Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for July 15, 2009
Seventeen years folks... that''s how long we''ve lived here and have been reporting on the roads conflict in the SUN.
A former Kane County Commission tried to find ''middle ground'' on the issue. The last agreement I remember was protested by many, but I thought it smart. They made a decision to agree on some roads; other roads were in ''limbo'', (''middle ground'' hopefully reached to make both parties happy); and still others, both sides knew would be contentious, and would have to be resolved in court.
Great approach! I was proud of our elected officials, as well as local BLM people for approaching a perplexing issue in a reasonable way. Then things went incredibly awry. Local people were beating their chests over getting two monument managers re-assigned. The Commissioners who had championed the agreement were harangued and not replaced to office.
Personally, it was the worst time of my life here. People play hardball when they get fired up and don''t totally understand the conflict. I''ve never in my life imagined that ''good people'' could be so mean, hurtful and bad.
Most who know me, know that I''m a farm girl who loves to hike, ride horses and ''Rhino'' here. In all places and with all groups, I''ve been impressed with public land users'' responsibility. I advocate multi-use in most areas.
But the current Kane County Commission, as well as some people locally, do not want to figure out a workable solution. They want to make a statement. Most are more comfortable saying how the federal government is trying to usurp state and private land rights on the issue. But the plain fact is, it''s every person in America''s land! The local BLM and Monument employees enforce policies they are bound by law to do.
The current Kane County Commission has fired off numerous legal challenges on the issue to settle the feud. They''ve lost all court battles. The county has ''not'' lost any roads in the court battles, incidentally. Nothing has changed, the same 40 roads that were deemed closed are still closed, and should be litigated if the county chooses to.
The county has the same obligation to maintain all others that it always had. What''s so hard about that -doing what you''ve done for years? Again, the answer to the problem goes back to the former commission''s decision to; agree on some, argue and find a compromise on others, and go to court on the remainder.
The Kane County Commission, burned by the last court decision, has taken a stance to not maintain county routes that they''ve historically-maintained. What an interesting strategy-let''s get everyone fired up that the federal government is not being fair to us! Maybe if a tourist has an accident, the federal government will be blamed. Childish and dangerous! What''s interesting to me is, no other county has had this problem. Even Garfield (which has more public lands), can figure it out and maintains roads. You''ve got to get along to make things work!
Move on and figure out costs, Kane County Commission! Be responsible for what you’ve always done! Millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted on lawsuits, for what? A different road title? Please! What again needs to be acknowledged, is we the taxpayers, are the bottom line on all monies being spent. We ''are'' the federal government, we ''are'' state citizens and we ''are'' Kane County taxpayers, who''ve had to shoulder the commissions'' cause.
We have a Kane County Commission who can''t figure out how to get along with anyone. Go litigate that!