The Escalante

Jeffrey

Well-Known Member
I support efforts to preserve and protect the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument through a few fine organizations, the main one being the Grand Staircase Escalante Partners. I support them financially and now contribute my photography for their causes. Today they featured an image of mine on their website. It headed the statements they had to make today regarding the fabulous turn of power in this country. I couldn't be happier to contribute to those efforts.

Their webpage. And go to their homepage as well.

This is a drone image over my favorite part of the Monument which I've photographed extensively. Just processed this one from this past summer. Enjoy, and Protect Wild Utah!!!

spencerdrone10.jpg
 
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JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Very cool Jeffrey! And good on you for contributing to causes like these.

As I ponder getting a Drone, one of the things that gives me pause is it seems so many places it's not legal to fly a drone. I know it's illegal in National Parks, but it's okay in National Monuments?
 

Ben Egbert

Forum Helper
Staff member
Jeffrey, congratulations for the honor of having your image selected for their website. Second for contributing to this cause, and not least of all for a fabulous image.
 

Jeffrey

Well-Known Member
Very cool Jeffrey! And good on you for contributing to causes like these.

As I ponder getting a Drone, one of the things that gives me pause is it seems so many places it's not legal to fly a drone. I know it's illegal in National Parks, but it's okay in National Monuments?
YES.
 

AlanLichty

Moderator
Seriously nice cause and great they are using some of your photography to promote the monument. GSENM is one of my favorite parts of Utah.

I like the shot.
 

Bart Carrig

Supporting Member
Jeffrey: beautiful capture of Escalante (also my favorite place). You captured the great expansive shapes, beauty, wildness and colors that are so innate to Escalante. Love it.

I've been hesitant about drones and the noise -- but you've certainly put yours to good use. Hmmmm, now I"ve got to think....

Great job.

bart
 
I salute you Jeffrey for your support of the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. It is one of my favorite places too. I have also been an avid supporter of the protection of all rare natural areas. I have extensive background in environmental sciences and taught college environmental science courses for over thirty years before I retired in 2000. I did a book on the Ridges Sanctuary, a rare remnant of boreal plants in Door County, WI in order to encourage people to revere and protect these types of places. But what has bothered me over the years is the sometimes rabid zeal of environmentalists to race into decisions without considering all of the facts and in the end creating dynamics that actually hurt the areas they are trying to protect.

For example, I talked extensively with the rangers at the Kane Gulch Visitor Center on Cedar Mesa and they were adamant that the establishment of Bears Ears National Monument was a bad idea. It caused a flood of people to visit this area, which few people had known about before, and caused some degradation of some of the ruins, pictograph and petroglyph sites. They said that the main problems were that they were unable to provide enough staff to protect such a large area and that the establishment of better roads provided visitors more access to explore areas which were not available before.

The BLM recently offered to open up areas on the Paria Plateau like North Coyote Buttes to an additional ten hikers a day. I believe that areas like this should be protected from more people and wrote a letter stating that position. If you would like to read that letter I will be happy to email it to you.

That beautiful image you have provided will undoubtedly encourage more people to visit this National Monument. I just hope that the people protecting these areas plan properly.

Again, congratulations on being featured on the magazine cover, Jeffrey.
 

Jeffrey

Well-Known Member
Douglas, thank you so much. I do agree with a lot of that and it is a tough call, too. No doubt you are familiar with the Natural MoneyMints concept brought forth by Edward Abbey. I do think that for every person who is unhappy with the Bears Ears designation for the reasons you indicate, there are a handful more that are happy for the protection it receives from energy developers and destructionists in general. Can't make everyone happy but at least the places are protected. Of course, there are people everywhere now. Overpopulation is the biggest problem on earth, but no one wants to talk about it.
 

Jim Dockery

Well-Known Member
Nice photo Jeffery, and thanks for your support of the cause.

That is a very interesting argument Douglas, and something to consider. Publicizing favorite/secret places has long been contentious in climbing and back-country skiing. When I was a young hard-core climber we had an attitude that the less info we had on a climb the better, this would let us have almost the same adventure as the first ascent party. Multi-day climbs would have a few paragraphs to describe them. Modern guides have pitch by pitch topo pictures that describe the type of cracks and equipment needed for each pitch so you don't have to carry extra. Of course all this contributes to more climbers. In some ways I envy this, but overall I'm thankful that I was in one of the last generations that often had out of the way places to ourselves, and if we met other climbers we often knew them, or had some connection through friends. We all

The Bears Ears problem is a real conundrum because of the irreplaceable pictographs and ruins. Overall I guess I'd come down on the side of keeping out the developers/extracters, but also limit motorized access hoping that making it hard to get in to those areas would limit the number of idiots who would desecrate them. I'm afraid that I've been surprised though in the last couple years at the crap (literally) I've found deep in the back-country here in WA. Obviously many new users haven't been raised with leave no trace ethics.
 

ckcarr

Founding Member
I totally agree with this. It used to be deserted. Real estate in Monticello and Bluff was affordable. And to my horror I believe a condo complex is being built in Bluff. Everything is destroyed. Edward Abby is rolling over in his grave. Moab is one giant motel. It's the end of the world as we knew it...

For example, I talked extensively with the rangers at the Kane Gulch Visitor Center on Cedar Mesa and they were adamant that the establishment of Bears Ears National Monument was a bad idea. It caused a flood of people to visit this area, which few people had known about before, and caused some degradation of some of the ruins, pictograph and petroglyph sites. They said that the main problems were that they were unable to provide enough staff to protect such a large area and that the establishment of better roads provided visitors more access to explore areas which were not available before.
 

MonikaC

Well-Known Member
Beautiful photo, Jeffrey & good on you for supporting GSENM. It's a thorny question about presenting beautiful images that make people want to go to those places. Unfortunately, I have also seen the effects of the newer generations of people who have no concept of "leave no trace" or stewardship for the land. During this pandemic, even more people who have no clue of even basic backcountry courtesy have been flooding the easier to access areas. It used to be limited to day hikes, but people are now going for multi-day trips and spreading trash far into the backcountry. Even 13 miles in for the eclipse, people were hiking in with coolers of beer, tossing snack containers over their shoulders, etc in the Wind Rivers. I'm sure it took local volunteers at least a week to clean up. On the other hand, if people never see the beauty of these places (either in photos or in person), how can they be motivated to protect them?

I think that increasing the number of people in to the Wave to 64/day is a mistake. Having seen the delicate, lacy fins that are/were around Steamboat Rock by White Pocket and in the Edmaiers Secret area showed me what it probably used to be like in the Wave (I'm willing to bet there are none left there -- I've certainly not seen more than a few and those were pretty far off the regular paths). The soft sandstone won't be able to stand up to so many feet and the damage will be permanent.
 

MonikaC

Well-Known Member
I totally agree with this. It used to be deserted. Real estate in Monticello and Bluff was affordable. And to my horror I believe a condo complex is being built in Bluff. Everything is destroyed. Edward Abby is rolling over in his grave. Moab is one giant motel. It's the end of the world as we knew it...
Condos in Bluff? Horrors! What's next, a mall in Mexican Hat?
 

Mike Lewis

Staff Member
Staff member
Lovely expansive image, really captures the majesty of the area. Congrats on having your photography utilized too - that is always so much fun and very rewarding for a cause like this.

The larger discussion is interesting, and captures the notion that many of these type issues do not have a one size fits all answer.

ML
 
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