When President Trump recently decided to steal Bears Ears National Monument from the people and give it to uranium mining interests, I used the occasion to call the Blanding, UT Chamber of Commerce.
I had a short conversation with the representative who answered the phone.
My question was, why, given that Blanding and so much of the southern part of Utah is dependent on tourist dollars to keep their economy lively, they would spit in the face of those who supply those dollars? Namely us Coloradoans who spend much time and money there. Did they want a boycott?
His answer was, verbatim: “We’d be happy that nobody from Colorado ever comes here again.”
So we rafters, hikers, bikers, Utah backcountry enthusiasts and tourists in general will, sadly, be following the wishes of your spokesman, and boycotting all business in the county.
If you have a problem with that, you might want take it up with the Chamber, or Commissioner Bruce Adams, a huge proponent of the Bears Ears taking.
Response to boycott letter
by Bill Boyle, San Juan Record Editor
Dear Shan Wells:
Thank you for sending the letter to the Editor regarding your concerns. We are happy to publish letters to the Editor.
Obviously, the topic you discussed is an item of intense local interest. We take notice when an apparent coalition of rafters, hikers, bikers, Utah backcountry enthusiasts and tourists in general declares a boycott of all businesses in the county.
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I hope you can provide more information regarding the telephone call to the Blanding Chamber of Commerce, a call that apparently gives justification to declare economic war on an entire county.
What number did you call? Did you get a name of the person?
This is very important since there is no Blanding Chamber of Commerce. The organization has not existed in any form for well over a decade.
It is fair to say that whoever you spoke with is not a spokesman for a local chamber of commerce that simply does not exist.
The San Juan Chamber of Commerce is based in Monticello and the executive director and assistant are both women. There are no men who would have answered the phone.
No one associated with the Chamber would have spoken to you in such a way, let alone someone who would properly be called a spokesman.
You simply didn’t speak to an authorized spokesman for local business.
So I must ask, are you an authorized spokesman for “rafters, hikers, bikers, Utah backcountry enthusiasts and tourists in general?”
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In addition to editing the San Juan Record, I am the president of the San Juan Chamber of Commerce.
The San Juan Chamber of Commerce is committed to welcoming everyone to our beautiful corner of the earth. In addition to finding spectacular sites, we are committed with helping you find world class accommodations, great meals, friendly service, and a great experience while you are here.
We are also committed to helping to strengthen business throughout the economy. While we are rich in scenery and experiences, we are also one of the poorest counties in the United States.
Poverty is a very real and painful reality for too many people in San Juan County. Economic development is of critical importance.
This is a large and remarkably diverse county, with a full range of views and opinions on just about every topic. It is a mistake to assume that everyone thinks the same in San Juan County.
A frustrating reality of life in San Juan County is we are subject to gross mischaracterizations and, all too often, outright fabrications.
Frankly, we need your support, not a declaration of economic war.
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I am interested in who has “spit in your face”. Has any access to public land been limited? Is there anything you wanted to do that you can no longer do? Has your ability to enjoy San Juan County been limited in any way?
While the political storm has declared winners and losers, thankfully our public land remains the same.
Bill Boyle, Editor