Archive for December, 2008
Thank you Tim DeChristopher for your courageous act of civil disobedience at the recent BLM oil and gas lease auction in Utah. According to Businessweek, DeChristopher snapped up 22,500 acres of parcels between Arches and Canyonlands national parks that he doesn’t plan to develop or even pay for. He also drove up prices on other bids by hundreds of thousands of dollars. The parcels, which he secured for a mere $1.7 million were among those disputed by environmental groups trying to block their sale since the parcels are found on some of southern Utah’s most scenic wild lands. I share DeChristopher shock that one of the parcels he successfully bid on sold for $2.25 per acre. “That’s shocking — that we can sacrifice our public lands for as little as $2.25 an acre,” the University of Utah student was quoted as saying. A recent check of land prices on Moab area real estate web sites shows private folks value the land at much higher prices – anywhere from $77,000 for one-quarter acre of land on the north side of town, west side of US 191 which equates to $308,000 per acre. to an 80 acre parcel near the Moab exit on I-70 asking $420,000, a relative steal at $52,500 per acre. Meanwhile, the feds are deciding what to do with DeChristopher, environmental groups are trying to figure out what they may do in his defense or response, the courts are already involved and even actor Robert Redford has spoken out about the travesty of leasing some of these sensitive lands. I hope lobbyists from conservation groups to the outdoor industry are joining forces to help broker a sane future for these silent, scenic, precious public lands that DeChristopher was speaking out for each time he raised bid paddle #70.
Here’s hoping 2009 isn’t as grim as so many pundits have been prognosticating. I’m thankful for business relationships with folks who are taking a “charge ahead” instead of “retreat” approach to the current state of the economy. Optimists are headlined by Eric Jackson, Keith Baker, Tom Warren and my progressive marketing friends in Colorado’s tourism industry.
My resolution for 2009 is to put into practice social media tactics and tools I’ve spent so much time studying this past year with the help and advice of some really savvy connections I’ve been making at conferences and webinars.