Nothing stirs people up in the West like water. If we needed to be reminded of that, the brouhaha over the town's proposal to drill 21 exploratory wells in the vicinity of Mayfield Canyon north of Star Valley has certainly done the job.
The Diamond Star Citizen's Action Coalition, a group made up mostly of Star Valley and Diamond Point Shadows residents, is threatening to do whatever it takes to turn the town back at the pass including finding some kind of endangered bug or forming a posse made up of environmental lawyers and archaeologists.
But the town has refused to get into a shootout on the issue. In fact, town officials have shown a considerable amount of restraint, foresight and even courage.
It wasn't easy for Public Works Director Buzz Walker to stand before a skeptical audience at the Payson High School auditorium and calmly explain where the town is coming from. Then Thursday night, the council passed an expanded resolution in support of drilling the exploratory wells that recognized the regional nature of the water problem and once again emphasized the town's commitment not to do anything that would hurt its neighbors.
As District Ranger Ed Armenta put it, "... if nothing else, this proposal to conduct exploratory drilling and subsequent testing will prove or disprove some of the science we're talking about...."
The Forest Service has promised a thorough examination of the issues before rendering a decision that will be in the best interests of all the people in the area. We think the time has come to holster our hostilities and begin working together to enhance and expedite that process.
As Mayor Ray Schum said, "Our kids go to school together. We shop together. We go to church together. We're not a bunch of bad guys sitting up here."