Gov. Gary Herbert is calling for a battle with the federal government over public lands. He thinks Utah can manage these lands better than the federal government could. He makes it sound pragmatic and innocent enough.
But let's be clear: some of his biggest supporters are those in the oil, coal, tar sands, oil shale and natural gas sectors. These donations (investments really) are available to all who care to look. The whole purpose of the efforts of Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot were to have sustainability so that "we will hand … the water, the wood, the grass … on to our children … in better and not worse shape than we got them."
Herbert would like to turn the lands over to his friends with very specific financial motivations. This is an unacceptable faustian bargain. Those of use who have grown up hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, climbing, biking and generally enjoying our beautiful state do not want to see it handed over to people out to make a quick buck. It is not worth the trade off.
As Oscar Wilde once said, "the cynic knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing." Don't elect another cynic.
Salt Lake City
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