Four more business, agriculture or water management organizations have joined the Utah Public Lands Multiple Use Coalition, according to C. Booth Wallentine, executive vice president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation and chairman of the coalition.
Wallentine said the group "is working to protect Utah's natural resources through existing management agencies instead of a wilderness designation."He said there are now 14 major organizations in the multiple-use coalition. The four new members are the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Utah Water Users Association, Utah Association of Conservation Districts and the Utah-Idaho Farmers Union.
Other members of the coalition include the Utah Association of Counties, Utah Farm Bureau, Coastal States Energy Company, Utah Cattlemen's Association, Utah Forest Industry Council, Utah Manufacturers Association, Utah Mining Association, Utah Petroleum Association, Utah Taxpayers Association and the Utah Wool Growers Association.
Wallentine said the coalition's objective is to help Utahns understand that federal designation of wilderness "is not the best way to protect our natural resources.
"Moreover, such designations usually result in reduced tourism and severely restrict job growth in a state like Utah, which is so dependent on development of natural resources."