Skip to content


So…this is what happens when I try to post some basic information. And I offer this as just one example…

The other day, the Deseret News printed a short essay of mine called “Bears Ears: Facts & Misconceptions.” It was a summary of the 30,000 words I’ve written on the issue of Bears Ears NM.…/Op-ed-Bears-Ears-2-missing-fa…

The fact is, long before the idea of a monument took hold, long before SUWA’s “Greater Canyonlands Monument” idea that went nowhere, long before the Bears Ears concept, and long before the Age of Trump, I worried about the exploitation of the area via designations like this. I have been concerned since 1989 that someday all of Southeast Utah would be overrun by an overblown, out-of-control tourist industry and amenities economy, with all the nightmares that go with it.

And in 1989, every environmentalist I knew agreed with me. Almost everybody else thought I was overreacting.

Have you been to Moab lately?

So I wrote the short essay and it was published. No one has challenged a single word in it.

BUT..instead of an honest discussion, I get messages and comments like this. Patrick Donnelly is the “Nevada State Director for the Center for Biological Diversity.” He writes:

Patrick Donnelly

“Stiles, you’ve officially crossed the bridge and are now giving comfort to Trump and Zinke and Hatch and the corporate swindlers who would rob us of our natural heritage. You don’t like Monuments because you don’t like industrial tourism, and I don’t disagree with you. But now you are parroting oil industry talking points and the same absurd rhetoric we hear from Lyman and co. Sad.”

So, for expressing views and stating facts regarding the ongoing debate, I’m now a parrot for the oil industry and a shill for Trump, Zinke and Hatch?

When was the last time the oil industry used the argument that there was “no commercially recoverable oil under Bears Ears” as a talking point?

Is the fact that ARPA supercedes the Antiquities Act an “oil industry talking point?”

Is the fact that Native Americans do NOT have any legal authority over the monument an “oil industry talking point?”

Is the fact that the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition inexplicably supports rock climbing in the monument an “oil industry talking point?” (other tribes across the West fight a never ending battle to protect sacred sites against the rock climbing community. Somehow at Bears Ears, it’s not an issue)

I find it hard to believe that ANY of the facts I raised in my article were “oil industry talking points.” But that was the best Mr. Donnelly could come up with.

And finally, Mr. Donnelly tried to shame me by suggesting I’m parroting the “absurd rhetoric of Lyman & Co.” I assume he’s talking about San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman.

Well, I have had some conversations with Phil and he and I disagree on many issues, and we agree on others. But we both took the time to hear what the other had to say, and we did it with mutual respect and civility. We both listened to each other and I found that refreshing. He is a decent man with a loving family and I admire him for that.

If that somehow makes me the Devil himself, then someone bring me my horns and my bifurcated tail.

As for all those good environmentalists who in 1989 worried about the effects of Industrial Tourism, before the Outdoor Industry took over their agenda and their souls, I wonder if their collective consciences ever talk to them…JS

Posted in Uncategorized.

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK


(required, but never shared)

or, reply to this post via trackback.