Reworded Article

Reworded Article

Upon reading this opinion piece from The Salt Lake Tribune, I found myself sighing deeply. Like many opinion pieces today, it comes from someone who feels wronged and has written a letter to the editor. The publication then decided to print it with the headline "Opinion: ATVs are spoiling Utah’s canyon country," which seems like clickbait. I hope most people ignore headlines that start with "Opinion: X,Y and Z."

Instead of clicking away, I continued reading and became increasingly frustrated with both the newspaper and the writer. The piece lacks basic fact-checking, relies heavily on anecdotal evidence, and presents narrow-minded thoughts and opinions. If taken seriously by lawmakers, the writer's words could lead to restricted access to public lands for everyone, not just the noisy "snarling machines" passing by the author's campsite.

I am currently working on a series about public land issues in the country, aiming to bring together various outdoor enthusiasts to discuss the challenges we all face. This includes how to prevent federal and state agencies from limiting our access to public lands. The series will highlight examples of misguided outrage within the outdoor community, like the one in The Tribune, and how such proclamations harm all public land users, not just their intended targets. After reading this article, I felt compelled to intervene before the series is published.

Why? This article is riddled with inaccuracies and a lack of basic research by both the newspaper and the author. It also criticizes another group's love for the outdoors, which I believe is a cardinal sin for any adventurer.

Let's address the factual inaccuracies in the article:

  • The author confuses ATVs and UTVs, calling UTVs ATVs in the argument.
  • He suggests that only "utility vehicles" should have access to certain trails, showing a lack of understanding of current laws in Utah.
  • Utah requires OHV operators, including UTV drivers, to obtain a permit as of January 2023.

The author's proposal to limit access based on specific days or times could lead to further restrictions on various outdoor groups. This could result in hikers limiting access for dirt bikers, UTVs vs. campers, and so on. While the intention may be to reduce conflicts, it risks giving authorities the opportunity to restrict access permanently.

Moreover, the author's anecdotal belief that UTV drivers prioritize the sound of the engine over nature is unfair. Everyone should be able to enjoy the outdoors in their preferred way without judgment. The real threat to public lands comes from government actions like selling or leasing land to developers, not from specific outdoor enthusiasts.

It's essential to unite against these encroachments on public lands rather than engaging in divisive arguments. If we continue to fight amongst ourselves, we risk losing access to the public lands we all cherish. It's crucial to protect these lands for future generations and prevent their exploitation by commercial interests.

Stay tuned for more on this topic in the coming weeks. Let's work together to preserve our shared outdoor spaces for all to enjoy.