THREAD: 1/n Yesterday I posted this picture without a lick of context, and it elicited some good reactions. So now, a thread with a little more context regarding one of these areas in particular — the biggest one, in fact.
2/n In 1936, Bob Marshall and Althea Dobbins published their inventory of un-roaded areas of >300k acres (forest) and >500k acres (desert). This time I included the legend, and an overview of the inventory by Dave Foreman, of Earth First! in images below …
3/n I'm focused on the 9m acre “Colorado River” area in SE Utah. #101 on the map. It’s huge, includes Glen Canyon, Henry Mts, and what is now #GSENM and #BearsEarsNM. To be fair, it wasn’t *completely* roadless. There were some oil prospecting roads in here. Still…
4/n In 1936, the same year this was published, Interior Secy. Harold Ickes proposed a 4m acre national monument that would cover about half of the “Colorado River” roadless area, and would have incl what is now Canyonlands NP, BearsEarsNM, GlenCanyonRA, and east side of GSENM
5/n Although details are vague, the plan I found said that only one road would be built through the entire 4m acre national monument — a continuation of the unimproved road from Blanding to Natural Bridges. And that all other access would be by foot or horseback.
6/n Utah Gov. Henry Blood, a Democrat, opposed the monument, mainly because he worried it would stop dams on Colo River. A 1916 USGS survey had found potential dam sites at Dark Canyon and Glen Canyon as well as one at Chinle Wash on the San Juan River.
7/n Ranchers also were opposed to a nm. There were an estimated 144k sheep, 26k cattle, and 2,600 horses grazing on public lands w/in proposed monument at the time. J.A. Scorup, a San Juan cty rancher, alone had livestock scattered across 2m acres, including:
8/8 Ickes came back w/ vastly shrunken down monument, but by then UT pols were opposed on ideological grounds. A decade later, uranium boomed, and 1000s of miles of roads built. Below is a map showing some roads on the eastern side of the 1936 roadless area. END

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