San Juan County's wilderness bill negotiations, thought dead or dying last year when Utah Republicans booted former U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett from office, are on track to yield a compromise this fall, a lead negotiator for the county said Thursday.
The single-county process, modeled on a deal in Washington County, was Bennett's project and enjoyed the use of his staff. But former San Juan County Commissioner Lynn Stevens said the county is pressing on with talks involving land users and wilderness advocates and has commitments from the state's congressional delegation to back it. A bill could be ready for the Senate by September, he said at a meeting of the Governor's Balanced Resource Council, a statewide advisory group on which he serves.
He singled out The Wilderness Society as a productive partner in talks with the county about which lands to preserve and which to open for development.