Maybe a visitors center that keeps out visitors?


Bears Ears’ guerilla visitor center” (HCN, 5/13/19) left me puzzled. Is it meant to be a celebration or a lament?  Monuments and parks attract crowds. Crowds bring problems and damage the very things that are intended to be “preserved.” An official visitors center won’t deter those crowds, nor will it prevent the damage they will cause. Perhaps monument designation “saved” this landscape from future degradation due to potential coal and uranium mining, but it certainly instigated immediate damage from the many visitors who would not have come in such numbers absent the monument. Both scenarios carry potential local economic benefit, and both clearly result in some environmental degradation. Where is the calculus that weighed and compared these two threats to this place? Did President Obama make that calculation? Did the Inter-Tribal Coalition? Has anyone?  

David L. Rasmussen
Salt Lake City, Utah

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