Ever since Mormon pioneers did the unthinkable and descended sheer cliffs through the Hole in the Rock to settle San Juan County, life there has never been easy. But it has recently become more of a rollercoaster than ever.
After more than a century of surviving and learning to thrive in a tough environment which attracted a lot of environmental pressure and seemingly endless federal government overreach, San Juan County had become a symbol of conservative, rural values and a bastion of local unity in the fight against radical outside environmental forces and federal government overreach. After the local devastation of having President Obama designate a huge chunk of the county as Bears Ears National Monument in a bitterly contested move that completely left both Congress and local sentiment out of the equation, and then having the Trump Administration reduce the new monument by 85%, locals breathed a sigh of relief. But unfortunately, that was all just the beginning.
Following last year’s local elections, which completely changed the dynamic in local government, in the latest developments, many of which have been dictated by an out-of-state Colorado Attorney (read more here), long-time San Juan County administrator, Kelly Pehrson, was essentially forced out, and under the direction of radical outside liberal forces, two of the new commissioners are on track to hurriedly steamroll a “Full-on Progressive” into the open County Administrator’s position (read the full story here).
In light of the long-standing history of conflict, and all the conflicting interests shaping the current environment, more and more San Juan County locals are starting to say that it’s high time to start looking seriously as splitting the county.