As such, the item was placed on a recent open council meeting agenda which enabled public comment. As I reported in part-one, the place was packed (an ominous sign when an offroader willingly sits in a folding chair excruciatingly immobile.)
And not only with us lowly rabble-rowsers but with Mesquite's long time and major citizenry: judges, major land-owners, founding families, former politico's, seniors, handicapped and elected officials of adjoining areas.
The mayor and council made opening remarks. To my ears, most of it seemed the expected non-committal rhetoric of elected officials; but, at least one statement which, if I heard it correctly, at best reflects incredibly poor thinking, at worst a dangerously… naive understanding about working with the federal bureaucracy.
Which of these do you think is which? "We want and welcome public comment on this issue" "I don't really understand and have a real dilemma in deciding basically the worst of two evils" "We all don't trust the BLM" "We passed the resolution in order to request that the Government include us in the decision making and not just follow the BLM!" "The BLM hides behind employee turnover/ changing political appointees and agendas."
Anyone who paid attention when our high school teacher's talked about recognizing common deceptive advertising techniques will recognize: "an attempt to deflect anger to another party or issue." People were there to talk about the Mayors wilderness act support - not the BLM!
It is disappointing that an elected official wouldn't make the effort to fully understand any dilemma he had before casting his vote! And isn't BEFORE the vote the more appropriate time for obtaining public comment? But thinking, as the mayor claimed, that generating a "make all of this a wilderness area" resolution in order to maybe, possibly, hopefully, some day have the Feds listen to you, shows a "mother-may-I" naivety of galaxial proportions! (Sounds like something an e-group lobbyist would say in a press release.)
Nancy Hall, the paid lobbyist for the (so-called) "friends" of Gold Butte, the mayor and her followers would be grateful if you conveniently switched off your critical thinking and would just take on faith that "the city will have three years to decide any activity we want to take place in the wilderness area"!
But the greatest stupidity of all would be if the over 80-percent of Mesquite residents who either owned offroad vehicles or rode offroad could be deluded into thinking that any of it would include them!
Make no mistake: absolutely ALL activities "decided upon" MUST FALL COMPLETELY WITHIN ALREADY ESTABLISHED RULES - which prohibit nearly all motorized offroad activity! Period!
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
About the only non-spin doctored comments came from the huge number of citizens receiving no pay for being there.
– Members of surrounding city governments stated disappointment in the Mesquite resolution and asked point-blank that they rescind it! These entities were apparently blind-sided by Mesquites action.
– A local ATV shop claimed they had already requested money from factories to support trail marking, signage etc.
– Members of founding families spoke against the resolution and requested that they follow a previous plan which mandated "stake-holder" representation before they pass any resolution.
– A man represented the thousands of snowbirds to the area and requested it be rescinded. He gave a list of other communities where the creation of an NCA had been detrimental to community recreation growth.
– Another, represented the predominant senior population stating that it seemed access for seniors has been given little or no thought. He also stated that it was obvious the lawmakers had been "listening too much to lobbyists and their interests."
– Yet another, spoke of the minimally-handicapped which wanted to continue visiting places like Kurt's Grotto and couldn't now due to existing closures (and which would be made infinitely worse in a "wilderness" type area.)
– Several speakers tried to give us "history lessons." One native-son explained to a "newbie" who had previously spoken the specific sites he will not now see due to closures and warned he had better see the rest quick in case the wilderness area is established!
Only two or three spoke in favor of the resolution – however their remarks were deliberately designed so you had no clue which side they were on until their last sentence when they basically said "close it off." [A technique learned from the environmental lobby's - obfuscate until it's too late!]
– The paid lobbyist actually made the statement that "hikers had no trails on the butte" – (truly, that's what she expects us to believe).
– One man used his time to complain that "they are taking away our guns."
– And, an unbelievable lady from Las Vegas used our time to tell us her family is "buried here" then actually bragged that she "drove too fast," and was in a wreck from which she "needed to be life-flighted off the butte"!!? [Huh? Are you claiming that it's the government allowing you to be there that caused your incident or that because of it the butte should be closed as a sort of "memorial"?]
Then the council had their time to speak, and one by one you would almost think that the resolution had really not been any of their ideas!
Several times a councilman/woman called for the topic to be added to the agenda; but every time they did the mayor kept pointing out things that had to be done before it could be. None of them actually gave any "on the record" indication that they were in favor one way or the other.
The discussion for "item 9" being over - pretty much all of the offroaders began leaving. I didn't see the lobbyist leave so I stayed put and, just as I expected, in the final "public comment section" another "fiend" rose to speak in favor of keeping the resolution and made unfounded claims.
Her assertions were easily confronted: If you claim you "really didn't know" you owe it to yourselves and the community to find out and educate yourselves on the processes. It is naive in the extreme to (as you claim you had hoped) think that this community will have MORE input into the process using the NCA route - it will NOT happen!
Restrooms at Red Rock were given as an example. Even though hikers are allowed, the NCA rules won't allow other access so they are NOT allowed porta-potty's; therefore, they continually must use the surrounding rocks!
It is not true, as the lobbyist claims, that hikers have no trails. They have 300,000 plus acres of land they can walk on, anywhere! Offroad vehicles have a ten-thousandth of that because they must stay on the trails!
Nearly ALL the "destinations" have been closed to riders! So too, have small segments of loop trails, which then makes the entire loop unridable! The "DD5" is an example.
The Hell's Kitchen NRA's roads were left open, so the Sierra and Friends did an end run through a "wilderness act" and closed off 3/4 mile of the trail which then completely prevents the LOOP!
Apparently as she had planned all along the paid lobbyist previously spoke of came up to take yet another allotment of time, in order to have the "last word," and desperately claimed that it wasn't really the "wilderness" which had closed the Hell's Kitchen road — just look at the map Nancy!