View Poll Results: Do you support permanently protecting Browns Canyon by turning it into a National Mon
Yes, absolutely I want it to stay the same for generations to come! 43 95.56%
I love Browns, but don't really understand why it needs to become a Monument to be protected... 2 4.44%
No. I oppose protection and feel it should be open to people to do as they will. 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-08-2014   #21
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 56
I agree that going the legislative route would preserve all historic utilitarian use because there is no legislative route to a Brown’s Canyon National Monument. The “legislative route” will result in no National Monument. If that is the goal in the first place, just say so. I stand by my statement the procedural argument is without merit and disingenuous.

The problems with utilitarian use in the Grand Staircase have nothing to do with the procedure used to protect Brown’s Canyon. I agree the issues around grazing and mining there (GSENM) have merit. I do not agree that the GSE and Browns are comparable especially in terms of historic utilitarian use.

The process that has come to urging executive order for Browns has been open, transparent, and has considered and accommodated historic utilitarian use. Some of the same parties who were present Saturday and lined up on the side of procedural objection originally supported the Monument.

If anyone is interested in why there is no legislative route, just ask and I’ll hold forth. Or do some homework. It is out in paperback now.

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Old 12-11-2014   #22
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
We came down to see what all the hoopla was about. I was surprized to see the place packed with people. What a turn out it was.

I still have the fear that this is one step closer to having that stretch permitted for private boater use. I keep hearing that permits are not in the plan, yet the current management plan still has them on a back burner.

The way I see it, once this goes into effect it will draw more people to the area....including more private boaters that wouldn't have come, if not for it being a National Monument. This increase in traffic will eventually lead to a permit system.

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Old 12-11-2014   #23
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,933
(To clarify....I state and hold these opinions as criticism of the ideas presented. I do that while also respecting the ability of others hold opposing views. I understand why people may disagree)

have spent considerable time trying to understand how the uses of the Antiquities Act have affected local communities, especially in the past 30-40 years. The "merit" to objecting to the presidential designation route is that it is inherently unilateral. I would also argue Browns is not in the spirit of the original purpose of the Antiquities Act, specifically for "the protection of objects of historic and scientific interest." The reality is that organizations and individuals are largely justifying this presidential designation to increase regional recognition (and therefor revenue) and prevention of extractive industry access. To me this is an example of forcing an issue and a rather problematic extension of presidential powers. And to be fair Obama has used the Antiquites Act more than any other president to date, both in number of designations and acreage.

Time and again we see that proponents support designation because of the popularity and economic benefits associated with National Monuments. This entire idea is inconsistent with the concept that policy and management will not change. Increasing name recognition historically leads to increased recreational pressure on a resource which inevitably leads to noticeable changes to user experience and agency management. Simply put, national monuments are free advertising which increases visitation which historically leads to more restrictive policy (as most recreational resources have some form of carrying capacity that is eventually exceeded).

One of the advertised benefits of monument designation is also the economic windfall which has distinct affects on local culture and lifestyle. Studies show that monument and wild land designation alters the very fabric of the region. Commercial enterprise and developers recognize this fact and thrive on it. Land and housing prices climb which often leads an exodus of more traditional, utilitarian based jobs and citizens. Hence my concern for certain locals not associated with recreational economies. Presidential decree accelerates the process in a way that is more often than not unsustainable for such individuals and families.

And while some of the long term conservation outcomes may be similar at least the legislative route give broader stakeholder feedback and involvement. Supporters of the monument are experiencing the negative side of the coin they eventually want to benefit from....the intentional and inherent difficulty in passing legislation. The legislative process was designed to be slow. Existing monuments benefit from this fact as it is exceedingly difficult to pass legislation that would alter their current designation (but the option is there).

For decades now we have been told that designation is the key to environmental protection. I argue that this is no longer a viable philosophy and have seen evidence that some designations, especially those outside the legislative process, actually lead to more problems in the long run. Forcing the designation of Browns via presidential powers for recreational and economic purposes fits into that category in my opinion. It doesn't fit into the original purpose and justification for the Antiquities Act and it also has long term cultural influences that I believe damage the very goals of conversation.

That opinion is genuine and founded in studies about the positives and negatives of land designation (read Contested Landscape, 1999). The reality is that issues like this are founded in subjective values whose merits aren't delineated by the opposing side. This idea that one side has "merit" and the other doesn't is flawed. I can oppose this route even while it benefits me, individually as a rafter and someone not associated with utilitarian land use, and recognizing that many locals support the designation. I can oppose this route even though I disagree with people/organizations who are also using the same argument (like the NRA). I can oppose this process in a rational, genuine way and with merit because in the long run my life and education has shown me that "how" we designate lands has powerful influences on "why" we want to protect lands and rivers.


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