Comments about ‘Michael O. Leavitt: Strategic land exchanges benefit rural economies, Utah schoolchildren and the environment’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 5 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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iron&clay
RIVERTON, UT

This is a example of free thinking on the part of Desert News to publish articles, especially one by Leavitt, that make such logical financial sense.

Tax exempt elite foundations have pummeled the DN readers with ads that are promoting the Federal government to own and control our resources from a distant center of power that does not look after the best interests of the local people.

Beware of monopolies. Especially the monopoly of centralized collectivism that impoverishes it's citizens.

Emajor
Ogden, UT

I'm curious if Mr. Leavitt as former governor would support the current push by our legislature and Governor Herbert to take over American lands for the short term economic benefit of development interests. The strategic land exchange is an example of compromise and intelligent decision making, while the public lands grab is a bratty attempt to stick a finger in the federal eye and serve special interest groups under the guise of funding our public schools.

"Westerners know that if we take good care of the land it takes good care of us"

Like many places, the western US has a dazzling history of environmental degradation that does not support this statement. Habitual overgrazing. Strip mining for coal and oil shale. Toxic groundwater plumes from open pit mining. Reckless water use. Deforestation. Air pollution. Uranium tailings pile on the Colorado River. The damming of every possible river. There isn't an ecosystem out here we haven't managed to foul up to some extent. Thankfully, most western land is federal and stricter environmental laws were forced on the industries and states out here, or it would look a lot worse.

Bebyebe
UUU, UT

You're not going to see one ounce of gas and metals mined. The companies will come in, drill/mine, destroy the land & then say "See ya". Utah will be left with a despoiled environmental disaster and will have to go beg the federal government for money to fix it.

Jonathan Eddy
Payson, UT

Mr. Leavitt, except for military installations which we made available for obvious reasons, why does the federal government (Corporation of the United States of America)own any Utah land; the land of the People of Utah? Does the federal government serve us or do we serve it? Concerned Utahns are curious to know when Utah gave away its sovereignty. Perhaps our Governor can provide some answers.

BU52
Provo, ut

The public land issue is a prime example of how successful the central planners have become in propagating their version of truth, which is that some distant federal agency will make better decisions concerning the land in our backyard, than the people who live around it. Which is an extension of the anti-capitalist attitude that selfish interest is bad. Yet no one understands the problems of the commons.

justamacguy
Manti, UT

Ecosystem fouled up? It is interesting that Utah's wildlife were the most plentiful while the citizens were fouling up the ecosystem. When the pioneers came to Utah they found very few deer, elk, an occasional bison or grouse. During the so called, by some, over grazing and deforestation period the change in habitat allowed deer to flourish. Elk were reintroduced and populations grew. Grouse populations increased. Since the attempted "return of our lands to a natural state" by reducing of grazing leases on public land, ranges are going back to grasses and deer are declining. Failure to log is changing grouse habitat. And the build up of fuels on both public range and forest is contributing to horrendous wild fires spewing tons of pollutants into the atmosphere in a single catastrophic event and setting progression back for half a century. So who is the greater negative impacter of the ecosystem? If man thinks he's messing with the system, mother nature is continually proving she can one up him.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

This is a complex issue. I can understand the reasoning behind turning federal lands back to the state. Unfortunately I don't trust the state legislature and their privitization agenda. It is in the best interest of Utah to open up some of our most scenic areas to mining and private development. I think not. Many private landowners wouldn't even let the public fish from the shorebanks of public waterways. The issue went to court and citizens won. The Utah supreme court upheld it. The legislature passed a law to overturn it. Public lands should be available for public use. Within reason of course.

one old man
Ogden, UT

WISE use of our lands and natural resources are great.

Unfortunately, wisdom is too often lacking as we do it.

Joe Bauman
Salt Lake City, UT

Congratulations to Gov. Leavitt for an exceptionally well-reasoned editorial. This approach should be a model for our state in its efforts to protect the most valuable landscapes as well as to facilitate legitimate development. It is a far-sighted and legal solution to our disputes, and makes far more sense than the land grab the Legislature has been pushing. The reality is that trying to just take over federal land would never work -- I'm happy to say because it is the birthright of all Americans! -- and the attempt would cost many millions of state dollars that could be better spent in almost any other endeavor.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Protection vs Privatize...see Leavitt, Whirling Desease.

Wonder
Provo, UT

@ Jonathan Eddy -- You gave it up when you entered the United States of America as a state. In other words, the US government kept it when they allowed Utah to form one of the states out of US territory. It's not like the US government came in last year and grabbed up all your land. You never had it to begin with.

county mom
Monroe, UT

Actually Wonder, the federal government did come in to the territory of Deseret and grab land. Then again in the 1920s. Some of us are many generations on this land. The Land was the Lamanites and the federal Government took it from them. Even when Brigham Young and the Latter Day Saints had made covenants with the Lamanites. This states history is full of stories of the governments abuse of the people, native or pioneers, and the land. How about invasion threats by Johnsons Army? forcing the retroactive arrests of church leaders? nuclear testing? water theft? the Uranium Mines and their tailings? Escalante National Monument? We are a soverign state and have been treated over the years by the federal government as a disposiable people and state. I have no trust of our federal government, they are terrible stewards of the land. They introduced a weed to stop erossion, it took over ,then caterpillar to stop the weed, it like tumbleweeds better, then a wasp to stop the caterpillar and it has taken over! Killing all caterpillars including the Monarch!! Terrible stewards!!

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

county mom, what an odd take on history.
The Native Americans were here, than a stronger group took their land and signed treaties which allowed them to use some of their previous land, until it was found to be worth...well anything. Rinse and repeat...

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