If you listen only to those pushing an anti-federal-government agenda such as Congressman Rob Bishop or state Rep. Howard Noel you might be convinced that the only way Utahns can benefit from federal lands is to drill them to barrenness or grind them under the wheels of all-terrain vehicles.
Those people would have you believe that the temporary jobs and economic booms created by the sporadic nature of producing energy from limited underground fossil remains are to be protected at all costs. And costs to the environment, water and wildlife are high.
If you discount, as they do, the limitless potential of developing, instead, the steady revenue stream created by visitors to Utah's national parks, monuments and forests, you'd get a skewed picture of the Beehive State's economy, present and future. That fact is underscored by a new report from the Department of the Interior that shows Utah benefits more than any other state from tourism and recreation on federal lands.