Utah farmers and ranchers who are members of the Utah Farm Bureau said Friday they will not oppose the creation of a Cabinet-level position in the governor's administration for environmental quality.
Winding up their two-day annual conference at the Salt Lake Marriott, bureau members said they seek a quick completion of the Central Utah Project, want the federal government to protect private property rights in regulating wetlands and support the current formula used to determine grazing rights on public lands.In a policy statement that is the blueprint for the group's lobbying activities next year in Congress and the Utah Legislature, farmers and ranchers called for greater attempts to recycle waste products in Utah and renewed their stand against further intrusions of wilderness in the state.
Kenneth R. Ashby, Delta, president of the bureau, said farmers and ranchers will not stand in the governor's way where the Department of Environmental Quality is concerned, "provided this does not convey any new authority, doesn't take existing programs from present state agencies and conforms to the budgetary constraints imposed by the governor."
He said the bureau would normally oppose the creation of another level of government bureaucracy, "but the Department of Environmental Quality essentially appears to be a shifting of responsibilities rather than the imposition of new regulatory philosophies. We believe there is no threat to agriculture or the general population through this action."