On June 18, Montezuma County commissioners granted themselves jurisdiction over 17 roads and trails within the San Juan National Forest under an archaic mining law known as RS 2477. Our three kings made their decision without a chance for public comment and without input from evidence-based professionals. Perhaps that’s why the Forest Service gives no more weight to comments submitted by ideological crackpots who may also have a county seat than it does any other individual.
All the trails in question, including Bear Creek, Ryman and Calico, have always been open to hikers, cyclists and equestrians. You just can’t drive on all of them. Most of the trails are just partially within or completely outside Montezuma County, which may leave citizens wondering why we are wasting county resources in the first place.
San Juan County, Utah, has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars over the past decade asserting the same RS 2477 claims to no avail. Our county commissioners have already donated $1,000 to The American Lands Council, which promotes giving states ownership of federal lands. I don’t know what the county received for the generous donation, but obviously, our commissioners have no qualms with wasting other people’s money.
There are already 144 miles of motorized trails in the Dolores District. We don’t need more motorized travel through the few remaining quiet places. Please remember these three politicians at the polls.