There was and is a graded road up that wash, probably initially leading to a uranium mine at the top of the wash. Our campsite was on the east side of the road, in the bowl.
Several years later, when we arrived at our camp spot on the east side, where we and others had camped for many years, we found that it had been designated “wilderness study.” We also noticed that another area , a little wash just south of our bowl, where there was a less traveled road, had also been closed to motor vehicles and camping because it was now a “wilderness study” area. We wondered how that could happen when both areas had been used by campers for many years.
Fortunately, the west side of our little bowl hadn’t been closed off, so we were able to often camp there, which has been more difficult in recent years, as the campers have increased.
I wished then and do now that there could be another kind of designation of public lands that would prevent them from being privatized and taken away from public use, as can presently be done with public lands; but would at the same time keep them public, not able to be made into a camp-for-fee area, not able to be made into wilderness designation, preventing motor vehicles or camping, not able to be made into a national or state park. Besides taking away camping opportunities for young families, wilderness designation takes away many scenic opportunities for disabled or older people.
So I hope that the bill doesn’t automatically make wilderness of all of the designated wilderness study areas, instead of returning some of those study areas (especially our old camp spot) back to be regular public lands with normal guidelines for use, such as when ATV’s can be used, etc.
Thanks for your service. Please take my concern seriously.
Fred Ash, Legislative Chair of the Utah Retired School Employees Association