Utah counties aren't wilderness-friendly

  Dear HCN,


Your headline, "Counties May Shrink Utah Wilderness' (HCN, 3/20/95), sounds downright cheerful. A more accurate headline would have read, "Counties Will Obliterate Wilderness."


Here in Iron County, Commissioner R.L. Gardner told the press before the first hearing, that "I personally feel that there is no need to set aside more land." He was not familiar with the wording of the Wilderness Act. County Commissioner Pug Urie was so befuddled that he told me Utah Governor Leavitt wanted him to "take away everything from the Act."


At our two local hearings citizens were split nearly evenly on the issue: about 20 for wilderness, 24 against. Yet the commissioners said they'd go ahead and send the governor their own recommendation, without first showing it to citizens: Hence, the hearings were meaningless. People against wilderness said they were worried about outsiders, Indians, water rights and bureaucrats.


What bothers me most is that the public spent $10 million doing this 10 years ago. BLM started inventory and scoping in 1982; the Utah BLM Statewide Wilderness draft EIS came out in 1985; the public commented at 17 hearings and in 4,500 letters; the final EIS came out in 10 volumes in 1990. Yes, that environmental impact statement was deeply flawed: Countless wilderness study areas had been dropped because developers didn't want wilderness. Yet I honestly expected that they would be restored and that a fine Utah Wilderness Bill would be presented to the President. I am such a fool that it never crossed my mind that the EIS process, which must have cost taxpayers several million dollars, would end up under a wet Sagebrush Rebellion cow-patty.


The bottom line is, Utah's incomparable red rock wilderness belongs to all of you Americans out there. Don't leave its fate in the hands of county officials.





Valerie P. Cohen


Cedar City, Utah





NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor of Native Americans and the News Media The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is...
  • AWF seeks an energetic Marketing and Communications Director. Please see the full job description at https://azwildlife.org/jobs
  • The Southwest Communications Director will be responsible for working with field staff in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico to develop and execute detailed communication plans...
  • An intentional community designed for aging in place. Green built with Pumice-crete construction (R32), bamboo flooring, pine doors, T&G ceiling with fans, and maintenance free...
  • (CFROG) is a Ventura County, CA based watch-dog and advocacy non-profit organization. cfrog.org
  • Take your journalism skills to the next level and deepen your understanding of environmental issues by applying for the 2019-2020 Ted Scripps Fellowships in Environmental...
  • WINTER WILDLANDS ALLIANCE POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Winter Wildlands Alliance seeks an experienced and highly motivated individual to lead and manage the organization as Executive...
  • The San Juan Mountains Association is seeking a visionary leader to spearhead its public lands stewardship program in southwest Colorado. For a detailed job description...
  • The Cascade Forest Conservancy seeks a passionate ED to lead our forest protection, conservation, education, and advocacy programs.
  • Mountain Pursuit is a new, bold, innovative, western states, hunting advocacy nonprofit headquartered in Jackson, Wyoming. We need a courageous, hard working, passionate Executive Director...
  • The Draper Natural History Museum (DNHM) at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center of the West in Cody, WY, invites applications for the Willis McDonald, IV...
  • Couple seeks quiet, private, off-grid acreage in area with no/low cell phone service and no/low snowfall. Conservation/bordering public lands a plus. CA, OR, WA, ID,...
  • 20mi N of Steamboat Springs, majestic views, aspen forest, year-round access, yurt, septic, solar electric, seasonal ponds, no covenants, bordering National Forest. Ag status. $449K....
  • Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring for two positions: Communications & Development Manager/Director (remote work possible) and a Deputy Director...
  • Former northern Sierra winery, with 2208 sq.ft. commercial building, big lot, room to expand.
  • The dZi Foundation is seeking a FT Communications Associate with a passion for Nepal to join our team in Ridgway, Colorado. Visit dzi.org/careers.
  • Available now for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojaidigital.net.
  • Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • 1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • Suitable for planting hay, hemp, fruit. Excellent water rights. 1800 square foot farmhouse, outbuildings, worker housing.