The Washington Post got a hold of the outline that Zinke will likely use here in Utah on Monday to modify the two big bad national monuments in Utah:
Grand Staircase Escalante
Here is the long and skinny of it. I would like to cover this more in depth but I think I will wait until Monday. In fact I might take the day and go down to bears ears just because I want to.
- Here is the readers digest. Bears is is shrinking from 1.35 million acres to 201,397 acres
- Grand Staircase is shrinking from 1.9 million acres to 997,490 acres.
Bears ears will become 2 smaller monuments called
- Sasha Jaa
- Indian Creek
Grand Staircase will become 3 smaller monuments called
- Grand Staircase
- Escalante Canyons
As I’ve said before, I’m not against responsible multiple land use and while its too early to tell it looks like this is mostly that. My major concerns are with GSENM, specifically that hole in the rock road is no longer protected as a monument and is currently up in the air as to who will manage it and for what purposes. It also appears that large chunks of smokey mountain road on the Kaiparowits plateau are no longer covered. Roads are my primary concern. Roads that potentially can be sold for resource exploration.
The off road community likes to play both sides of this coin enjoying the roads that mining/logging built but hoping to enjoy them without those activities taking place. Its a tough line to walk. That being said my hope is that access remains good. well and that there is enough money left over to pay people to watch, protect and keep these places wonderful.