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Group to ask President Obama to turn Greater Canyonlands into national monument

Published: Friday, Sept. 4 2015 3:16 p.m. MDT

The Outdoor Industry Association, along with more than 100 outdoor recreation-related businesses, will ask President Obama to turn the Greater Canyonlands into a national monument Tuesday. (Ravell Call, Deseret News) The Outdoor Industry Association, along with more than 100 outdoor recreation-related businesses, will ask President Obama to turn the Greater Canyonlands into a national monument Tuesday. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — An group of outdoor retailers will ask President Barack Obama to make a portion of Utah into a national monument. It's an idea that's not sitting well with some Utah officials. 

The Outdoor Industry Association, along with more than 100 outdoor recreation-related businesses, will ask the president to turn the Greater Canyonlands into a national monument Tuesday.

The 1.4 million acre Greater Canyonlands, the area around Canyonlands National Park, is the largest roadless area in the nation's lower 48 states.

But Sen. David Hinkins, R-Orangeville, said the designation would cut off access to a lot of people, especially the elderly and disabled veterans.

"This is supposed to be a great tourist destination, and that's one of the reasons they say we're keeping this so that the people can see it. OK, fine. Let's let the people see it then," Hinkins said.

He said it will also stop any uranium mining and oil and gas development, and hurt school trust lands. He said too much of Utah already is controlled by the federal government.  

The governor's office said it had not been approached about the proposal.

"No one has formally approached the governor or his office about a proposed monument in Utah,” said Ally Isom, Gov. Gary Herbert's deputy chief of staff. "We certainly hope we don't have another Bill Clinton approach to creating a monument. Canyonlands was established by statute, and any expansion ought to be rightly created by statute as well."

E-mail: mrichards@desnews.com

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