Monday, September 26, 2016

My Trip to Bluff

Some of the Bluff Influences:
  • Melvin Gain
  • Gene whoshay
  • Pat cook
  • Steve Simpson
  • Jim Hook
  • Cindy and Amer Tomay
  • Marx Powell
  • Toni

Interview with Lynn Stevens: (
President of the Hole in the Rock Foundation

  • Lynn Stevens Information:
    • County Commissioner for 8 years worked for the county for more
  • SITLA Property:
    • This land is a piece of the Pioneer Trail
    • SITLA Land purchase is intended to be a venue for Youth Conferences and allowing individuals and groups to hike the pioneer trail.
    • Difficulty with land management to hike, they want to buy part of the Hole in the Rock Trail to accommodate large groups.
    • They are opposed to “developing” the land or making any structural improvements on the land.
    • “The land is already representative of what we want.” The SITLA property is meant to give history and education of the pioneers who came to Bluff.
  • Hole in the Rock Foundation:
    • Private Non-profit organization
    • The LDS Church has no ownership, sponsorship or backing.
    • The only influence the church has is sending LDS Historical Couples to maintain the fort. The couples do not hand out any literature (Book of Mormon, Pass along cards, pamphlets, etc) nor are they allowed to proselyte.
    • Bluff residents volunteer and greet tourists and inform them of area attractions
    • 200 Acres (390 Acres private information)
    • HIRF members are direct descendants of the Bluff Pioneers
    • Corrinne, the previous HIRF President, purchased lots of land in Bluff so others wouldn’t come in and build vacation homes.
  • Bluff Cemetery:
    • Lynn Steven’s Grandfather was the first person buried there
    • HIRF owns a large portion of the cemetery. They purchased it to keep it in Bluff ownership and “undevelopable land.” They wanted it to stay part of the cemetery.
    • The Deed is in the name of the HIRF  
  • Bluff Fort:
    • They have already had over 30K visitors and are expecting that number to rise over 50K by the end of the year.
    • Those visitors have come from 54 different countries, and every state in the US.
    • Bluff Fort highlights the international tourists data
    • Sign in and comments information
      • Data and information on why visitors come to the Fort and Bluff
    • All of the people who work at the Bluff Fort are 8 month volunteers.
  • Bluff Information:
    • Green Built Property Tax is low and most of Bluff is Green Built Property
    • Questions about water rights
    • 80% occupancy in hotels throughout the year
    • Tax Base
    • No road maintenance equipment
    • Potential funding issues
    • “There are limits to the Transit Tax, it has to be spent for tourism.”
  • Castle Valley Incorporated
    • Castle Valley may be a good precedence
  • Moab leveraged what they have and made the grew their economy and town around it.
    • Make tourists more comfortable
    • 50+ years to get there

Interview with Toni:
Navajo Mother and Employee at the Twin Rocks Cafe

  • Toni:
    • She was born in 1962 and has lived here her whole life
    • They got electricity on the reservation four years ago
    • She grew up without it and her kids would ask what she did to pass the time before electricity.
    • They used to come to Bluff for water because there was no water source on the reservation. They would come across the bridge and leading into Bluff and get their water then walk/take it back to their homes
    • The Navajo Nation use to take up part of Bluff but Bluff took over that portion. It was Melvin Gain, (Cross the man with no shoes so named by the Navajo Nation) who has lived in Bluff his entire life of 92 years, was the one that said where the original boundary was and had the adjustment made to bring the boundary closer to what it had been. Because of that they gave him a name. Be careful though he cusses and is very opinionated.
    • The road in front of the Twin Rocks Cafe used to be the main road until they built 191 through the town.
    • I don’t like have to haul our sewage out.
    • There used to be a bridge to leading from the Navajo Nation to Bluff
    • Grandmother Saw the Pioneers come into the area with their wagons. Grandmother had tons of stories.
    • She has loads of stories and loves to tell them.

Interview with Mr. Simpson: ()
Owner of Twin Rocks Cafe

  • Comments:
    • “It's a mess we already have to haul our sewage.”
    • "I don’t want McDonald's on the corner, but I'd like to know a little more about sewer systems.”
    • He wants to be careful with sewers not just to protect his business but the town
    • He was born in Bluff but moved to Blanding because it is a better place to raise his kids and for his family. “We moved to Blanding for our children.”
  • Steve Simpson:
    • Involved in the Political side of Bluff
    • Served on the State and County Water Board
    • Served on the Service District and the Health Care Board
    • Also an Attorney

General Notes:

  • Night Sky Festival
    • Spring Festival
    • Fall Festival
    • Petroglyphs representing the Night Sky
    • Dark Sky Initiative relationship
    • Night Sky Viewing (Night Services for the festival)

Sustainability News

Check back for more news later


I just wanted to take a moment to send a personal message out to all those in the fields of Landscape Architecture, Gardening, Horticulture, and Urban Planning/Urban Ecology. I created Landscape Connections for the purpose to share my love and passion for Landscape Architecture and Design, and Urban Ecology. I was a Landscape Architecture Major at Utah State University and currently study Urban Ecology at the University of Utah. I am working to compile as much information in the four previously mentioned fields as possible. If you have any further information, or would like to either add information or see information posted to landscape connections please let me know.