This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utahns say that whom they vote for does not matter — the Republican always wins. That is only true as long as we believe it.

Gov. Gary Herbert is a Republican with a vision for Utah that we should all pay close attention to. He calls for a battle with the federal government over public lands. He thinks Utah can manage these lands better than the federal government.

Some of Herbert's biggest supporters are in oil and natural gas. He's also said that we could use the revenues from drilling and hydraulic fracturing to pay for education. Is this how we end our rank as last in per-pupil spending on K-12: to turn our permanent natural beauty into a short-term, one-time revenue center?

The purpose of the conservation efforts of President Teddy Roosevelt and first U.S. Forest Service chief, Gifford Pinchot, was to ensure that we "handle the woods, the water, the grasses so that we will hand them to our children and our children's children in better and not worse shape than we got them."

With Herbert's economic imagination, we should be leery of him as a leader, regardless of the party he represents.

Michael Webster

Salt Lake City

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