Rep. Bill Orton told the Sanpete County Farm Bureau at its annual banquet here that District 3 will develop its own wilderness proposal this summer and then push it for adoption.
Orton said that he will hold public meetings throughout District 3 this summer in order to gain input. "We want everyone to participate in the process," he said, adding that all groups, including those on diverse sides of the issue, should have a say in the consensus building process.And he promised to visit sites proposed for wilderness designation in order to gain a first-hand look at the areas under consideration for wilderness.
"We're going to have wilderness," Orton said. "The question is, how much? I haven't made up my mind. But we want to develop a District 3 proposal - not accept someone else's proposal - and seek for its enactment."
Representative Orton also stated his position on other issues in this largely rural area.
"I'm opposed to the grazing fee increases proposed for the public lands," Orton said. "Grazing is subsidized by the federal government, but other areas are subsidized much more."
The well-being of the livestock industry is of high importance in the 3rd District, Orton pointed out. He particularly cited the economic distress the dairy people are experiencing since price supports have been reduced.
Proposals to improve the price-support structure for dairy products died in the Senate, Orton said. The opponents said the benefits would have gone almost entirely to the big dairies. "I don't know how I would have voted if the issue had reached the House," he said.
Rep. Wayne Owens "saved" the Central Utah Project from what appeared to be sudden death during the current session, according to Orton.
And he added that he had participated in a successful effort to save Wasatch County water rights, which were threatened in proposals for CUP.
"I think we can now feel assured that CUP will go forward to completion," Orton said.