/ A parting gift from Obama

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Robert Durran - on 12 Jan 2017
davidbeynon on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

There is a brief mention of potential negative consequences, described as "Moabification". I'm not familiar with the US climbing scene, so can anyone explain what that means?
Minneconjou Sioux - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:

I think the term is refering to an economy entirely dependant on tourism which may be as potentially harmful as an extraction (mining) based economy.
davidbeynon on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

Makes sense. Ta.
1
rgold - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:

Here's a definition of Moabification from a traveler's blog http://roadkids.blogspot.com/2007/04/bluff-utah-nancy-is-driving-her-car-to.html :

The small town now sports a second espresso place; what's more, the coffee is good. River rafting has been big industry for a number of years here, and increasingly, 4-wheelers and their kind are exploring the back roads, rediscovering the multitude of ruins in the nearby Comb Ridge. I call this phenomenon "Moabification"

I don't know whether Moabification is a good thing or a bad thing; as usual, it probably depends on who will or will not benefit from it. One thing is, however, for sure: there is no comparison between the the negative consequences of "Moabification" and the negative consequences of oil and gas drilling on those lands, at least from an environmental point of view (which includes the interests of climbers).

There is going to be a very forceful pushback by Utah Republicans to undo this designation. It doesn't seem as if Trump can legally undo it---it takes an act of congress for that, and any attempt at that will have to overcome a Democratic filibuster. If Trump tries to undo it, the case will certainly end up before the Supreme Court, and who knows how that would come out.
Robert Durran - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to davidbeynon:

> There is a brief mention of potential negative consequences, described as "Moabification".

My impression of the US National Parks and Monuments is that small areas are sacrificed to "Moabification", concentrating tourists into really quite small areas, while leaving and protecting vast tracts which are accessible to those wiling to make the effort. I think it works well there. In the UK we just don't have the large uninhabited areas to make this approach work (the conflict between "wilderness" and economic development in the Cairngorms NP is a case in point).

At the end of presidency, Clinton created the vast Grand Escalante NM in southern Utah. I remember reading that locals were initially sceptical about it, but have generally come round to its benefits.
1
Adrien - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Mixed reactions and more background info on Mountain Project: https://www.mountainproject.com/v/obama-declares-bears-ears-national-monument-in-southern-utah/11241...

> My impression of the US National Parks and Monuments is that small areas are sacrificed to "Moabification", concentrating tourists into really quite small areas, while leaving and protecting vast tracts which are accessible to those wiling to make the effort. I think it works well there. In the UK we just don't have the large uninhabited areas to make this approach work (the conflict between "wilderness" and economic development in the Cairngorms NP is a case in point).

Yeah over time I've come around to thinking that "sacrificing" a small area for the good of the greater area is probably the best way to deal with the increasing pressure from tourism. (Walk 5mn below the rim of the Grand Canyon and 95% of the crowds are gone.) I think French national parks are closer to the British ones than the American ones: the Vanoise has a bunch of ski resorts, the CĂ©vennes are entirely privately-owned and hunting is permitted, etc. But like you say the scale is not the same.

I do hope that they will leave Bears Ears pretty much as it is and will not improve accessibility by creating roads everywhere. They didn't do it with Grand Staircase Escalante and it's still really wild.
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