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Comments about ‘Natalie Gochnour: Involve Utahns in national monument designations’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 1 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

Individual states have a terrible history of environmental protection. In California pristine wooded hillsides were blasted with water to recover gold, Montana, and other plains states, came within a 1000 buffalo of wiping them out completely, and Utah has a super fund site located in its most populous valley.

After seeing Utah dither on solving its air pollution problems, and its visceral dislike for the president can you imagine the laborious, and endless, "negotiations" that the feds would have to endure to get Utah's okay on a national monument?

Its better this way, keep the special interest locals out of the loop and get the process done!

On the other hand
Riverdale, MD

Ms. Gochnour failed to explain why Utahns might object to the federal government designating federal lands as a national monument. What alternative protection does she propose for these lands? Why exactly should Utahns have a say in the process? Not saying they shouldn't; I was just surprised to see that the editorial didn't really address any of these questions.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Outrageous abuses of power must stop.

Our Governor Herbert thinks he has a promise from Sec. Jewell, but unfortunately, President Obama seldom keeps his own promises and certainly would not feel constrained by any commitments made by some other administration official. We can expect Obama to make this designation in order to appease more of the radical environmental wing of his party.

Appeals for wilderness designation from any Senators other than those from the state involved should carry as much weight as me demanding you buy me a new car.

A little bit of wilderness is a good thing, but we have more than enough already.

Perhaps if Obama wants to rescind the wilderness designation of some land along the southern border which is currently off limits to the Border patrol (but not smugglers and illegals) in exchange for adding some in Utah, then I would listen to the proposal.

FT
salt lake city, UT

The problem the state and the GOP has is a lack of leadership or trust on their side. They've had years to offer sensible solutions but instead their strategy has been to monkey wrench the preservation movement. Polls show Utahns overwhelming support additional protection but the GOP and it's leaders have allied themselves with extraction companies and local land users. Now the real threat of more protection is coming and they are scrambling to present themselves as credible, concerned, elected representatives. I for one don't trust them and suspect they're trying to run out the clock in hopes they can get an ally in the WH.
Go BO and do what the majority of Utahns want, protect OUR public lands.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

DN Subscriber: "Appeals for wilderness designation from any Senators other than those from the state involved should carry as much weight as me demanding you buy me a new car."

Horrible analogy, it is completely within their right, proximity is not ownership.

DN says "A little bit of wilderness is a good thing, but we have more than enough already."

I beg to differ, but then again I use the lands set aside by visionaries and forward thinkers, and hate seeing private property, no trespass. My children will enjoy these same wonderful places too.
More than enough, as they shot millions of American Bison,
More than enough as they drill even deeper.
More than enough, is fatally short sighted.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I actually hope the President does the opposite of what this article instructs.

President Obama, do whatever you want to our canyon lands! Protect them from those in our state who wish to exploit it. You don't need our approval. Our state will never like you. So do whatever you want! You don't need our approval.

Esquire
Springville, UT

These lands belong to the entire nation. They are controlled by the Federal Government, which represents the entire nation. It is the long term interests of the entire nation that should be considered, not short term, profit motivated interests of the local business interests. And that's exactly what this is about.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Some Utahans want to "take back the Federal lands" within our borders.

They yowl loudly about Senators from those Eastern states trying to make laws that will affect our public lands.

But according to the Sutherland Institute, 31.55% of Utah's budget comes from, guess where?

Those Eastern taxpayers.

Yes, Utahans, YOUR state government (and you) are being subsidized to the tune of 31.55% by Easterners and {GASP} even California!

The thrust of the Sutherland article is an warning to Utah's lawmakers that they need to learn to live within their own income. Wise words. (Google: states receiving federal funds sutherland --- and it should be the first link you will see)

What would happen to Utah --- and to you and me --- if those awful Easterners suddenly woke up and took back the money they are spending on us?

And what would happen to our children and grandchildren when Utah's public lands have been locked up in private ownership?

Shortsighted profiteering is greed and nothing more.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Utah controlled lands -- Beck Street, Magna, Energy Solutions, etc....
Federal Controlled Lands -- Zion's, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands, Capital Reef..

I agree with Real Maverick,
Do precisely the opposite as this letter writer suggests.

The People of Utah hate you anyway for no darn good reason,
so forget them, and save our Country in spite of them!

byronbca
Salt Lake City, UT

The problem with involving locals with invoking the antiquities act is that locals will always vehemently oppose it. The people of Arizona were furious when Grand Canyon National Monument was formed, they had plans to build 7 dams and mine it. Alaska threatened to secede from the US entirely when Carter created and expanded various National Monuments in Alaska.

And of course when Clinton created GSENM the people of Utah were beside themselves, after all how can some Democrat come in and take our land! But most Utahan's today support GSENM.

My view is this, there is not a Republican in the state that would be willing to sit down with Obama and help draw up a plan to transfer Utah land to federal land, all those bridges have been burned down, so I don't really see what the point is in involving state government.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

"Involving the locals" means endless, fruitless "negotiations" with the uncompromising, red-meat Tea Partiers who run this state. In the days of Sen. Bennett, negotiations might have been useful. Not any more.

My plea to the President is "Don't waste your time. Just do it."

AZ Enviro
Pima, AZ

I totally agree that the input from citizens concerning the creation of this national monument would be filled with time-wasting vitriol. Such a shame because Ms. Gochnour is right - if we lived in a civil society anymore. But, we don't. Screaming, hate-filled paranoiacs take over sensible discussions of land use everywhere in the West these days. It's as if someone lifted a rock and all the scorpions from hell were let loose. Like I said, this is a shame because my husband and I love travelling around Utah's vast open areas. We have more than once been happy that the nice ranchers we encountered had bladed a road (an existing, long-established road!)and inadvertently enabled us to go further into Utah's hidden paradises. There are many thoughtful, nature-loving cowboys and local people who know "secrets" and have useful knowledge about these often forbidding landscapes. Too bad they are drowned out by the gangs of bullies.

Independent Thinker
West Jordan, UT

Sure, involve Utahns in the discussions. And give their thoughts and proposals just as much consideration and credibility as they give to any of your thoughts and proposals.

I don't understand why a national monument designation for already existing national park lands suddenly is cause for such great consternation.

Jim Cobabe
Provo, UT

Most of the proposed land is already being "managed" by federal authority under various federal agencies.

Demo Dave
Holladay, UT

Utahns are already involved in monument designations. Most of us are in favor of them.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

Please Feds: Save Utah from short-sighted and bought-and-paid-for Utah "leadership"

nonceleb
Salt Lake City, UT

Presidential fiat? It is called the Antiquities Act of 1906, a law passed by a representative Congress, and has given us Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Arches, Bryce, Zion etc. If the state had a say, most Utahns would likely support Greater Canyonlands. Rural "locals" would oppose it, but they make up a miniscule part of the state's population. Should we allow .01% of the population of American citizens stop the designation of federally-owned lands into protected areas? Less than 5% of Utah's economy is from extraction industries. When resources are eventually depleted, the towns that grew from the exploitation rapidly decline. Tourism is a clean and stable industry that sustains communities indefinitely. Whenever an area is designated as a national monument or park, the resultant publicity increases tourism in those areas. Ask the business owners in Escalante and Boulder what Grand Staircase has done for them.

Diligent Dave
Logan, UT

Most Utahns live in highly urbanized areas. Those who suffer the brunt of these decisions that not only protect wilderness, but completely lock up land, excluding it ever from any other uses, are largely those who live in or near these areas. Tourism doesn't make anywhere near as much money as does mining, ranching, logging, etc.

That the Federal Government still owns and controls a whopping 2/3 of the land in the State of Utah means we aren't really a state. We're more like a colony, with a couple of senators and congressmen who can vote, but who can't block much of anything by their tiny numbers.

I say, rather, turn most all Federal lands over to the PEOPLE of the State of Utah. Texas doesn't even have anywhere near the amount of Federal land that Utah does, and its a MUCH LARGER state, geographically!

Cut down the dill, and quit trying to pickle the state of Utah.

BTW, the Federal government in recent decades has made many more stupid decisions, like allowing pine beetles to kill trees, and disallowing anyone from cutting them down either before or after they're dead. Not smart at all!

Nancy L.V.
Las Vegas, NV

Two words: Government overreach!!!

Utah's Right?
West Jordan, Utah

The federal government owns over half of Utah's land but less than 1% of states like Rhode Island, Iowa or New York. If Pres. Obama and these 14 senators want to expand federal protections on land, they should start in their own backyards first before proposing to further restrict activities in Utah.

However if major changes must be made to rules regarding lands in Utah, Utahns deserve a prominent seat at the table. Local involvement and support are critical to land management projects. This principle is nearly universally recognized and accepted. The world would be appalled if a new national park were developed in Kenya or South Africa without the support of the local population. Utahns deserve similar respect and consideration in this important discussion.

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