Monday, May 11, 2009
BLM lets illegal motorheads harm Utah monument
UPDATE, 5/12: Perhaps responding to public outrage, Interior and the US Atty. for Utah may be moving with a criminal investigation.
KANAB UT -- The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) stood by spinelessly Saturday and allowed off-roaders to illegally mud-bog up a fragile desert river within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.
The Salt Lake Tribune has some good coverage, including an editorial on the fairness and will of Obama's Interior Dept. under questionable new Sec. Ken Salazar, the history of the place and what happened Saturday.
BLM managers and law enforcement could've and should've stopped this. The 'illegals' responsible for violating the monument and Paria River, including Kane County Commissioner Mark Habbeshaw, should be arrested and fully prosecuted.
The complete failure of BLM and Interior to protect the monument is outrageously weak, and a clear sign this long-troubled agency and department have not seen much positive change. Selma Sierra, the anti-conservation Utah State Director of BLM, should retire or be fired now.
Public lands are owned by all Americans equally and must be protected from anyone who seeks to break the law to harm them, including 'locals' who claim our lands as their own to exploit.
I am outraged BLM stood back and let this happen, and you should be too. This land is your land.