Every day, we contribute to the economy and vitality of Cortez as well as the multibillion dollar recreation economy in our state.
Every day, we share the rich beauty and history of our public lands with people from around the world.
For over a month, our public lands suffered from being understaffed and unmanaged.
It’s disheartening that while outfitters and other public land users had no access to federal employees during the shutdown, the Bureau of Land Management did keep its doors open to oil and gas operators and continued to permit those operations only.
It’s especially disheartening to hear that BLM in Utah is proceeding on schedule with its March lease sale, which could threaten lands around Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients, despite the monthlong absence of employees to adequately review public comments and conduct critical environmental analyses.
Many people in our area rely on oil and gas leasing for their income; this industry is woven into our community, and I certainly don’t begrudge my neighbors for making a living.
The only way for our community to truly prosper is to have balanced land use, including recreation and extractive uses.
However, I’m also for equitable use of our government’s resources, and during the shutdown, it was clear that one use was being favored over the others.
I rely on proper management of public lands for my business, and for the quality of life for my employees and our community.
We rely on and expect our government to respond when our community is suffering.