Letter to the editor: Don’t close public lands to the public

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    Dear editor:

    I am writing in response to all the recent discussion about the land closures in southern Utah.

    I have a form of Muscular Dystrophy, which affects the muscles in my arms and legs. Because of my disability, it is very difficult for me to walk long distances. So, if the federal government closes over 9 million acres of land to motorized vehicles, then they are closing this public land to me.

    There is no way physically that I could hike even five miles into the southern Utah backcountry. If the government and Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance close this land to mechanical vehicles (including bicycles) I will never get to see the beautiful, scenic portions of southern Utah, ever. What gives them the right to tell me that because I am handicapped that I can’t have access to and enjoy these wilderness areas as much as any “normal” person?

    In my Jeep, I can drive on the pre-existing roads into the wilderness and enjoy the beauty out there. I am a member of Lone Peak 4 Wheelers and a strong advocator for the “Tread Lightly” campaign; when I go four-wheeling, I stay on the trail. Does everybody do this? Unfortunately no. But just as some four-wheelers don’t stay on the trail, some hikers and backpackers don’t pack out all their trash. Should we close the land to them also?

    I am not saying these wilderness areas should have new roads built. I am saying don’t close the ones that are already there. Don’t close public lands to the public.

    David Adams

    Colorado Springs, Colo.

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