Gov. Norm Bangerter sharply criticized the federal government and those who want more wilderness in Utah, saying Thursday that federal wilderness study areas are restricting "reasonable and rational" use of some lands.
The governor is angry over two recent incidents involving film production. A television commercial for a bank in California was planning to film in the Cannonville area of Garfield County, but federal officials objected to the company bringing 12 horses into a canyon and filming actor Dennis Weaver with the animals because the canyon is in a wilderness study area.To do such filming there must be a 30-day public comment period, and that did not fit into the production company's schedule. Bangerter said the production company will now go to Arizona; a move that will cost the Cannonville area $250,000 in production-related spending.
Taking a glancing shot at Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Wilson, who favors more wilderness area in Utah, Bangerter said, "People who want this wilderness don't want others in these study areas, and this (not filming in the canyon) is a ludicrous action."
Bangerter said the other incident involved the making of a Rambo movie in southern Utah, in which similar problems arose and the filming went elsewhere.
The governor promised he will personally get involved in problems of this kind in the future.