We want to express our gratitude to Gov. Mike Leavitt, Secretary Bruce Babbitt and Dave Terry, of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, along with their staffs for preparing the proposed Utah Schools and Federal Land Exchange. This kind of agreement we have worked toward since the new monument was created two years ago and on other inholdings for more than a decade. We applaud the leadership, tenacity and dedication of all involved in negotiating a fair trade for both entities.

In order for the land trade to be successful, the necessary congressional legislation must pass without amendments in the 1998 session, a monumental task at the congressional level. Rep. James Hansen introduced HR3830 in May and senators Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett are preparing the Senate legislation to be introduced soon. We are enthusiastic and optimistic the legislation will pass successfully due to the united leadership of our congressional delegation.Though the discussions on this issue have centered on a fair land exchange for Utah and the United States, in reality it is about educating Utah's children. We believe all parties are working to meet their fiduciary responsibility to the schoolchildren. Our schools will benefit now and for years to come from the financial support these lands and funds will provide.

Our sincere thanks to all involved for your dedicated leadership on behalf of the school students of Utah.

Barbara Willie

President, Utah PTA

Paula Plant

Legislative vice president, Utah PTA

Salt Lake City