Blanding Council approves Recapture resolution

by Roma Young
The Blanding City Council unanimously approved a resolution “denouncing the BLM’s arbitrary closure of Recapture Canyon, the handling of the Recapture Canyon protest, and calling for an immediate reopening of the Recapture Canyon route.”
The resolution was approved at the November 25 council meeting.
Blanding Mayor Calvin Balch was out of town and was not at the meeting. A large crowd of citizens were in attendance. The meeting was presided over by Mayor Protempore Councilman Kelly Laws.
At a prior council meeting, Mayor Balch had expressed concern about the wording of the resolution.
Councilman Joe Lyman attempted to address the Mayor’s concerns as he understood them after listening to the recording of the previous council meeting four times.
“You can disagree but you should be respectful,” said Councilman Lyman. He then spoke specifically to statements made by Mayor Balch regarding “the Founding Fathers (referring to the founding fathers of Utah) giving all of the land to the federal government when Utah became a state” and “what the BLM did in closing the road being wrong but supporting the protest would be wrong.”
Lyman cited several instances in history where events had occurred which were not considered to be legal but which were very good ideas, such as the Declaration of Independence and Rosa Park’s ride in the front seat of the bus. Lyman added that many of “the greatest atrocities have been done legally.”
Lyman said that the protesters on May 11, 2014 had the permission of the water conservancy district to ride down the road in Recapture Canyon.
Lyman added, “It was only a problem to ride down that road on that day and only for a few people.”
Lyman said that what shocked him the most from the recording is the statement that “the road may have been closed legally or illegally, but the protest should not be supported.”
Lyman said he spent time to rewrite the resolution to only address the ways in which the BLM had acted in opposition to their own rules as stated in the BLM handbook.
Lyman said he does not believe the BLM handbook is law but rules and regulations and he felt it was “time to throw some tea in the harbor.”
Lyman made a motion to accept the resolution with a change in wording in the last paragraph from “embrace the position of Local Governments” to “adhere to the planning of Local Governments.”
Councilman Kelly Laws wanted to change a sentence earlier in the resolution from “the City Council of Blanding” to “the City of Blanding” because, he said, the council is elected by the citizens and they represent the people and are the voice of the people. This was accepted and the motion passed unanimously.
In other matters at the council meeting, a land exchange of 480 square feet of asphalt directly behind the city office building and a little further north were considered to allow the Ace Hardware store to expand and meet the necessary setbacks for code. The land exchange was unanimously approved.
Open Forum was the first and the last agenda items. Two citizens wanted to address the council regarding the Recapture Canyon Resolution which was on the agenda.
Lloyd Nielson was first to address the council and stated that two weeks previous he had met with the county commission and had asked if that was considered a county road to which the commission said yes. He felt that if “you let them close that road which road will be next”?

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