The proposal to create a Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument has newspapers in the region weighing in with some more nuanced and thoughtful discussions than we often see in likely contentious issues like this. [Right, view of proposed monument area. Credit, Steve Bridgehouse, as posted on the Sierra Club site]
The St. George (Utah) News starts off with the statement, "For well over a century the complicated and often uneasy relationships between conservationists, miners, ranchers, and the U.S. Forest service over the Grand Canyon watershed continue." The writer proceeds to offer insights from each of those constituencies, in a non-pejorative manner.
The Arizona (Flagstaff) Daily Sun, starts off, "How much of a buffer around the Grand Canyon is enough?" and asks a set of questions:
Is multiple use no longer feasible if the natural qualities of the region are to be preserved?They conclude, "A new national monument extending all the way to the Utah border should have outstanding natural qualities that override traditional multiple uses."
-- Are those natural qualities special enough to justify federal protected status?
-- Do all 1.7 million acres need to be protected in what amounts to a nearly unbroken landscape 100 miles wide and 100 miles deep?
-- Can the conservation strategies employed by current land managers be made more responsive to concerns raised by monument proponents -- without the need to create a monument?