(31 Total References)
In 1986 Jane & Ken Sleight ...
In 1986 Jane & Ken Sleight saw the potential of the property and the lands that surrounded it, and purchased the ranch.
and Jane's vision, generosity and untiring spirit have made Pack Creek
Ranch the magical place it is today.
Google Ken Sleight
, for more background on this legendary river runner, horse pack guide and good friend of late author Edward Abbey.
One of Abbey's notable characters in the Monkey Wrench Gang, 'Seldom Seen Smith' was none other than Pack Creek's Ken Sleight.
Outdoor Education Curriculum
Kent and Donna Dannen
and Donna Dannen
...Ken Sleight, the owner of Pack Creek Ranch near Moab, Utah, recently asked the BLM to close the Grand Gulch Recreational Area in Utah - an area covered with Anasazi ruins - until more rangers can be hired.
: "Edward Abbey once said, "Industrial tourism is the bane of everything!"
Ken Sleight: Duty to ...
Ken Sleight: Duty to Disobey...by Sean Prentiss and Katie Phelan
, a now 82-year-old former river-runner and activist, had lost.
Even for all his
efforts to preserve the river country he
called home, the dam and its waters swallowed entire canyon systems in southern Utah and northern Arizona.
The resulting reservoir became known as Lake Powell, which Sleight
dubbed "Lake Foul."
Before the dam scarred Glen Canyon
guided about fifteen raft trips a year on the Colorado River, and bristled at
the threat of the impending dam.
This indignation led him to join what would be his
first of many protests: a small affair of protesters without a permit, carting signs and posters.
"When do you have to have a permit just to walk around?
asks, eyes wide.
"And we were stopping traffic around the river of course.
And the Park Service down there came over and stole all of our signs.
Our hokey signs.
"We didn't know how to do things.
If that came up today, boy would we know how, yes, we would know how!
arms fly wide like a bird taking flight, his
Before the dam, Glen Canyon
was a kind of sanctuary, largely unexplored.
The red rock walls rose like pottery around the river that reflects them, that Colorado red, winding in and out of slices of sunshine.
, no matter how many tours he
led as the rock lit up in the descent of the day, had to catch his
Now, the Carl B. Hayden Visitor Center
offers free tours of the lake and the power plant, but steel rods have replaced deep, boundless canyons.
"One of the thrills of river running is the freedom you feel," Sleight
"You're not regimented.
The dam took away the thrill."
starts talking hard and fast.
Too much," Sleight
But boy, how he
In the days leading up to the damming of the Colorado, Sleight and six other river-running friends formed Friends of Glen Canyon.
Sleight also became the first elected chair of the Glen Canyon Group of the Sierra Club's Utah chapter.
In 1999, he
won the David R. Brower award for Outstanding Service in the Field of Conservation.
And when Lake Powell flooded Rainbow Bridge National Monument, he
sued the government for illegally flooding a national park property.
Rather than address the issue, the government changed its laws, rendering the flooding legal and Sleight
"I could have done more," Sleight
, whose voice crescendos wildly during his
passionate retellings of the old days and the old battles, isn't beaten yet.
Case in point: he
yet hopes to see the destruction of Glen Canyon Dam, preferably while he's
still alive (he talks about getting on his
knees and praying for the dam to crumble, just like Abbey wrote about in The Monkey Wrench Gang).
Case in point: Just last week he
tore out a real estate sign pressed into the soft soil of Pack Creek's
property, because it violated neighborhood regulations.
always does this," Sleight
, feeling reinforced in his
argument, continues to define justice, or rightness, as he
"It can mean lying down in front of machines, or tearing down signs, or disrupting meetings or whatever.
If you feel so deep down that what they're doing is unjust, sometimes you have a duty to disobey."
In 1991, armed with only conviction and a horse named Knothead, Sleight
fulfilled this duty-he saddled up, rode to Amassa Back Mesa in Moab, and stood down bulldozers before they began to take down several hundred acres of juniper forest.
Although the D-9 Caterpillar blades advanced to within inches of his
showed no sign of surrender.
And the bulldozers stopped.
Seldom Seen Slim, an ornery Mormon character with features and mannerisms undeniably reminiscent of Sleight
, was known for his
monkey wrenching of governmental plans.
's old friend Abbey never formally declared that the character was sketched from Sleight, but to Abbey's fans and followers, there can be no doubt.
"Yeah, you get an image," Sleight
says, though for many years he
would not admit to the similarities.
has always been willing to fight, but he's
also been willing to change.
A self-proclaimed liberal, he cites his days of being a Republican and the gradual shift to the left side before becoming the county Democratic chairman.
"When I was at the University of Utah
, boy, I was conservative as all hell.
I was just like all the other Mormons.
I was invited to John Birch meetings.
Never did join the son of a…," Sleight
pauses and clears his
throat, dimples flashing.
"We got out, and we were so pissed off at everything that was happening… we took those boxes of beer cans and threw them on the road," Sleight
"They weren't supposed to have this dam.
pauses, and his
anger hangs in the air for a moment.
As the light fades on the porch, Sleight
details the book he
plans to write.
"That book thing has been a joke all these years.
I'm not going to get it done," Sleight
says with a nod.
made several references over the past couple days to the book he
will someday publish, and this is the first negative one.
takes a swig of beer and continues, "But writing, you always hope you take some of your thoughts and give them to other people.
2 comments for " Ken Sleight
: Duty to Disobey...by Sean Prentiss and Katie Phelan"
Nice to know that Ken
is still fighting the good fight, though.
But Pack Creek Ranch resort owner Ken Sleight has been ringing alarm bells about those incidents and other problems at the mill.He gave a report on the situation to the San Juan County Commission last week ; the commissioners dismissed his concerns.Sleight
had heard rumors about problems at White Mesa and emailed Utah's Division of Radiological Control last February.In DRC's reply, Sleight
learned that not only was the rumor he
would heard true, but there had been other incidents as well.
During a telephone interview Saturday, Bill Sinclair, director of DRC, confirmed that he
about White Mesa.He
also said there were three contaminated-container incidents that occurred in February and March.But there was one as late as a couple of weeks ago, he
Boston Box incidentHe
also confirmed another, unrelated incident that took place last October.A container of hazardous material from Boston was mistaken for one of the Tonawanda containers and accidentally shipped to White Mesa.
The lead-contaminated soil slipped past two checkpoints : one at the Cisco off-loading site, and one at the mill.It was then dumped in with the radioactive waste.The error was discovered some days later, possibly as much as a week later, and immediately reported to both Sinclair's office and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
KEN SLEIGHT REMEMBERS, Part 1: ...
KEN SLEIGHT REMEMBERS, Part 1: The Adventure of New Beginnings...1930s
EDITOR'S NOTE: For years, Ken Sleight was a regular columnist for this publication and his topics scanned the spectrum-from his passionate quixotic quest to restore Glen Canyon, to his opposition to nuclear waste in San Juan County.