To the editor:
Recently, an article in your paper announced that Kieth Merrill of World Odessey Inc., Los Altos, Calif., had been working to develop a $10 million lodge and theater across the narrow Virgin River from Zions National Park's "Watchman" campground.This brought Terri Martin, regional park representative of the National Parks and Conservation Association, to her feet in a hurry, along with all her other environmental cohorts. Martin stated, "We are not against the project in and of itself, but at this site it is completely inappropriate." Martin went on to state, "We are appalled at this location. Put it somewhere else and we wouldn't have a problem."
I agree with Martin, the site is a poor choice. A more logical and preferred site would be in any of the school sections found inside the park in Range 9 or 10 West Township 40-41 or 42 South at the junction where the Mount Carmel Highway 15 meets the road going up to the lodge. Or even better yet, build it where Zion Lodge is located in Section 2.
The Utah general fund, as well as the school trust fund, could use any money generated from either of those school sections to make up for the $67 million that was lost in oil, gas and geothermal leases within the wilderness study areas.
As the BLM puts it in their environmental impact statements, "Study and final statement," oil, gas and geothermal leases were canceled and foregone. One environmental group has stepped forward with a suggestion on how to, or should do, to regain that loss.
Gov. Bangerter should push for the sale of those two sections to Kieth Merrill and World Odessey Inc.
Paul L. Young
Western Association of Land Users