Re: Letters to the Editor/Surprise Canyon road closure
Posted by DJ Dojo Loach on February 05, 2003 at 02:04:11:
In Reply to: Letters to the Editor posted by Harold Ericsson on February 03, 2003 at 13:46:37:
There are logic flaws in the arguments posted for reopening the Surprise Canyon road. The primary argument seems to be, "The area is not pristine, so it should not be set aside." The environmental lobby wisely uses precedent to establish and further legislation. If they can establish that water flows, be they aboveground, underground, seasonal or continual, or that species will be impacted by vehicular travel, they have a strong toehold. Just because an area has been damaged in the past is not a precedent for opening it up to further damage, and it is unsupportable to claim that motor vehicles do not impact the areas that they travel through.
The second argument is more compelling, though still flawed. If one could establish that certain areas are opened to impact while other areas are ARBITRARILY set aside, one has a good point. However, equating two areas can become an apples and oranges situation, especially when big money is involved, as with Briggs.
Re-opening the road will be a hard row to hoe. One would have to establish either precedent or need, and neither seems likely from what I've read here, notwithstanding some interesting ADA arguments.
Although I sympathize with rabid 4-wheelers looking for a great challenge, I'm content to see the Surprise Canyon road remain closed to all but foot travel. It is one of the more rewarding hikes on that side of the Panamints. If you've driven it but never hiked it, why not give the old "a piel" travel mode a try.
I have been saddened and angered by seemingly random road closures in and around Death Valley, but I have also found that the Mojave is a large desert indeed, and when one door closes, with a little investigation, another opens.
DJ Dojo Loach