swampstomper & old fart
Join Date: 11-06-05
Here is the latest from the owner of Moabilia...
Greetings to all -
It has taken two days to get any info on this matter from a SUWA representative, and unfortunately not the representative who was/is most likely responsible for recruiting supporters. Again, in my own case, I've not signed a single notice of agreement to such a petition. I have not seen, nor had not seen or spoken to a SUWA representative before, during, or initially after said petition was created or posted in the Salt Lake Tribune or any other place in which it may have been posted. The existence of this petition was entirely unknown to me until the first day I posted in this forum or any other forum, which would have been this last Wednesday.
Also, I should state that although I've had *zero* personal communication between the SUWA representive in question at any time, I've been informed by my wife that she had some brief talk with one of them. However, she signed no document of any kind. If anything, what I can gather is that if any agreement was arrived at (and that was gotten in some rather sneaky fashion), it was done via telephone and was obtained in a semi-confusing (to her) manner.
Please permit to to elucidate the actual instance. I have now learned that while she never signed any document, she may have inadvertantly given a nod of agreement to the general picture. If you're still with me this far, I can bore you (and perhaps will infuriate you) with the details. None of this will now come easily for me, but as I am a person who tries to be thorough and always truthful, I've no choice in the matter but to state things as I have now come to understand them no matter how painful they may be. I'll write this in a categorical manner so as to list things in their respective order of appearance. The first thing which I ask you to take note of is that my wife's primary language is French and not English. (which I don't offer as any excuse, but simply as a FYI.)
1) A Suwa representative came to our place of business and asked if she would support this petition.
2) My wife inquired " what petition, what is it about?"
3) The Suwa rep verbally outlined in broad stokes the gist of the petition/open letter to the Governor.
4) My wife inquired if there was some document which she could look at.
5) The SUWA rep produced a copy of the draft which was intended to be used.
6) She read the draft as best as she could and was then asked by the rep if she would agree to it.
7) She stated she would need some time to consider it.
8) The Suwa rep departed taking the hard copy of the draft with them.
9) At some later time (undetermined/ not remembered if it was the next day or in the next few days) the SUWA rep telephoned and asked if she would support the idea.
10) Her reply was that generally speaking, the content of the petition as she understood it seemed to *seem* OK.
11) I now assume that by that telephone conversation, the rep then placed her seal of approval on the potential petition.
12) End of story; but not entirely:
Below is my view of the method and means of how Suwa goes about presenting their case or agenda:
1) The wording utilized by their Grassroots organizers is often misleading and focuses on a 'begging the question' methodology.
2) The order in which the issues presented in the actual petition are placed in a deliberately haphazard manner.
3) The exact wording used for the road/trail/highway/ portion of the petition has been constructed to be completely confusing and deliberately misleading to the casual reader.
4) A cursory examination of the document would not necessarily make these obfuscated catch-phrase ideas eminently clear to any but the more knowlegable of readers or those who've had repeated encounters with Suwa or similar organizations such as Utah Wilderness Coalition or Sierra Club, and the methods they employ.
5) On the 'positive' note (imo), given the alternative of *some* activities which seem to be on the increase - read free now, not worth a plug nickel tomorrow - one might favor some protection for any number of places which if left unmonitored or unregulated will either end up closed altogether or not worth visiting any more than a trip to a war zone or an arena in which a demolition derby had been held. I myself can see how that might be *one* instance where the petition could possibly have some merit.
At any rate, it is not easy for me to state that while I have had a great deal of experience with Suwa and such organizations, apparently my wife has not. However, she deeply regrets that she had obviously been fooled by the ways and means employed to garner her 'support'. It should be known that when the exact details of such were made clear to her, she was highly upset, and presently remains so. I suspect and would expect that this will not be of any interest to any readers though. Unfortunately, it will also probably not matter to any of you at this time that now that this agenda has been clearly laid out and she has seen how she was misled and mistaken and would not support such a petition which was written in broad strokes - especially with the 'hidden' grey areas - that she has no intent, nor has any intention to support it.
I might as well go the 'extra mile' at this point to add the following factual exchange which had subsequently transpired: When confronting the SUWA representative, my wife expressed how she was flim-flammed (my words) into a pseudo agreement with this cagily worded petition, and now had the feeling of being in the wrong place; under the wrong side of things. Had made things bad for both myself, the RR4W, and our personal friends who share our similar interests. The representative immediately countered with the following which I will attempt to quote verbatim. He stated thus: "Don't worry.... for each persons business you will lose from there, you'll get two from our side". That is not, nor is it now the point or what her (or my) feelings are about.
First of all, *If* the Representative were truly an actual believer in what they were presenting, they should probably have said something to the effect of 'Listen; in the long run and big picture you are doing something noble and in the long term it will be a benefit of immense value. You might not fully understand it or agree with it now, but believe me when I tell you that time will show you that this is true and totally worthwhile'. But no; that's not what happened... this person looked at this as strictly a matter of finances and monetary value.
Taking this one degree further in the realm of actual facts, but relating to this monetary angle. Our business is a general business (gift shop) and unfortunately not one which has ever held any special appeal to the 4 wheeling community. We have never actually made any financial gain of any note during the RR4W Moab Easter Jeep Safari or the RR4W Labor Day Campout events. This has always been the case ever since we opened our shop in 1993. Even having been a RR4W club officer in any one of the three positions I've held over the years had no special effect (which is actually right and proper in my opinion) or made any change as far as the business which we do during any event held by RR4W. That even goes beyond any event RR4W presents to include whatever number of individual 4 wheelers whether alone or in some group; semi-organized or not. The fact is that we don't market Parts,Tires, T-Shirts, Spare Ribs, Beer, Gasoline, Motel Rooms, Groceries, Towing services, or Vehicle Repairs. Therefore as a general rule, unfortunate and ironic as it is, Four wheelers have not ever been a bread-and-butter big ticket group for us. Perhaps I might wish for that to be different than it is, but the fact remains that it is just as I've stated.
At any rate, I can still truly and honestly say that we had no intent, nor have any intention of being a supporter of the SUWA petition as was made in such sweeping and dicey worded scope. I might add that the actual petition does not in any way focus on anti-access, and nowhere in that document which I have now read at least 20 times do I see it state that. I won't venture into what it does state (to me) at this point in time however.
In conclusion, and to re-cap:
1) I am a current and active member of RR4W inc.since approximately 1990.
2) Held three officer positions in RR4W:
Land-Use officer - 1993/94
Vice president - 1999/2000
President - 2000/2001
3) RR4W of the year - 2002
4) Have led/ mid-gunned / and tail-gunned trails for RR4W since appx. 1990 or 1991.
5) Have been a EJS "Big Saturday" and LDC trail leader since 1985.
6) Obtained a matching funds grant from the State of Utah - Dept. of Parks and Recreation for the purpose of marking our trails.
7) Worked in conjunction with USA-All and Utah Congress to have the Tire Size restrictions amended allowing larger tires.
8) Had near single handedly first painted and marked the fins and things trail which took me 9 days to accomplish the ~ 14 miles of trail.
(assistance to that initial trail marking was limited to 1/2 day help from one member of Americorps (who also created the now well known Stegosaurus Stencil) and one fellow RR4W member (Marty Avalos - who is also a member of this forum) who assisted me for one day.
9) Had personally cleared of boulders deliberately placed by a BLM volunteer blocking a challanging section of Fins and Things trail (with BLM approval)
10) Have personally volunteered - for no salary - and was approved by BLM to replace missing/vandalized/stolen trail signs at major junctions of many trails and roads throughout Grand county.
11) Have participated with the spearheading member (Ber Knight) of RR4W, GPS'ing and documenting 4-WD trails for the benefit of RR4W as well as Grand and San Juan counties and the BLM, and all users since 1993. Have spent ~ 3 years of my own time GPS'ing any and all trails (yes, even the so-called 'phantom roads' - there's no such thing as a phantom road/trail to my well trained eye BTW) in Grand, San Juan, Emery, and Wayne counties, Utah. As well as some areas of extreme western Colorado in the vicinity of McIntyre Canyon and surrounding areas.
12) Have participated in several Local Moab area official Search and Rescue operations.
13) Have led Trails for Jeep Jamboree - Moab for two or three years.
14) Have worked for a 4-WD tour company stationed in Moab for two or three years.
15) Have both guided and rescued individual jeepers, bikers, ATV'ers (and on one occasion a well known motorcyclist who shall remain un-named to protect the innocent. :-D ) for *zero* dollars and the sheer fun and joy of sharing and helping.
Thus, in light of all of that, it would be most unlikely for myself to support *any* SUWA (or any other) Anti-Access - or whatever one would choose to name it - petition. I hope this will serve to clarify and inform you all of my / our position.
taken fron a new mexico forum