CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IN UTAH
in response to the federal government’s shutdown of national parks, San Juan County in Utah has threatened to take over the national parks within its borders:
The NPR article opens with the following:
“San Juan County has become the fifth county in Utah to declare a state of emergency in response to the closure of National Park areas.
“But the San Juan County Commission has also decided to storm National Park Service barricades, take control of some parks, and reopen them to the public.
“‘This is civil disobedience,’ says Phil Lyman, a CPA and county commissioner from Monticello, Utah, in the southeastern corner of the state. ‘What’s happening to us is wrong.'”
San Juan County plans to use sheriff’s deputies, search and rescue volunteers, firefighters, EMTs, portable toilets, garbage trucks and three mobile command centers in its operation of the national parks.
Yes, this would be an act of civil disobedience … and I applaud it! This is exactly what government should do in an emergency — step in and fix the problem. Unfortunately, the bloated, arrogant, over-weening federal government doesn’t give a damn about the hardships that its “shutdown” has created for local communities.
So, those local communities have to take it upon themselves to do what’s best for their people. More power to ’em!
The state of Arizona has Reached an agreement with the federal government to re-open the Grand Canyon:
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT & OTHER STATES
The federal government has also announced its willingness to cooperate with other states that want to reopen national parks:
Note the two caveats to this agreement, however:
“Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told state officials that she would consider agreements with governors who are willing to fully fund National Park Service personnel to reopen the 401 parks nationwide that have been closed since Oct. 1.”
“Blake Androff, an Interior Department spokesman, stressed that the state’s payments would be viewed as donations and would not be reimbursed unless Congress passed legislation to do so.”
In other words, we’re willing to let you do our job — a job that we can’t or won’t do, as long as you pay for it and don’t expect us to reimburse you. What a shameful disgrace.
Puts me in mind on one of Thomas Jefferson‘s comments on government:
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” See Note below.
It seems likely that Jefferson would approve of San Juan County’s plans to exercise some civil disobedience and “a little rebellion”.
Note: The Jefferson quote is from a letter written by him from Paris on January 30, 1787, to James Madison. The full text of the letter is available on the “Archiving Early America” website here:
Grand Canyon Photos © 2013 Jim Reilly