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First Substitute S.J.R. 1

Senator Dennis E. Stowell proposes the following substitute bill:


             1     
ESCALANTE HERITAGE HOLE-IN-THE-ROCK

             2     
CENTER JOINT RESOLUTION

             3     
2010 GENERAL SESSION

             4     
STATE OF UTAH

             5     
Chief Sponsor: Dennis E. Stowell

             6     
House Sponsor: Michael E. Noel

             7     
             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This joint resolution of the Legislature expresses support for the construction of a
             11      Heritage Center in Escalante, Utah, and for improvements to the Hole-in-the-Rock
             12      Road, to highlight the journey of the San Juan/Hole-in-the-Rock colonizing expedition
             13      during the winter of 1879-80 and to preserve the history of the most difficult colonizing
             14      expedition in all of the West.
             15      Highlighted Provisions:
             16          This resolution:
             17          .    expresses support for the Escalante Heritage Center's effort to preserve the history
             18      of the Hole-in-the-Rock pioneers, the history of the early explorations of the
             19      Escalante Valley, and the settlement of the town Escalante in 1876 through the
             20      heroic efforts of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to
             21      follow the call of their leader to colonize and tame a part of the frontier; and
             22          .    expresses support for improving safety and year round travel on the
             23      Hole-in-the-Rock Road.
             24          .     Special Clauses:
             25          None


             26     
             27      Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             28          WHEREAS, in 1879, citizens of towns throughout Southern Utah answered the call of
             29      John Taylor, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to colonize one of the
             30      most remote parts of the Territory of Utah;
             31          WHEREAS, taking what these colonizers thought would be a shortcut to the San Juan
             32      area, they traveled through the frontier town of Escalante, which was settled in 1876, to the
             33      Colorado River where they blasted and chiseled out a road in the crack of the canyon wall,
             34      descending one thousand feet to the Colorado River;
             35          WHEREAS, while this was the most difficult part of the trek, it was only one of many
             36      difficulties they experienced before reaching their destination and establishing a settlement at
             37      Bluff, Utah;
             38          WHEREAS, what they thought would be a six-week journey took six months;
             39          WHEREAS, the road these individuals created on their journey became the first road in
             40      the Territory of Utah, traveling from west to east, to be funded by the Legislature, though it
             41      cost only a few thousand dollars to purchase dynamite to blast through the walls of the
             42      Hole-in-the-Rock;
             43          WHEREAS, during the winter of 1879-80, 250 men, women, and children, trailing over
             44      1,000 head of livestock, blazed a trail through 200 miles of the most rugged terrain in the West;
             45          WHEREAS, Elizabeth Decker, a member of the colonizing party described it as ". . .
             46      the roughest country you or anybody else ever saw. It's nothing in the world but rocks and
             47      holes, hills and hollows";
             48          WHEREAS, during their six-month journey, the San Juan colonizers were tempered
             49      like fine steel for the formidable task of nurturing relations with the Native Americans, tilling
             50      the land, and establishing law and order;
             51          WHEREAS, in reaching the San Juan area, the colonizers demonstrated unwavering
             52      faith and devotion to duty and set the standard for future generations;
             53          WHEREAS, in 2002, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated nine
             54      acres of land in Escalante to build a Heritage Center, and also donated a water meter, which
             55      was critical in allowing the project to move ahead;
             56          WHEREAS, in 2007, the Richfield office of the Utah Department of Transportation


             57      granted the Escalante Heritage Center $125,000 to do a feasibility study, which was performed
             58      by Landmark Design of Salt Lake City and completed in 2008;
             59          WHEREAS, in 2009, the Salt Lake City office of the Utah Department of
             60      Transportation granted the Escalante Heritage Center $500,000 to build the first of four phases
             61      of the project;
             62          WHEREAS, the Escalante Heritage Center is a nonprofit corporation engaged in raising
             63      private and public funds to construct and maintain a center dedicated to preserving the history
             64      and heritage of the Hole-in-the-Rock pioneers and the Escalante area;
             65          WHEREAS, the state transportation improvement program includes $200,000 for
             66      preliminary engineering to improve Hole-in-the-Rock Road;
             67          WHEREAS, the Garfield County Commission fully supports this endeavor and is the
             68      government sponsor of the project;
             69          WHEREAS, the Mayor and City Council of Escalante fully support the Escalante
             70      Heritage Center in its endeavor to preserve the history and heritage of the area;
             71          WHEREAS, the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area project has declared the
             72      building of the Escalante Heritage Center its top priority project;
             73          WHEREAS, the Escalante Heritage Center Board has received letters of support from
             74      officials of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the offices of both Senators Hatch
             75      and Bennett, and the office of Congressman Jim Matheson;
             76          WHEREAS, the Escalante Heritage Center Board has the support of officials of the
             77      Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, who feel that a science center on one side of
             78      the town of Escalante and a history center on the other side would represent bookends of
             79      learning for everyone visiting the area; and
             80          WHEREAS, Garfield County has received a letter of support from the Grand Staircase
             81      Escalante National Monument for road improvements:
             82          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah
             83      expresses its support for the Escalante Heritage/Hole-in-the-Rock Center Board's efforts to
             84      preserve the history of the Hole-in-the-Rock pioneers and the settlement of the Escalante area,
             85      and to construct a building in which to tell the story of these historic pioneers and to improve
             86      the road over which they traveled.
             87          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Escalante


             88      Heritage Center Board, the Garfield County Commission, the Mayor and City Council of
             89      Escalante City, the Richfield and Salt Lake City offices of the Utah Department of
             90      Transportation, Landmark Design, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to the
             91      members of Utah's congressional delegation.


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