From this week’s Times Independent letters to the editor. CLICK HERE
And finally, the real name for this beautiful canyon should reflect why it is available for the public to enjoy, have parking, and the trails and even toilets! Grand County Commissioner Ray Tibbetts personally manned a D9 cat, lowered the blade and pushed the clearing that now exists where the parking lot is today, destroyed the BLM barricade blocking access, ignored the court order for the public to stay off “federal [public] lands,” told the armed rangers to move or get hurt and declared this canyon open to the public on July 4, 1980. Ray became the icon for the Sagebrush Rebellion and newly elected Sen. Orrin Hatch started the Washington effort to reform the handling of public lands and their accessibility, mainly due to grassroots efforts like that in Grand County.
Therefore, I strongly recommend that this canyon be renamed “Sagebrush Rebellion Canyon” or at least Tibbetts Canyon, because without his efforts and the other commissioners it still might be barricaded and that extremely popular destination for visitors and locals alike would be “off limits,” or at least hard to access.
—Joe D. Kingsley