We have lived in Blanding for most of our lives. We raised our family here. Our parents raised their families here, as did our grandparents and great-grandparents. This is our home. We love it here.

Our ancestors were among the original pioneers who were sent in 1879 to settle this area. They arrived in what is now called Bluff in the spring of 1880. They first traveled the trails, then created roads surrounding Bluff, Blanding, and Monticello as they tried to establish viable communities.

These ancestors had to live off the land. Water was scarce. It was hard to grow crops. They built a tunnel through our Blue Mountain to channel the water to the community of Blanding. It took them 30 years to complete this tunnel. They gave everything they had to succeed in establishing communities where their posterity could live.

And they did succeed.

They left a legacy for us. These were our great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers. We have loved visiting the pioneer trail that our ancestors traveled to come to Bluff. It is incredible that they were able to come across this rugged country in a covered wagon. We have gone there many times over the years and are still amazed at the strength and commitment that they must have had to accomplish their goal.

Many years ago, we built a cabin on some private property that we own on Blue Mountain. It is a quiet, little spot that has been the location of many family gatherings over the years. The Blue Mountain is included in the proposed Bears Ears National Monument area. What will happen to our private land and our little cabin if this National Monument comes to pass? No one has a clear answer for that.

We have enjoyed the beauties surrounding us while raising our family. We enjoyed going out to camp, and going on evening drives to look for deer or bears. This is our home. We protect it. We enjoy it. We will preserve it for our posterity and for all who want to visit here. It does not need to be designated a National Monument to be protected and preserved. Please do not make it a National Monument that will attract people who do not love it and will not take care of it as we do.

– Jed & Candice Lyman

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