To the editor:

The amount of BLM land that is eventually designated as wilderness in Utah will have a profound impact on the Utah economy. The larger the number of acres locked away as wilderness, the fewer the number of jobs the mining industry will be able to create in this state.To avoid tremendous injury to the state's economy, the established BLM wilderness planning process should be allowed to run to completion. The premature introduction and passage of wilderness designation legislation before all pertinent factors have been thoroughly studied will compromise the established process and will be a disservice to the public.

The public should have access to the results of the BLM study and final recommendations before legislation is introduced. This process was followed in the designation of Forest Service wilderness in Utah and that process proved to be fair to all.

Hasty action on wilderness designation could seriously injure every Utahn. The stakes are too high, in terms of lost jobs and lost tax revenues, to act precipitously on any wilderness proposal.

Jack E. Christensen


Utah Mining Association