- Gov. Norm Bangerter received a letter of praise and congratulations from Vice President George Bush Friday for his six-point tax limitation plan.

The three-paragraph letter acknowledged Bangerter's reduction in government spending, "while also ensuring adequate funding of education and other vital services."Bush said he recently learned of the tax limitation plan and said Bangerter is offering the kind of conservative leadership that will be recognized on election day.

"Your approach is certainly consistent with my principles and those of President Reagan."

Bush offered best wishes for a successful campaign and congratulations for Bangerter's "forward-thinking tax and spending limitation proposal."

- Republican Richard Snelgrove, who's challenging incumbent Democrat Wayne Owens for the 2nd Congressional District seat, told a group of students at the University of Utah that he considers himself an environmentalist.

Snelgrove, who continues to trail in the polls behind Owens, has repeatedly criticized the congressman for paying more attention to reintroducing wolves into Yellowstone Park than local economic issues.

Speaking at a "Coffee and Politics" gathering at the Hinckley Institute of Politics on Wednesday, the ice-cream company executive labeled himself an environmental realist and his opponent an environmental extremist.

He said the difference between realism and extremism lies in how the needs of two resources, the environment and people, are balanced. Resources, Snelgrove said, must be used but not abused.

Yet the lack of jobs available in Salt Lake for young people is an abuse, he said, calling recent graduates who leave Utah to find work elsewhere the state's biggest export.

Snelgrove told the student audience at the U. that as a candidate, he has already done more for economic development than Owens has done during his most recent term in Congress.

- Owens, who was first elected to Congress from Utah's 2nd District in 1972 and was re-elected in 1986, has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

The NRA's regional director from Washington, D.C., was in Salt Lake City Wednesday to present the congressman's campaign with a check for $4,950 and the Defender of Individual Rights Award.

Congress was in session and so Owens was unable to accept the contribution and the award in person.

- And the state's 1st District congressman, Rep. James Hansen, has been endorsed by the Council for National Defense. He was one of only 18 members of the House of Representatives to be designated a "Golden Eagle" by the group.

To earn the designation, given for commitment to defending America's freedom, a representative must receive a perfect rating from the council.

"The defense of this nation is a constitutional responsibility that I take very seriously," Hansen said. "The security of America, of Utahns, and that of our children is not negotiable."

- Hansen has been endorsed by an independent business group and an anti-abortion political action committee in his re-election bid for the 1st Congressional District seat.

John Sloan Jr., National Federation of Independent Business president, made the endorsement during a Thursday morning press conference at Little America Hotel. Sloan also named Hansen as a recipient of NFIB's "Guardian of Small Business" award for his voting record during the 100th Congress.

The group represents about 500,000 small-business people. There are 2,500 members in Utah.

"He is one of the best friends small business has in Washington. From a national perspective we need him out there," Sloan said noting Hansen voted with the group's interest 93 percent of the time during the past session and 85 percent of the time since Hansen was first elected to Congress in 1981.

Along with the endorsement, the group has contributed $6,500 to his campaign, Hansen campaign manager Peter Jenks said. The business group is making similar endorsements in 24 other "key" Senate and House races, Sloan said.

The National Right to Life Political Action Committee, which has over 3,000 chapters in 50 states, has also recently pledged its support to Hansen and made a $3,500 campaign donation.

Sandra Faucher, committee director, said, "Congressman Hansen has been a co-sponsor of pro-life legislation and is well-known by the pro-life people of Utah. We commend him for his consistently pro-life voting record and his strong support of the pro-life cause."

- All three candidates for governor favor creating a historic preservation legislative study panel, said Karen Knudson, administrator for the Utah Heritage Foundation.

The foundation questioned the candidates, and each said the preservation of Utah's past was important and that a study panel would strengthen efforts to preserve Utah's heritage.

"I would be willing to support the creation of a preservation study panel composed of appropriate members," said Gov. Norm Bangerter.

Independent candidate Merrill Cook said he would "support the establishment of a study group to examine the question of historic preservation in detail."

Democratic candidate Ted Wilson said, "I realize that to develop a package of legislative support for historic preservation . . . the creation of a Utah Historic Preservation Study Panel is required."

The foundation was formed in 1966 to foster public support for preservation and to purchase and rehabilitate endangered structures.