George W. Bush left the White House nearly four years ago. There is no reason why the president who was elected twice to replace him should have his Bureau of Land Management waste everyone's time and money by continuing to defend a set of land-use plans that threaten large swaths of Utah with destructive forms of development and recreation.
A consortium of environmental advocacy groups is pursuing a lawsuit against the BLM over its plans for the future use of six different sections of Utah, covering some 11 million acres. The first to come before the court in hopes that it can be resolved in a way that guides the other five cases is the one challenging planned uses for 2 million acres in south-central Utah known as the Richfield area.
Perhaps because the map of the area managed out of the BLM's Richfield office bears some resemblance to the shape of the state of Texas, the Bush-era BLM managers seemed to see no reason why some 80 percent of the land should not be left open to energy development, while some 90 percent of the area would be open to motorized off-highway vehicle recreation.