SocraticGadfly: Hiking Dinosaur National Park Monument and avoiding eyesores

August 17, 2008

Hiking Dinosaur National Park Monument and avoiding eyesores

Well, it would be a national park, not “just” a national monument, if Bob Waite had his way. Waite, who led the charge for the creation of Great Basin NP in eastern Nevada (tentatively on my to-visit list next year), has been crusading for more than 25 years for Dinosaur to get upgraded from NM to NP. He’s still doing it, from an assisted-living center.

Second, it looks like I got here just in time to avoid seeing this eyesore on BLM land just a mile west of the monument boundary, the latest courtesy of the Bush-Cheney Bureau of Hydrocarbon Management.

Fortunately, the approval process for the exploratory drilling is not done yet, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is still fighting the whole process, even if, per the BLM, the well site won’t be visible from Dinosaur’s most pristine viewing areas:
(I)t’s like crossing the Rubicon,” said Scott Braden, SUWA’s field advocate. “It’s a small step that opens the door to expanded commercial drilling on the monument boundary should the well prove up.”

We’ve crossed too many Rubicons in the last 7.5 years, and the BLM, in its refusal to offer any protection to wilderness study areas, is guilty as hell of leading the marches.

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