Wilderness reinventory a cruel joke

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  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Jan. 6, 2011 10:07 a.m.

    Wilderness is not the savior of wildlife... If you want species to "survive" in a natural state then you better be ready for natural extinctions... which the endangered species act does not allow for. In wilderness man can not take action to enhance habitat conditions for any species. No range projects. No water projects. And just because it's wilderness does not mean it is free of man's influence. For instance... Let's say that water wells are drill in valley X 50 miles from wilderness Y. The resulting pumping in valley X draws down the water table in wilderness Y and spring there dry up. The animals in wilderness Y will die off because it is illegal to build watering structures such as guzzlers in a wilderness area to mitigate the water loss. Just drawing a no-use line around something doesn't mean life will be roses for critters...

  • Joane Pappas White Price, Utah
    Jan. 4, 2011 11:17 a.m.

    We should pay close attention to, and support the observations of, the state Senator from Washington County, Utah. Wilderness IS politics and those of us being overrun by outside interests need to learn that fact of life and fight it accordingly.

    SUWA just imported an East coast "media director" to create a new AD campaign to stem the growing anti-SUWA sentiment in Utah. Isn't it interesting that these ads came out just before Salazar's news release on "Wild Places"? Do you think it was an accident that SUWA knew Salazar was going to be in Utah before our Governor knew it last Fall? It was only because of the vigilance of USA-ALL that any Anti-Wilderness advocates were at the Salazar meeting to speak against expanding wilderness.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2011 8:59 a.m.

    The ultimate question? What percentage of Utah's land the US Federal Government "owns" was acquired by the federal government with the consent of the Legislature and in accordance with the United States Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 17?

    If the answer is "very little if any", it is time to get the rest back.

  • ljeppson Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2011 12:37 a.m.

    " The Jordan River trail system is a veritable treasure trove of wildlife including small deer herds, fox, and birds galore. " I bike those trails when they are open, often. Yes, there is wildlife, but not like it should be or could be. The waterway is hopelessly polluted, and has been modified; when attempts are made to restore, like the wetlands restoration around 2100 South, results are not adequate (though this is appreciated).

    I agree that wildlife habitat can be preserved anywhere we have the will without wilderness designations, but for the most part we don't think of wildlife. In my own county, Davis, acreage for wildlife is considered wasted.

    Both sides of the wilderness debate need to think of habitat - that could well result in reasonable compromise and wildlife preservation.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 31, 2010 10:55 p.m.

    Excellent comments by Sen. Urquhart!

  • Sen. Steve Urquhart St. George, UT
    Dec. 31, 2010 4:51 p.m.

    I appreciate the DNews allowing me to share a few thoughts on wilderness. I've posted (and will be happy to post) additional comments at SteveU dot com regarding questions or disagreements that anyone might have with my point of view.

    It is time to work toward resolution of public lands issues, like we did with the Washington County Lands bill. This reinventory does not point toward resolution in any way. It is a hostile, unilateral attack on Utah and the rural West.

    To comments above, wilderness has no effect on wildlife or housing development and, yes, locals have knowledge and stake that others don't. It is another culture (the true wild west) that, yet again, is being marginalized and attacked by "wiser and better" outsiders.

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    Dec. 31, 2010 3:46 p.m.

    "Does proximity equate to qualification? "

    Maybe, maybe not. But it certainly does equate to "vested interest."

    To the extent that proximity does not equate to qualification, then all platitudes aside, neither, logically, can distance or ignorance equate to qualification.

    That the first two comments here claim a dire need for wilderness based on incorrect and ignorant views about their own back yards in the SL urban area indicates that a lot of people have no idea what is going on even a couple of city blocks away. For such persons to claim to know what is happening and what should be happening hundreds or thousands of miles away is beyond laughable.

    Yes, rural folks have made mistakes. But almost to a person, they want their children and grandchildren to be able to live in their hometowns. They are not about to deliberately damage the land or poison the air and water.

    Kanab, Spokane, and Idaho Falls are not much closer to DC than Boston is to London. And most folks in NYC, Boston, or DC, will never see Kanab.

    Gross ignorance and long distances certainly cannot be a qualification.

  • dave Park City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2010 2:19 p.m.

    "The real question becomes; Who is more qualified to manage rural lands? Those who live on and near them and have done so for generations? Or city slickers who live hundreds or thousands of miles away and have no vested interest in the quality of the land?

    That's a valid question. Does proximity equate to qualification? Have you ever heard of not being able to see the forest for the trees? Maybe being too close to something can make you lose a bit of perspective.

  • Considering Stockton, UT
    Dec. 31, 2010 11:54 a.m.

    Jefferson spoke very favorably about the "yeoman farmers" and the need to protect them and their interests from the urban masses. It is clear why.

    The SL valley still teems with wildlife. The Jordan River trail system is a veritable treasure trove of wildlife including small deer herds, fox, and birds galore. Urban fisheries in Sandy and South Jordan add to habitat for wildlife. The "Gully" in Sandy provides another wonderful ecosysem and safe passage between the Jordan river and the foothill areas.

    In Utah's harsh, desert climate, deer, elk, predators that feed on them, and other animals often do far better in areas where water basins and salt licks for domestic cattle are placed and where modern forest management techniques reduce the frequency and damage of wild fires that destroy grazing for years. Wilderness designation prevents all of this.

    The real question becomes; Who is more qualified to manage rural lands? Those who live on and near them and have done so for generations? Or city slickers who live hundreds or thousands of miles away and have no vested interest in the quality of the land?

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2010 10:45 a.m.

    I hope the process is not quite so repub vs dem as the article suggests. In fact, I think it is more, I live in an urban developed area that has exploited its land and bio-diversity to the hilt, but now want the rural undeveloped area that has not exploited its land and bio-diversity as much to make up the difference.

  • ljeppson Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2010 10:26 a.m.

    This is a complex issue, but I would like to add a perspective, different from the Representative and different from the Red Rock Wilderness crowd, and it is that wilderness is as much about wildlife habitat as it is about esthetic vistas. In our urban areas, wildlife habitat has become virtually nonexistent, and these areas prior to their being claimed by developers were not postcard quality images, but they did provide places for wild creatures to live. As an example, I point out the used-to-be wild strip in SLC between I-15 and the tracks. It didn't look like much but it once teemed with wildlife of many types.

    The wilderness "joke" the to which the representative refers is not spectacular vistas, but I'll wager they protect places for wild critters to live, and that is important. In the past environmentalists have hurt this cause by focusing too much on human esthetics and not enough on places where wild things can survive -biodiversity - it's important.