Skip to content

COMMENTS on the ‘BIKE BORG’ from Moabite BOB GREENBERG (and a Zephyr Reply) & MORE

NOTE:  THE ZEPHYR regularly receives feedback from its readers. In the current issue, a particular story, ‘MOAB IS ASSIMILATED. BIKE BORG MOVES SOUTH…Is Resistance Futile in San Juan County?” has generated a lot of controversy, especially from some Assimilated Moabites. When I reply to feedback like this,  I try to keep it short, but this time, Mr. Greenberg’s references deserved more of my attention. His comment and my reply—and more– can also be found at the bottom of the Borg article:

Bob Greenberg
February 9, 2014 at 7:37 pm

greenberg2Jim, It is reassuring to have you clinging desperately to the past. Come back some January and you will still find remnants of the ‘old Moab’: Main Street empty as far as the eye can see, mostly people one knows at the supermarket, people taking the time to chat with their cars in the middle of the street.

Let’s face it, there are just a whole lot more of us humans than there were even 40 years ago when we moved to Moab. Those with the resources will vacation or move to wonderful places, and some of those wanting to make a living will start businesses catering to them.

Meanwhile, I think you gave Ashley a bum rap. The quotes do not evidence any dissembling. Ashley is 4-square for business. She notes that conservationists and recreation business sometimes have shared interests, but not always, or even usually. She is all about preserving the land that makes recreating in and around SE Utah and the West unique. That’s not wilderness, but it’s also not Kansas.

Not sure why spending 10M on a birthday party is on its face evidence of anything except having a lot of money. Let’s see, David Bonderman is worth some 3 billion. That makes spending 10 million about 0.03% of his net worth. I don’t know what 0.03% of your net worth is, but for me that wouldn’t be much money at all: generous, but not wildly exorbitant for the big 70 celebration. And Las Vegas is not on anyone’s short list for wilderness designation.

(Disclosure, I sit on the board of PLS, Ashley and Jason’s consulting firm.)



Bob…Good to hear from you, though I think you might have had a better understanding of this article if you’d actually read it in its entirety, instead of just reading the pull quotes and MAPN’s interpretation of it. (NOTE:  The ‘Moab Area Progressive Network’ is a closed listserve that allows discussion ONLY from those Moab area citizens who are invited to be a part of it)

js-closeup72It might have also been more helpful for our readers if you’d posted your disclosure at the beginning of your remarks, instead of at the end. You are on the board of directors of  “PLS,” which stands for “Public Lands Solutions.” It is another non-profit lobby which, on its web site advocates for, “research and strategic advice on outdoor industry and public lands” and the “design and implementation of corporate programs on public lands.”


RE: the ‘bum rap” I gave Ms Korenblat, I transcribed her comments, Bob, before the San Juan County Commission. They asked her if she supported the creation of “Greater Canyonlands National Monument.” She said, “No.” Then she went on to explain why she, in fact, does, sort of.  I suppose she was dissembling when she said ‘No.’ I could also have used the word ‘backpedal.’

RE: Mr. Bonderman. If you ever read The multitude of stories this publication has offered about his ties to the “Green” movement and his actions as founding partner of TPG Capital, you might not be so uninformed. I will offer just two examples here (I don’t want to overwhelm you with facts)  that might be more of a concern to you than the extravagance of his birthday parties…

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance recently posted an alert regarding energy development in Southeast Utah. Deeda Seed wrote, in part:

“The Western Energy Alliance – a consortium of energy companies and their partners (think Haliburton) – recently filed an appeal with the Interior Department seeking to overturn the BLM’s decision not to offer the leases. This, in spite of the fact that nearly 4 million acres of oil and gas leases currently exist on BLM lands in Utah, and less than 1.1 million acres are actually being used.”

But…One of the Alliance’s members is an energy development and exploration company called PETRO HARVESTER. It falls under the umbrella of the massive private equity firm TPG CAPITAL. Its founding partner and active executive is DAVID BONDERMAN. But Bonderman sits on the board of directors of the GRAND CANYON TRUST and is a major contributor to SUWA.

For a more complete account see:

You support mainstream greens, Bob. In this ‘Green Circle’ story, I report how Petro Harvester caused the biggest brine spill in North Dakota’s history. Because environmental regs in ND are soft, they got off with a slap on the wrist…My question is, do you think green groups in Utah should feel that since the brine spill occurred in another state, that it’s okay to accept large amounts of cash to combat the SAME KINDS OF IMPACTS in Utah and Arizona? And if Petro Harvester operated on the Colorado Plateau, should these groups be more inclined to refuse large contributions from people like Bonderman? What’s your take on it, Bob?

bondo-closeup1A-72EXAMPLE #2
Or how about this? Have you heard of ALEC? (American Legislative Exchange Council) This comes from Peaceful Uprising…

“ALEC produces model legislation written by corporations and major industry lobby groups, then dishes out these bills to legislators from around the country. Its annual meeting is coming up in the last week of July, and you can bet ALEC has some new tricks up its sleeve….”ALEC doesn’t only influence environmental policy, of course—it successfully pushes laws that suppress voter turnout, encourage racial profiling, and bust unions, just to name a few of ALEC’s favorite causes. But ALEC has done a tremendous amount of environmental harm with its dozens of anti-environmental bills….”ALEC’s Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force—funded by groups as innocuous and environmentally concerned as ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute, and co-chaired by American Gas Association—thwarts citizens’ democratic right to protect their health and environment.”

This comes from a past Zephyr story…
But here’s how complicated the ‘ALEC Issue” can be. Note that one of ALEC’s members is Energy Future Holdings, based in Texas.  According to, “EFH is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Sano Blocker, an EFH lobbyist and Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, represents EFH on ALEC’s corporate board as of 2011.”  (  The latest update from the Center for Media and Democracy (as of 7/26/12) states that EFH  has not withdrawn from ALEC.

EFH is owned in part by TPG Capital, a massive venture capital company whose founding partner is David Bonderman. TPG is heavily invested in resource extraction around the world. (

On February 29, 2012, “Occupy Dallas #F29–Shut Down the Corporations..National Day of Action” protested in front of Energy Future Holdings’ main office in Dallas, Texas. On its facebook page, one comment read: “How about a sign that says, ‘Energy Future Holding” are Kochsuckers…just a thought. LOL…but seriously.’  Yet the Koch Brothers, known for their conservative views and affiliation with the Republican Party,  have nothing to do with EFH. Bonderman usually aligns himself with the Democratic Party..

Do you have a problem with any of this, Bob?

Finally, had you fully read the Bike Borg story, you would have known that it was primarily about efforts to turn San Juan County into another Moab, NOT about Moab itself. That’s why I said Moab was “assimilated.” The time spent on Moab in this article constituted less than 10% of it.

I haven’t used the “Clinging Hopelessly to the Past” slogan in years, and mostly  because some of your Moab ‘progressive’ compadres have tried to use it to portray me as a bigoted redneck. I’m sure that you know how untrue that is, that when The Zephyr was a print publication based in Moab, it was a champion of civil and human rights there and I personally spoke out against bigotry and racism when nobody else would. We intervened on behalf of single moms and gay rights and spoke out against attacks against inter-racial marriages. Still most New Moabites believe its history began on the day they arrived, and thus they have no knowledge or understanding of what happened there before.

It’s good to know Moab retains a bit of its old self during the winter months; if that’s enough for you, I can understand your sentiments. But you say that nowadays, “those with the resources will vacation or move to wonderful places.” The key word being “resources,” which is why Moab has become a more exclusive and expensive place to live. Some of the people in San Juan County, however, would like to have more than a few weeks a year to say their town is still theirs. And to be able to AFFORD to live there. THAT was the point of my story….JS


Bob Greenberg

February 10, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Wow, a 1,134 word response to a 271 word post. Never argue with somebody who buys ink by the barrel, or in this case web space by the MB. Oops. More later.

Jim Stiles
February 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Bob..My job is to make all information available for my readers. Most of this was a cut and paste from previous articles that you must have missed. Happy Trails!

Doug Meyer
February 10, 2014 at 9:39 pm

At 56 minutes 20 seconds in the audio of the San Juan County Commission meeting referenced in the article, the following brief exchange occurs:

Commissioner Lyman: I know the, you know the outdoor recreation industry [here he means the Outdoor Industry Association, the national group] was big in favor of the Greater Canyonlands proposal, and I know Ashley, you’re part of that – but is your, is this group [ie, UOBN, the Utah Outdoor Business Network] supportive of the Greater Canyonlands proposal?

Ashley Korenblat: No.

Jason Keith: The Monument, specifically?

Commissioners Adams & Lyman: Yes.

Ashley Korenblat: No.

At this point, Korenblat launches directly into her rationale for starting UOBN, which is that in the past, outdoor outfitters deferred to the conservation community without really knowing whether their business interests were being served by doing so. Korenblat says that UOBN was designed to provide outdoor businesses with info on public lands issues tailored to their business perspective.

Korenblat is indeed dissembling here. As a businessperson, she signed a letter in favor of the Greater Canyonlands National Monument, and wrote an extended letter explaining exactly why she supported it. Commissioner Lyman knew this, as evidenced by his question. Korenblat was extremely lucky that he didn’t ask her if her own business was supportive of GCNM. Her only honest answer would have been: Yes.

Korenblatt’s support for GCNM:
Why We Signed the Greater Canyonlands Letter



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.