futile.

No one embraces that belief more adamantly or unswervingly  than Mark Bailey. Mr. Bailey is “a retired partner from Wasatch Advisors, Inc., an investment management firm headquartered in Salt Lake City.” He is the founder of Torrey House Press in Torrey Utah. He notes that recently Torrey House has “gained financial support from the public and from The Wilderness Society and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.”

And he is a board of directors member and treasurer of Wild Utah Project, a non-profit environmental organization that,  “serves all who value our relationships with wildlife. We achieve our mission by holding agencies accountable…through attitude-changing outreach to decision makers; through citizen participation in fieldwork and advocacy; and through our wildlife and science programs.”

Bailey also posts a blog; recently I read of his plans for Torrey, Utah’s future. In a section called “Build a Blue Oasis in a Red, Red State,” he makes these proposals for transforming the demographics of his community. Here are some excerpts:

“I spend all the time I can deep behind enemy lines. Deep, red, anti-conservation, Tea Party Republican lines.

“Torrey is tiny but it has a growing population of university professors, artists, musicians, writers, sustainable micro-farmers, conservationists, astronomers and publishers. Because as property owners we are not granted greenbelt exemptions we make up about 10 percent of the population and pay half the collected property tax…We have economic clout, and intellectual clout, but not political clout.

“I have a vision of Torrey becoming a example of rural renewal and progress, where the flora and fauna are left unmolested by domestic livestock, water runs free in the streams, the rocks are not mined and crushed for road base and the forests and not clear cut but the community thrives all the same.

Mark Bailey

“The airport could be appropriately expanded — successful rural communities need reasonable access. The town could use a well run bookstore serving primarily tourists and spreading the conservation word. There exists the infrastructure to support gatherings and targeted conventions for think tanks, conservationists, literary and arts gatherings.

“Sustainable green business could be attracted along with pursuits based on knowledge workers producing intellectual capital and creating jobs beyond relatively low paying tourist work. Forethought and planning would need to be used to prevent another Moab, but such things are possible.”

Read the full article here:


Free Range Report

Comments

  1. HOW ARROGANT CAN SOME PEOPLE BE, IT ISN’T UP TO THEM TO DECIDE WHO SHALL PROSPER AND WHO SHOULDN’T. I LOVE MY SMALL TOWN AND PITY THOSE ON THE WASATCH FRONT WHO EXIST IN THEIR LITTLE SPOTS THAT ARE SO CROWDED THAT THEY BECOME INGROWN. PERHAPS IF THE STATE OF UTAH LEVIED PROPERTY TAX ON THE PUBLIC LAND IN THE STATE EVERYONE IN UTAH WOULD PROSPER.

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